Rocket Queen: Monday Morning Bangover

Red Fang induces whiplash at the Comet, and We Are Golden enlists a Screaming Tree.

Whenever I hear talk about getting a "bangover" from rocking too hard at a show, I find it difficult to take seriously. The declaration that one is experiencing whiplash from over-exuberant headbanging sounds more like a delusional hangover than a music-related injury. However, as I write this, I believe this is precisely what I'm experiencing, thanks to Red Fang's seismic Sunday night performance at the Comet.I hadn't seen the Portland-based band since they'd opened for Steel Pole Bathtub at MusicfestNW last year—such an unforgettable experience, I was starting to wonder if I'd over-romanticized it. Clearly this was not the case; Red Fang's Comet show was one of the best live-music experiences I've had outside a Fugazi concert. It's always a thrill to watch a band play on a small stage (or in this case, on the floor of a historically significant dive bar) when it's evident they could completely hold their own at an arena rock show. Drummer John Sherman is an insanely animated percussionist who somehow combines laser-like precision and unhinged passion, and the twin guitar lines of Bryan Giles and David Sullivan mix with the dueling vocals of Giles and bassist Aaron Beam to result in an astonishingly articulate storm of brutal beauty. It's quite similar to the magical, muscular delivery of bands like Queens of the Stone Age or even Metallica. It's also the sort of experience that causes one to bob one's head with excessive force, so keep this potential injury in mind if you attend Red Fang's next Seattle show at the Sunset on Friday, August 14. These guys deserve to be huge.Brothers of the Sonic Cloth leader Tad Doyle was front and center at Red Fang's show, snapping photos and grinning from ear to ear. Aside from the sheer giddiness that performance was inducing, Doyle had plenty to be happy about: BOTSC are finally releasing a proper recording in collaboration with their local peers in Mico de Noche. Mico's label, Violent Hippy Records, will be putting out the 10-inch vinyl split; artwork duties will be shared by Akimbo drummer/graphic designer Nat Damm and BOTSC drummer Aaron Edge. A release party is in the works for mid-October.Swinging to the other side of the sonic spectrum, We Are Golden, the dramatic pop-cabaret collaboration of veteran guitar player Gretta Harley and theater darling Sarah Rudinoff (best known for her role in Re-bar's production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch) is making a rare and elaborately conceived appearance at the Triple Door next Wednesday, July 29."We are calling the show 'This Is Me Sometimes,' as the night will highlight our musical adventures both with the band and on our own," explains Rudinoff. "I am going to open the night with a set of music played with Chris Jeffries and [Hedwig co-star] Nick Garrison—some ridiculous medleys, some power duets, and a rock standard or two."She'll also be joined by a dynamite rhythm section, including marimba player Erin Jorgensen and accomplished jazz drummer Mike Stone. The spectacle will continue with a set of Harley's classical compositions with musicians from the classical and avant-garde worlds, including the Seattle Chamber Players playing a piece commissioned from her, Craving Space Between Deadlines. She'll also be joined by students from Cornish (where she teaches) singing part of the rock opera she wrote to accompany The Good Person of Szechwan. The night closes with a We Are Golden set, featuring Barrett Martin of Screaming Trees fame on drums."As someone involved in interdisciplinary art, and as a composer for theater, I collaborate a lot, but I've never specifically written music successfully with anyone else before," says Harley. "I am a lone composer, but the collaboration with Sarah is a satisfying one. We're kind of fearless with each other in many ways, and that keeps it all alive and very interesting. The most difficult challenge is finding time in our individual busy schedules outside of the band to get together to write. We are only able to play together as a band a few times a year."

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