Black Lips, Atlanta's premier garage-a-delic/flower-punks paid Berkeley's own Amoeba Records a little visit last Friday night, and the East Bay's smelliest hipsters were out in force to show their appreciation. I had to work my way through the wall of stink to come up with these shots, for making my way through the unwashed crowd required some moxie and sheer bravado. Whenever Amoeba hosts an in-store, they give out ear plugs. I should've stuffed them up my nose. Apparently being "cool" nowadays means trading in your bars of Lever 2000 for a keffiyah scarf and Chuck Taylor All-Stars.
If you've never heard of Black Lips, think The Brian Jonestown Massacre with less talent. That's not necessarily a dis, I love Anton and The BJM, but everyone's doing that shtick now. The Massacre's doing been doing it since the mid-90s, but now it's like suddenly every new band found those old Nuggets Compilations and wants to sound like The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, The Troggs, Strawberry Alarm Clock and Love.
Anyway, I just got a new camera, a Nikon N55 with a sick-ass zoom lens. The first four are shot with that, the next two are with the digital and the last one's with the Nikon.
Yeah, so the Black Lips' stage stow is supposed to make Gwar's look tame by comparison, but they did nothing of the sort during this performance. I've read stories of band members making out with each other in the middle of songs, impromptu nudity, real pissing in each other's mouths, head-butting mics until bleeding, surprise fireworks explosions, but alas; I was disappointed.
I guess that's to be expected at a free show. You have to pay good money nowadays to see real art being made...