Just a Bob: NGNM make faces hurt
No Gods No Monsters and Beef Jerky
at Tokyo Rose
Friday, September 17
There's something about Bob. He's a poet. The kind that sings Christmas hymns at poetry readings. The kind that describes the act of saying the words "I love you" as breathing out tiny valentines that enter your blood stream, clog your arteries, and eventually give you a heart attack. He's polite in passing, can be an obnoxiously classy dresser, and is definitely one of the most intriguing souls I have had the pleasure of being in the same room with.
I see Bob frequently in passing on the Downtown Mall. We are always cordial though we never pause long enough to speak. I have a respect for his individuality. It's real. For that, I smile when I see him. By chance, I ran into Bob outside Christian's Pizza last Thursday. He smiled, nodded, and handed me a flyer for his show the next day.
Bob's in a band. The band's name is a more of a declaration than a title: No Gods No Monsters. The name is stenciled in a font similar to those found on old horror movie posters in the '30s– complete with lightning bolt. I see the group's stickers and flyers all over. Every time I see one I pause. You gotta give it to them. No Gods No Monsters. It's one hell of a name.
So, now there are two things about the band I like, and I haven't even heard them play. I figured it was about time I got out to a show.
Friday at Tokyo Rose I'm in one of those "in my own head" moods. One of those times when I feel like have to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes. It's really an inconvenience. I don't know what causes it. Even after tons of tests when I was younger the doctors are still baffled.
Regardless, on the occasion when I'm afflicted with the above infirmity I find it hard to be social because I'm preoccupied with my bladder. I was in and out of the bathroom for much of the opening band, Beef Jerky, but from what I heard, they were a tight outfit with well written songs. They were hard. That I liked. But I wasn't really feeling their style. Then again, I was having a mood.
The mood passed by the time No Gods No Monsters finally took the stage. Bob was dressed to kill in a black wig, elbow length gloves, feather boa, snug fitting black jeans, and sneakers. He was like an androgynous alien standing there on the stage. The music kicked in with a hard driven edge.
If Beef Jerky had been tight, NGNM was a tourniquet. The bassist preferred to bounce over the beat rather than riding the root of the chord. That alone gave the music more punchiness. Bob's vocals were the finishing touch. He sang somewhere between West Side Story and "The Three Tenors"– add a little Marilyn Manson and Freddy Mercury, and you've got a good idea of what was going down on stage.
I heard someone say something about the band sounding like Morrisey, but honestly, I don't even know what that means. I do know that it was loud and far from boring. I only wished I could make out more of the lyrics.
The group played a short set, but by the end, my ears were ringing. A friend of mine said the show was so loud it made her face hurt. I believe that's a good thing. I left the show feeling good, a little naughty, and still no closer to what it is about Bob that makes a him Bob.
No Gods No Monsters
PHOTO BY DAMANI HARRISON