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Bush Tetras w / Des Demonas 11/23/19Saturday, November 23 2019 7:00 Doors / 8:30 Start
Bush Tetras w / Des Demonas 11/23/19
at City Winery The Wine Garden at City Winery
$20 in Advance $24 at the Door
New York City legends the Bush Tetras have been making paranoid, groove-centered post-punk since 1979, when Pat Place left James Chance and The Contortions to found the group with singer Cynthia Sley, bassist Laura Kennedy and drummer Dee Pop.
Though spared mainstream success in an era when female fronted groups in the charts were pop acts, the Tetras’ single “Too Many Creeps” (1980) was a huge club hit and remains a classic. Their first batch of songs, collected in 1989’s Better Late Than Never, massage the hard angles of no wave into deceptively simple, deadpan grooves that change when you least expect them to and brilliant, idiosyncratic lyrics. The group’s early work is a masterclass in style and playfully infectious.
In the mid-90s, the Bush Tetras reformed, morphed and weaponized. 1995 saw the release of Beauty Lies (Produced by Nona Hendryx) after which Laura Kennedy departed the group. Though recorded in 1998, the follow up album Happy would not see release until 2013. Produced by Don Fleming, it also featured bassist Julia Murphy who would remain in the band until 2015. The Tetras welcomed veteran bassist Val Vera as a new permanent member in 2016 and performed live at a sold out tribute for Lou Reed at Lincoln Center in 2017.
"The South will never rise again,' Jacky Cougar Abok intones in a manner that suggests he is looking straight into your eyeballs while singing the opening track on Des Demonas' debut album on In The Red Records. His hand may be around your neck as well! Sounding like The Last Poets acid tripping to '60s Sunset Strip, the band drags you on a wild ride of fuzzy guitars and swirling Farfisa organ, while the bass and drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain. And that's just the first song!
The band hails from Washington, DC, and have been denizens of the byways and highways of the city's musical underground for years. Jacky Cougar Abok is the six-foot-five-inch tall Kenyan punk singer who has drummed with Thee Lolitas and Foul Swoops. Guitarist Mark Cisneros has bent strings with Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds, Deathfix, and Medications, and has pounded the traps for The Make-Up and Benjy Ferree, the latter alongside organist Paul Vivari. Joe Halladay (Citygoats) on bass and Ryan Hicks (Suns Of Guns) on drums round out this squared circle of sight and sound. The songs on this album range from Nuggets-style snottiness on 'Tuff Turf,' to the brash warnings of 'Liez' ('Lies... only seem to matter if you never wise up'), to the stomper 'Psychedelic Soldier' and cool psycho creeper 'Say You Tried,' to the hard boiled '70s punk of Swahili-sung 'Golden Eggs.' When Abok sings 'There are no vampires in Africa,' it may be a warning. It may be a fact. Or it may be a whole lot of unrelenting scuzzy fun. Dig the Des Demonas. Play it loud. Twist your wig." --Kid Congo Powers