Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm back, and, damn, the Hoodoo Gurus rocked

I finally have overcome the death of the ancient PC. I'm typing on a brand new fancypantsed iMac and I love it. So let's catch up a bit...there's an impending Mondo Topless Midwest tour coming up that I will tell you more about eventually, but details are here if you can't wait.

I am off to see Social Distortion tonight for the first time in a couple years, but I'm still basking in the glow of an awesome Hoodoo Gurus show a few weeks back. I started seeing these guys in 1984 when they only had one album out, and what an album it was. All these years later, I realized as I watched them at the World Cafe Live in Philly, I believe they hold the undisputed title of Band That I Have Been Going to See the Longest. And here's the thing: I think they are better than ever.

One of the things I am proudest of in Mondo Topless is that we try to keep an active list of 40-50 songs that we can play on any given night. It keeps the mind young and the cobwebs never set in that way. Boredom is the death of many a band, and I'd hate to see that happen. Well, apparently, the Gurus have the same ethos. When someone requested a song, Dave said, "I dunno...we played that one last night," and he said they were trying to mix it up as much as possible. Sure, they took requests, but I got the idea that there were few, if any, repeats from the previous night. I recall that last tour that I saw them on, three years earlier, Dave said they had 50-60 songs ready to go. That is a rarity, and having just watched them tear through a representative cluster of songs from nearly every one of their albums, I am prepared to say that they have done it again. So I make this pledge: next tour I will see them more than once because I know I will get nearly a completely different show each night.

And what a show it is. The principal difference between the Gurus of old and the current band (other than male pattern baldness thankfully removing that '80s hairdo from Dave's head) is that, ala the force of nature that is the 2000s edition of Mission of Burma, the Gurus actually rock harder these days. Sure, the pop element of their garage/pop is still there, but overall the sound is tougher and ballsier. As a result, despite the glory of first-album tracks like "Tojo" and "I Want You Back," the truly shining moment for me was this one: The Right Time," from the Crank album. Damn. (Do yourself a favor and watch that video; it's one of my favorites ever...just completely ridiculous).

One other can see that they are still enjoying the hell out of playing live, and, in the days of the tired big-shed/re-tread reunion tours, watching a bunch of old guys ride the wave of unbridled joy that comes from turning it up and letting it rip is a beautiful thing indeed. Rock on, Gurus. Rock on.

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