On Friday, the Liquid Lounge bar didn't make a killing in drink sales, but the club certainly served up a fine blend onstage. Though Silk Stocking's opening set was shortened by sound issues, Liz McGowan howled and growled an extraordinary path while both courting and bitch-slapping Shawn Mauck's guitar lines with her piano. The audience was fixated on the group's understated onstage chemistry, and those unfamiliar with the duo were surprised by the intense--and at times masculine--vocals coming from the angel-faced McGowan. SS's set closed with a triple threat of MySpace darling "45 and Vodka," the Waits-Cave-Harvey love child "Waiving Long Distance" and a rousing, burly "Straight and Narrow" that's still notched happily in my brain.
Those memories aren't as fond for the Freek Out's out-of-tune guitar solos, but even missing a member, they at least had their energy going for them. So much energy, in fact, that they decided to bust out Hula-Hoops mid-show. All fine and good, but when they prodded the crowd to join in, I couldn't get into that kind of participation. Like many funk bands, their schlocky attire and gimmicks had far greater impact than their songs--evidenced by the fact that I can't remember a single tune.
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Jack With One Eye brought the focus back to the rock with nary a Hula-Hoop to distract us. Their cover of Roxy Music's "Editions of You" was superb--in place of Eno, the band offered its own raw, garage-y take that was both familiar and surprising (and the sexy, Brian Ferry-like vibe coming from front minx Mila Lux didn't hurt, either). "America" and "Swagger" gave the audience hooks to hold on to, and "Murder 13"'s between-the-sheets rhythm and mortal subject matter would've made Nick Cave proud. At night's close, "No Negotiations" was our attentive lover, offering us one more feisty go before bedtime.