Jack With One Eye, the Freek Out, Silk Stocking

Jack With One Eye
Merritt Martin

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.

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.


Jack With One Eye, the Freek Out, Silk Stocking

Friday, February 3, at Liquid Lounge

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