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Last Night: New York Dolls at the Pontiac Garage

New York Dolls
House of Blues' Pontiac Garage
June 3, 20009

Better than: When I caught the Dolls last year and I fell down backstage, drunk, while looking for an autograph.

The New York Dolls came to town last night, undoubtedly bringing greatness in tow. Expecting anything less, of course, would be futile.

And, sure enough, at last night's show, the band displayed the same shitty, snotty attitude that has made them such a great shock factor-to-the-system since the very early '70s.

It's been over 37 years since the Dolls first trashed a stage (on Christmas Eve at a run-down hotel that served as a homeless shelter in New York City), pulling together from the bombastic, deafening brashnesss of the MC5 and the glitz of Marc Bolan.

Age factor considered, today's Dolls still deliver the simple potency of what you just don't get in a young punk band these days. Long gone are the lavish costumes, and complex feminine makeup, but the music carries an important undertone forward in time from the 70s punk era: raw, loud simplicity.

So here the band was its somewhat-tired frontman doing the best he could given his age, in Miami/Elvis shades and a sheened black dinner jacket. But it still worked.

The band rollicked through "Stranded in the Jungle", Johnny Thunders' "Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory" and plenty of other hits, too.

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The band didn't exhaust the old-school punk rockers in the room, but it certainly didn't leave the crowd feeling unfulfilled.

Sometimes doing the best you can, especially at this band's age, leaves a much more prominent mark on creative society than any uncontrolled youth could ever do.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
At last year's show, I was shamelessly milling about for an autograph on my 7" pink copy of "Dance Like a Monkey" when I took a spill, met with stares of all within eyeshot. But the only autograph I actually got was the Dolls current drummer (and former UNT student), Brian Delaney. Johansen blew me off. Oh well.


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