On Fri., Feb. 11, I had a visit from an old flame: Awhn Wei. I met Awhn Wei years ago in a Midtown club, and while this delicate porcelain doll hasn't been a constant in my life, she's mighty pervasive when she does show.
Whenever she appears it can be very draining, though; I feel we sit for hours while she recounts tedious misadventures. It was partially her fault I missed Trashed Dance Party's second anniversary at Lenny's. Along with the popular Friday weekly's resident DJs Factory Aire plus Haute & Couture were performances by Girls on Film and Tora Tora Tora, among others. I have no doubt that all the ice cream cone haircuts were doing the Blitzkrieg Bop, leg warmer-clad arms were in the air, and we salute you.
Speaking of Lenny's, let's clear up a rumor that's been circulating recently. I have it on good authority that Lenny's -- a longtime punk-fueled fixture on the dingy fringe -- has not been sold. Business is as usual; the PBR runneth over. But the bar is open to the possibility of relocation. So if you have any locales that may get around the city's unreasonably constrictive parking policies, they welcome your comments.
Awhn Wei was sent packing Sat., Feb. 12, and I hooked up with a different Far Eastern adventurer, my chum Uncle Wu, for more indie pop by Athens' Of Montreal at the Variety Playhouse. Immediately preceding was Pittsburgh indie-hip-hop duo Grand Buffet. Initially I wasn't expecting much, but Grand Buffet is single-handedly reviving surreal stage banter. Plus they jammed a rendition of Limahl's Neverending Story theme. I'd brave a snowstorm of popcorn shrimp and corn syrup to see them again.
Of Montreal's surprisingly underage crowd of primarily nubile young girls tolerated Grand Buffet's tributes to Satan and tree houses, and seemingly enjoyed the Target commercial-approved dance punk of DJ Dan Geller (half the twin powers behind Athens' I Am the World Trade Center). Of course, this isn't the first time I've seen Of Montreal pull in the teens -- several years ago, "teens" meant how many people were in the audience. So it's nice to see the band sell out a show without selling out its quirkiness. Lead singer/songwriter Kevin Barnes embodied the group's dedication when he emerged in a wedding dress to marry the band and crowd. Of Montreal then bopped through a Jazzercise routine of ADD anthems -- including new unlucky-in-love jams and a segue of Europe's "Final Countdown" -- perfect for sound-tracking giddy shopping scenes in a John Hughes brat pack flick. Sure, I'm sorta over the retrofit robo-disco of indie rawk in the aughts, but even Awhn Wei would find it impossible to deny and dampen how infectious Of Montreal remains.
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