Saw USA Baby play two sets at WZ America the other night. Probably my favorite band currently recording and touring. Seeing them play live after hearing their tape on the Nazot label cemented my admiration. The sister & brother two-piece move between sections of loud chaotic punk songs and loose, southern rock and psychedelia-tinged soloing which can turn flax-thin or weird-boogie thick and then bounce back to shutdown grit-wave again on a moments notice. Their songwriting is familiar and at the same time like nothing else I've heard and the vocals are great. Sonorous wailing like an angry drunk Lil' Jimmy Scott fronting a punk/soul hybrid. That's what it is: contemporary punk and soul, with reference points stretching as far as Sonny Sharrock, Mars, Red Krayola and Paleface. The second, maybe more technically accomplished, set was a pure treat for diehard freaks still hanging out at 3 am.
Also impeccable the same night was Time Ghost from Providence. A solo unit using equal and overlapping parts cutup noise, blown out fractured vocals, propulsive industrial beats and blurry guttural synthesizer exploration. He played in the tight space beneath Lifers' tower with a set of voltage-controlled lights that flicker and swell in brightness according to the volume and density of his music, which is really dynamic. He made a long, passionate speech which was rendered almost inaudible by a vibrato synth processing and used a light-theremin retainer/bit device which responded to the flare ups and flickering of his lights as he writhed around, wide-open-smile sensual creep style, caressing and hanging from the wood frame of Lifers' tower.
Good night all around, lucky I was biking by when I was, I had no idea there was a show going on beforehand.