Bonnie Tagate's
Bonnie Tagate's Open Bar
© Copyright 2004 NEON, blue door productions
All rights reserved
April/May 2004
Listen, Iíve spent a whole lot of time in taverns and clubs either as a musician, hanging out, doing this here thing or various combinations of the three. After a while you develop a sixth sense about Trouble. Liquor and music donít always add up to good times. Being ready for a quick duck, shove or standing leap can often mean you donít get hit with that flying bottle, chair or airborne drunk. So it makes sense to pay attention. The night I went to a joint I usually donít frequent I didnít know any of the bands, but I did know that the loud group of hard-drinking guys mingling around me were out of place. For one thing most of them had facial hair. What tunnel did these dudes crawl out of? Now, before you
cry ďElitist Profiling,Ē consider this was mean facial hair. The kind outlaw bikers and WWF bad guys grow. One of them, a stocky fireplug of a guy, had a shaved head, too. And the tall one - who seemed to be the ringleader of the lot - was sporting a mustache that Ö well it looked like a demented version of the one Charles Bronson wore in the Death Wish movies. Oh, and he was wearing fingerless gloves. The kind you pull on when you donít want to mess up your knuckles on somebodyís face. And these guys were getting seriously and severely messed up. Smoking, too. In a New York City club! No mistaking they were Bad Business. And just as I was about to move further back into the crowd and put some distance between me and this crew, four of them mounted the stage and picked up their instruments.
The Giraffes are Ö uhm Ö unique? Despite what I had seen when they were offstage, I thought this might after all be just an act, and not necessarily an original one. But that sure was a bottle of Jack Daniels they were passing around on stage before, after and during songs. I could smell it. And maybe that joint was really just a rolled cigarette, but they were still blatantly breaking the law, Breaking The Law ... and there was also no doubt they were seriously and severely fucked up. Thereís a theory that a great frontman for a rock Ďn roll band has to be at least 50% jackass to carry it off effectively. Whether tossing his drink cup at fellow band members, spilling it into the crowd or flicking his lit cigarette towards the crowded bar, Aaron Lazar filled the bill with percentage points to spare. Playing the loveable Lucifer, Lazar is charming and clever as heís being cunning and cruel. Imagine an unpretentious Jim Morrison or Henry Rollins who just happen to be smashed out of their heads. The band behind him - a cross between the best/worst of Motorhead and Metallica. Yet even with Damien Parisí screaming, over the top lead runs, Drew Totolosí kick-ya-in-the-nuts drumming and John Rosenthalís bad-ass bass, youíd be wrong if you labeled the Giraffes a metal band. It just isnít that easy with Lazarís crafty delivery in the mix.
This could be one of the best bands you ever saw, this could be one of the worst bands you ever saw, but youíd probably have a hard time putting them anywhere in between. You know, in my days as a wild one Iíve come thisclose on a few occasions, but ironically the only time I ever actively participated in any physical Trouble in a club or bar was when I was up on stage Ė perhaps the most dangerous place of all. The Giraffes donít do anything to dispel that idea.
The Giraffes
Damien Paris and Aaron Lazar:
Breaking The Law
Quick Cuts with THE VINES, Ambulance Ltd, Day Of Infamy, Bona Roba and AM