Science has not yet found a way to rock illness away, but I am sure that some diligent grown-up punk with a PhD in biology is working on it. And if science could rock a sinus infection away, the band to do it would be San Antonio’s Girl in a Coma, who did their best last night to distract me from the inside of my head with their fierce, furious set at the 506.
For one, someone should have told me that frontwoman Nina Diaz was pocket-sized; I have no idea how someone that tiny has a voice like she does, but her ability to howl and shriek and croon and seduce is even more impressive live that it is recorded, because live you get to see her sling her guitar and sidle up to the mic and basically have the whole crowd in the palm of her hand. Bassist Jenn Alva throws herself around the stage with the opposite of Diaz’s contained and powerful restraint, and Nina’s sister Phanie hangs back, with the best kind of understated-but-without-them-it’d-all-fall-apart drums.
They’re a musical powerhouse, and they tore through most of the tracks from Exits & All The Rest, plus a bunch of older stuff I wasn’t familiar with, but the tour de force of the evening — no offense to anyone’s songwriting, honestly — was a mid-set cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, which was the creepiest and most gorgeous cover I’ve heard in a while. And you know it was impressive if I’m raving about a Beatles cover, honestly, since we all know that I can take or leave Beatles covers in general, for the most part. This one was staggering, you guys. Diaz’s haunting voice soared and shivered through the song, and their stripped down instrumentation was perfectly understated and right for the cover.
A++ performance by an A++ band.
Georgia’s thrashcore quartet the Coathangers were second open, and there was definitely something off-kilter-ly charming about their brand of shrieky melodic garage pop. Also, I have a crush on their keyboard player, so I will definitely go see them again. Also also, all women in the band. Thumbs up!
And Brothers of Brazil, whose set I stumbled into mid-way through, were sort of a Brazilian fusion of Two Man Gentleman Band and the Proclaimers and Dex Romweber’s guitar playing. They were weird and confusing and super charming and kind of completely amazing. I love punk shows that Pam sends me to; I never know what I’m going to find, but last night I got three bands and three sounds and three utterly different experiences that were all delightful.
Full set of photos here.