The McDaniels @ Secret Location 10/31/07
Last week, we headed over to a really cool club (whose name I will not disclose, because I don't want to get it shut down).
We were saddened to discover that we had missed the band we had come to see. They were already over by 11pm; I had assumed they would be the headliners. But the crowd was a fun mix of 20-40 year-olds. And while the next band, the McDaniels, did not have a large fan base, they certainly had an enthusiastic, somewhat rabid fan base. So we didn't know if they were going to be good, but we knew they were going to be something special.
And we were right.
Check out the review and pictures after the jump, and you will see why I waited to post this on "Sex Saturday". These are extremely NotSafeForWork. Also, there are LotsO'Balls.
The McDaniels schtick is that they are all one big, happy, incestuous inbred family. This storyline led to some strange simulated sex and very artistic dogpiles. The level of energy from this band was higher than anything I have seen in a long time. One of the lead singers had more of a hard-core stage presence than anyone on the recent punk scene. The band was running all around the stage, jumping off stacks, slamming into each other and performing lascivious acts in fast-forward.
The music for the most part was your standard slampit thrash, and my boyfriend was not impressed. But every once in awhile they would do a song with a really good hook and a nice melody. I am a sucker for the combination of punk rock and melody - a la Descendents or Pansy Division. And they had at least one good fist-shaking anthem.
I was having fun taking pictures, but with this band you blink and you've missed the shot. They move too fast. Since they were performing in tighty-whities I crouched down to get some good heavy metal upward-crotch shots. At one point I was photographing the bass player simulating fellatio on one of the two lead singers. The guitar player got kind of close and I was ignoring him at first, but I had noticed a tendency in this band to upstage each other. If someone was performing a solo, it was time to check out the other guys, because they would be doing something extreme to steal the spotlight.
So I looked over at this young guitar player just in time to see him start urinating in his pants. Full-on pissing, until it soaked right through the underwear and started streaming out. Remember, I was crouched down on the floor less than a yard away. Luckily, I was just out of range, but I backed up quickly (after snapping a few shots of course. Someday someone will be shooting up a McDonalds, and instead of running I'll be pulling out my camera). So yeah, this guy just pissed all over the stage, and one of the other guys took off his shirt to mop it up. Yes, it was disgusting. Yes, it was gratuitous and appalling. But I tell you, it was the punkest thing I have seen in years.
Then I decided to stand back and jostle around in the slam pit, because it made me realize the sheer unpredictability of these guys. When they jumped out into the audience, you were never quite sure what they were going to do. The fourth wall was gone, and you were not safe from their antics. Which was pretty exciting. But backing off did make me miss photographing the best pornographic pile-up of the evening.
Oh, did I mention the full-frontal male nudity? Their hard-core fan base had no qualms about stage-diving, slamming, and pressing up against the singers' naked bodies either.
So I was having a pretty good time, when they launched into one of their last songs. It was a song about a bi-racial girl being a freak. The song really bothered me. But these guys were not exactly Aryan themselves. As we were leaving, we passed a couple of young Chicano musicians in the street who were rushing to make the gig. They told me the name of their band was "The Good Ole Boys". So making fun of Southern hillbillies and mocking racist stereotypes must be the thing these days. I asked my boyfriend what he thought, and he said, "I don't think they were neo-nazis. They were just being idiots for the sake of being idiots."
There is a style of punk rock that is like "the opposite song" where you sing in the voice of someone you find offensive. Like Black Flag's "Drinking and Driving" or FEAR's "Let's Have a War!" For example, it would be OK to have a song called, "I Don't Care about Black People" if you were singing in the voice of George Bush (I gotta clear this brush. I gotta clear this brush. Brownie's doin' a bang-up job, and I gotta clear this brush. I don't care about black people. Black people just sell coke. I don't care about black people. Black people just sell coke. But if they drown all the black people, where will I get my coke? Hey, somebody call in the National Guard!). Maybe the McDaniels were just trying to be as offensive as possible in true punk tradition (Nig Heist, the Mentors, anybody?).
I tried looking up The McDaniels on Myspace, which is where this kind of band flourishes, but they are not there. Nothing from Google either. But their songs and schtick were fully developed, this group didn't start out yesterday. That gives me the impression that this is the joke side-project of some other band. I don't know. It was sure a lot of fun watching them swing their balls at me and pretend to fuck their sister and piss all over the place, until they had to go and confuse me by singing something offensive.
Here are a bunch more photos if you haven't had your fill of balls yet, and maybe want a little splooshing:
(All photos by Tasha for LAist. Except the one where I almost got peed on. That one is for Tony)