Story by Ralph Bennett
Photo by Piper Ferguson
them glam, rock, rock and roll, cock-rock, or just cocks for that matter but the
three Monday nights Tsar played at L.A.'s Spaceland were as fun as
the first time I saw the band, (as "Stupid Gurl"), when their then bass
player whipped out a dildo and did the old "Jimmy Page / violin bow" act
during the ballad. It was hysterical. Needless to say, NEW bassist, NEW drummer -
that is unless the Weird Al guy changed his look as did the former Elvis Costello
guy - are much more happening. But what's it matter? I saw what the monkey saw.
The first night at Spaceland was just peachy....
not completely crammed with wanna be Diamond Dogs in the usual feathers and glitter
but a more curious sort who didn't talk all the way through the entire set. The next
week a small but potent BAM magazine write up brought out the idiots who actually
take BAM seriously. I notice a pattern with these here folks: they act like the spaceman
who gets locked out of the house and drifts off into sudden death in the film "2001...",
desperate to get into the FREE show and letting YOU know it but once they've got
a foot in and start breathing again they just rant on to their stupid "friends"
about "how cool the NEXT show I'm attending" is. Maybe they just
like to..........go places? Who knows.
At one point Tsar's singer, Jeff, resorted
to loudly chewing gum as he spoke into the microphone like some sassy bleached -
blondie waitress you'd never tip, but to no avail. The L.A. schmoozefest continued.
Oh well -perhaps the band will get signed from the review... I hope.
The show starts in true rock 'n' roll fashion
and gets everyone on their feet with eyes glued to the big sound on the small stage
as the four members bring back the essence of all yer faves, including a little Kiss
(the last show included a cover of "Strutter" mid set). Another cool thing
is that the band features two guitarist/singers, and for ONCE one of them doesn't
SUCK ...uh huh, can you think of any local bands that will ever pull this off?
detail is the material, baby. Perfectly crafted "punky" (NOT PUNK), "poppy" (NOT
POP), hooky (NOT in crappy A.M. radio 1999 fashion) sweet slivers of mean cherry Blow Pop
- scratch 'n' sniff abandon!!
Another small detail is the material, baby. Perfectly
crafted "punky" (NOT PUNK), "poppy" (NOT POP), hooky (NOT in
crappy A.M. radio 1999 fashion) sweet slivers of mean cherry Blow Pop - scratch 'n'
sniff abandon!! Did ya like that? I did..... anyhoooooo, my favorite song is "Silver
Shifter." Jeff explained what it's about every night and I still have no clue,
but the chorus has been in my head since early last year.
The big "everybody-get-your-lighters-out-and-do-the-wave"
moment is normally saved for the Ziggy Stardust joins Material Issue tune, "Ordinairy
Girl" but on the final Monday those wacky TSAR-STARS played "The Girl Who
Wouldn't Die" as an encore, which started off with only Jeff his acoustic and
a small blue light but ended five minutes later in a fog of dry ice, feedback, N-I-I-I-I-CE
guitar solos, more feedback and someone throwing a guitar with the kind of feeling
you get after you've braved the masses even though you have a cold and parked too
far away and it's freezing, just to fit into your own dark corner to see a band you
saw two weeks in a row anyway -- but you know it's worth it..... and it IS.
Good night now.
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