Friday, September 23, 2016

Wheeler Walker Jr. and Birdcloud offend their way into Orlando's heart (The Social)

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 11:01 AM

THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
click to enlarge Wheeler Walker Jr. at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Wheeler Walker Jr. at the Social
Trigger warning: I hate the new PC. It’s not the sentiment, you marshmallows, just the right-hearted but wrongheaded extremism and fascist irony of it all. That’s why I love the recent bill headlined by the unapologetically profane Wheeler Walker Jr. (Sept. 21, The Social).
click to enlarge Wheeler Walker Jr. at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Wheeler Walker Jr. at the Social
If you caught a Ricky Bobby whiff from the name then you’re already on your way to the fact that – underneath the cowboy hat, shades and beard – it’s the musical id of comedy writer and actor Ben Hoffman. With it, he takes the macho mystique of country music, shoves it in front of a funhouse mirror and cranks up the volume.
click to enlarge Wheeler Walker Jr. at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Wheeler Walker Jr. at the Social
When it comes to comedy music like this, Tenacious D, the Lonely Island, Flight of the Conchords, et al., it is indeed what it is. But Hoffman is a surprisingly good singer and songwriter as Walker, far better than the schtick requires and way more legit than most of the serious country stars out there. Once the initial tickle of the lyrics fades – I was over ‘em after the first spin – the songs still stick whether your (or my) cynical ass wants to admit it or not, especially when delivered by a quality band like his. And I say this as probably the only one at the show who came mostly for the music.
click to enlarge Wheeler Walker Jr. at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Wheeler Walker Jr. at the Social
That it was an actually sturdy performance is notable enough. More than that though, in rowdy totality, it was a lighthearted respite from the real-life, non-comedic obscenity of the world right now.
click to enlarge Birdcloud at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Birdcloud at the Social
Nashville opener Birdcloud came with much smaller production but even bigger high jinks. Musically, they drag country music through the punk gutter, like an even more juvenile delinquent cousin of Those Darlins with more shock and less musicianship. It’s sticky, hilarious country farce, for sure. But if you pay enough attention, there’s some sly social satire here. Besides, how can you possibly resist lyrics like, “I like a Chinaman in my vagina, man”? You don’t... especially if you’re me.
click to enlarge Birdcloud at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Birdcloud at the Social
click to enlarge Birdcloud at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Birdcloud at the Social
click to enlarge Birdcloud at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Birdcloud at the Social
Plenty of women have taken on the establishment of country and pop music. But instead of simple sass, this pair does it with attitude, outrageousness and real punk sneer. Without question, they’ve got tons of bawdy appeal with lots of swearing, beer-spitting and sexual overtures.
click to enlarge Birdcloud at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Birdcloud at the Social
click to enlarge Birdcloud at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Birdcloud at the Social
click to enlarge Birdcloud at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Birdcloud at the Social
click to enlarge Birdcloud at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Birdcloud at the Social
What they’re not, however, are basic coquettes just playing naughty. These are smart chicks with a wickedly fucked point of view and the effrontery to push it to the edge. That’s as empowered as any orthodox leftist brand of feminism. While some get all academic about it, Birdcloud just go Thelma and Louise on that shit. And they exited the stage with the crowd chanting their name. Looks like Birdcloud got a posse, y’all.
click to enlarge Birdcloud at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Birdcloud at the Social
click to enlarge Birdcloud at the Social - MIKE DUNN
  • Mike Dunn
  • Birdcloud at the Social
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Related Locations

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2016 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation