While everybody else is busy being angry at Dubya for this mountain of shit we're in, I'm still angry at everybody else. Hate the guy all you want, but there were enough of you who allowed him to do it — two separate times. He may have famously flubbed the "fool me twice" adage, but you should have taken the point to heart.

Well, the nation now has a new president, the Secret Service will be tested like never before, and we can start climbing out of the hole we've dug ourselves into. But not before local art scenesters can give Ding George a proper sendoff, hopefully to a place called Oblivion.

The beat

The Bye Bye Bush Bash was a night of interactive performance punctuated by live music (Jan. 14, Will's Pub). A mix of satire and commentary, the jumble of skits was theatrical, complete with props and costumes, only with more beer, cigarettes and shoe-throwing.

The musical offerings included the uncontainable meanderings of Tele V. Cheeseburger (or Telethon Veginald Cheeseburger, if you're British), one of Matt Kamm's many noms de guerre, which are related in ways evident only to himself. Kamm is always aglow with the flying sparks of half-formed ideas, but the capricious local artist showed some aptitude for melody as well.

You can't expect anything straightforward from the guy, however. The kid's neck-deep in the quirk, and his central impulses favor experimentation over fluidity. Any pleasant melodic current his songs had was constantly rippled by his curious sense of mischief, weird shit involving lots of oddball story lines that, again, only he is able to fully follow. Then again, music is only one facet of the multimedia art experience that is Matt Kamm. Besides, who can focus on musical coherence when you've also got pornographic comic strips to produce ("Vibrabed")?

Also multimedia-enabled was local band Future on Films in Space, who have re-emerged after some key shuffling in their roster. Though clearly gliding on the acid carpet, their '60s psychedelia used to be on a purer pop tip. Now their trip has taken a deeper, thicker, darker turn for the better and sounds a bit like the Black Angels swimming in a Technicolor swirl. The biggest difference involves moving Fred Mullins, one of the area's most gifted musicians, to the front on guitar and vocals where he belongs. Now the band is really spreading wings. No matter your thoughts on openly regressive acts like this, seeing them live will make you a believer. FOFIS is the area's best psychedelic band, period.

In other, less political haps, the Alejandro Escovedo show was a big deal (Jan. 17, the Social). Straight up, if you don't know him, you don't know roots rock. Leading with the material on his muscular latest album, Real Animal, he and his band filled souls with a hearty set of his quintessentially American rock. There's absolutely nothing like seeing music done right from a real pro. If ever there was a musician who deserves every last bit of the reverent praise heaped on him, it's Escovedo.

Rather than deal with coming down, which everyone knows sucks, my high was kicked through the roof later that night with the dick-out rock of Virginia Beach's Freedom Hawk (Will's Pub). With a name like that, you better not be fuckin' around. Fortunately, these dudes came with a behemoth sound so wickedly triumphant that it could impel an army of stoners to ride into battle … or at least think real hard about it. With metal firmly rooted in rock's deep grooves, this is what Wolfmother would sound like if fronted by Ozzy. Power riffage and maximum volume equals hell yeah! Why they haven't blown up yet is one for the Sphinx.

Also bringing the cavalry was Libyan Hit Squad, who, in an unbelievable expansion of sound, have been transformed from a classic punk band into a complex rock beast (Jan. 16, Copper Rocket). When it comes to this local act, you're talking about a beefy stew of hardcore, Sabbath, Zeppelin and even math (which probably means they're going to be Jason Ferguson's new favorite band). It's a crowded intersection that sounds like a mess on paper but surprisingly works, particularly since they do it with real force. No other punk band in the city is taking chances like these guys.


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