Sunday, Sept. 22
La Cocina manager Allie Baron celebrated her birthday in her place of business and invited two of her favorite local bands, Otherly Love and Texas Trash & the Trainwrecks to provide the soundtrack. Both acts graciously played for free. It was an early show, kicking off the proceedings during the first autumnal sunset of the year. As the Wu-Tang Clan once said, "everything was lovely."
Otherly Love is always a joy to watch, and in this relaxed atmosphere, their blue-eyed soul/country hybrid was perfect. The twosome's approach seemed more unassuming than aloof, and their casual grooves and charming falsetto singing combined into that unexplainable "loose but locked" cliché that words have yet to be created to articulate. What is undeniable is that Otherly Love continue to progress toward the sublime each time they perform.
Being this was a birthday party, after all, one question that came to mind was somewhere along the lines of "what the hell are Texas Trash & the Trainwrecks gonna do?" For those not in the know, the Trainwrecks, and especially singer Terry "Texas Trash," can be extremely confrontational to their audience, in the tradition of Iggy Pop and the Stooges. All doubts were put aside when the chivalry of Mr. Trash surfaced when an older lady put some money in the band's tip jar, to which he replied, "thank you, ma'am," and embraced her.
Stylistically, the Trainwrecks merge '70s proto-punk and the chicken-fried hardcore of early Meat Puppets with the songs to back it up. At their best, the tunes stand up to Kill City or Lust for Life. The band has a firm grasp on the fundamentals of rock 'n' roll, and drummer Rick Bailey seamlessly integrates Stones-y R&B and punk blasts. As for Texas Trash, he is probably Tucson's best disciple of Iggy Pop's transgressive stance.
But it is somewhat appropriate that they performed, because given their backstory of overcoming tragedy, and steadfast refusal to turn that into spectacle, they can be seen as a celebration of life. When Texas Trash screamed, it sounded like joy instead of pain. Only the naive would want to be Johnny Thunders forever anyway. You really can't put your arms around a memory; you can only shoot it dead so you can live.
Happy Birthday, Allie!