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TV Buddha's have been dealing with evenings like the one in New Orleans — when both audience and promoter no-showed — by posting tongue-in-cheek vlogs documenting an often dismal American debut. While the Israeli trio's new EP makes some great old-school punk strides, it only elicits a gut-level "Yeah!" from me with a minimalist treat, "Fun Girls," that could be a lost Mo Tucker gem.

I'm feeling so-so about trudging through the Santa Ana dust to the bar. I arrive to find three musicians who are remarkably free of attitude and pretension. Needing to drive back to a temporary L.A. crib, and accepting the sparse turnout, the band sets to after a quick sound check. The ferocity erupting from the stage makes drinkers and chatterers jerk their heads around. Maniacal energy drives the guitars (in the absence of a bass, one's tuned lower). With Mickey Triest's dead-on percussion, it's a delicious, Stooges-intensity roar. Now I get what the band's doing, and that's something few other new punks even try: throwing itself on a cross that was hewn by the original New York school (the Ramones, the Voidoids, and Velvet Underground at its most concise). Watching them between head bangs (who could keep still?), I'm thinking, If they don't give up, a lot more rockers are gonna know these guys are amazing. Soon.

  • Concert: TV Buddhas
  • Date: September 26
  • Venue: Bar Pink
  • Seats: Up close
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