How these things sometimes get started: in the case of the Black Lips, from Dunwoody, Georgia, the lo-fi garage-rock band may have never come to exist if two of the founding members had not been simultaneously expelled from high school.
- Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 8 p.m.
Belly Up Tavern,
143 S. Cedros Avenue,
With newfound time on their hands, Cole Alexander on guitar and bassist Jared Swilley hooked up with a couple of other school-age pals (drummer Joe Bradley and Ben Eberbaugh on guitar) and they started taking their weird mix of bad jokes and doo-wop and punk and country to house parties and then bars when they came of age. This would have been 1999. By 2002, the Black Lips had released a 7-inch, had a crash pad to live and rehearse in, a DIY label, and the means to book themselves — a string of coast-to-coast dates. Which almost never happened, because Eberbaugh was killed in an automobile accident.
Back then, the Black Lips sounded like kids doing their Beastie Boys best to imitate the Stooges with a big fat scratchy Link Wray sound on guitar. Now, 15 years later, they still do. The live shows are graphic. In the past they have featured random acts of nudity, barfing, setting their gear on fire, and more. Today, the lineup includes Zumi Rosow on sax, drummer Oakley Munson, Alexander and Swilley, and guitarist Jack Hines, who joined the Black Lips as replacement for Eberbaugh.
Touring now in support of full-length release number eight, Satan’s Graffiti or God’s Art?, they featured the durable Yoko Ono on a single released this year called “Occidental Front.” And why not? Sean Lennon produced Satan’s Graffiti, a record that Rolling Stone has called “grimy.” With titles like “Bongo’s Baby,” and “Squatting in Heaven,” the Black Lips prove once again that you can take the boy out of high school, but that you can’t take high school out of the boy.
Timmy’s Organism and Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates open.