BLACK LIPS might be the only band you can pick out in a crowd because they're the squarest-looking dudes in the room. Scholars of Nuggets will apprehend this look as an act of high visual fidelity to the same '60s frat-punk ideal that drives the Lips' recorded output. And on Saturday night a boisterous sold-out crowd at the Middle East played along -- sweating, chucking beer cans, and stage-diving as if they'd just pledged Omega Theta Pi. On record, the Black Lips can get bogged down by lowfi stylistic cliches -- on their latest, 200 Million Thousand, they try a bunch of variations on "recorded with a shitty tag-sale four track" -- but in the flesh, with one of them dressed in a fuckin' poncho and the stage oozing with lava-lamp projections and dudes jumping off of speakers, it was pretty goddamn stellar. You may or may not be able to tell the degree of stellar-ness from our terrible video above, but at least you'll be able to see the beer flying.
I don't know shit about Atlanta but if all the bands down there sound like the Black Lips and GENTLEMAN JESSE, it's like Memphis 1995 all over again. In every garage revival, there's a band that pushes the barrier of fucked-up neo-psych apocalyptic noisemaking and then there's a slightly less popular band that writes really great songs. Jesse and His Men, having honed in on '70s power-pop, could move to Boston tomorrow and never play a room smaller than the House of Blues. We love this shit. The thing their records don't let on is that they've got a rhythm section most Ramones cover bands (or the Queers) would kill for. Sorta reminded us of Firestarter, the band that the dudes from Teengenerate started after they ran out of Real Kids songs to copy. If we get a second tonight we'll upload some video of Jesse, His Men, and the fabulous black pole that holds up the Middle East ceiling. Trust us, it's worth the wait.