September 14, 2008
Notes and Photos by Jackie Lopez
Better than: Seeing a mainstream artist who has no talent take the stage surrounded by fans screaming “I wanna have your baby!”
I was killing time between sets outside the DNA Lounge when a girl in bright turquoise leggings and a sequined red top plopped down next to me on the concrete. She lit a cigarette and introduced herself as Amber of the Oakland punk group Hottub , and said she was due on stage in 20 minutes.
I told her I didn't know what to expect from her act and she laughed at me. It was only after her performance that I understood why -- Hottub turned out to me a shocking in-your-face girl power whirlwind with the trio screaming things like "Do you wanna fuck me? NOT TONIGHT!" The group made great use of the setup, I'll give them that. They went up stage, down stage, ran around the stage, fell offstage, and dragged the crowd onstage so they could use the dance floor as a stage. Everyone looked perplexed yet amused. Amber then proceeded to pump up the crowd by stumming her crotch air-guitar style. We didn't see one that coming.
I gathered my wits and shoved my eyeballs back in their sockets as headliners J Davey took the stage. Ms. Jack Davey's boots grabbed my attention before she even said hello on the mic. We're talking knee-high military black boots with gold buttons lined along the back. Coupled with a long, shiny tunic, they complimented the mohawked figure wearing them nicely.
Again, girl power and uplifting lyrics were in play, and Davey launched into ballads with lyrics like “fight the daylight/ one time in your life/ you gotta get it right." She had a sweet girly voice that wove through the beats Brook D’ Leau was playing to her left.
The duo wowed the crowd with songs off their album, “The Beauty in Distortion,” such as “Mister Mr.," “Touch It," and “Private Parts." The ballads turned into rock music after a while: hard, honest rock music tweaked with electro funk, jazz, and futuristic percussions blended with sultry soul.
Though J Davey stole the night, I have to say that the DNA Lounge kicked things off nicely with the Kev Choice Ensemble, a group of musicians whose jams stayed on the instrumental side. You can check them out here.
Personal Bias: Eye candy. Everywhere.
Random Detail: “Motown Philly” by Boyz II Men went on during the intermission, and the crowd started showing off some old school moves.
By the Way: One day I’m going to go through Jack Davey’s closet.