By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Reunited with Scott Garrett and Craig Adams -- the spirited rhythm section who propelled their largely ignored eponymous 1995 album/implosion -- tonight's five-piece incarnation basked in the glow of the material in their hands, touching on all of The Cult's seven albums and even "Moya" from front man Ian Astbury's Southern Death Cult prototype. Perhaps plugging past releases makes commercial sense for the currently label-less Cult, yet these were revisited with more artistry than obligation (including an unplugged trio midset). The brass-pole bravado of "Fire Woman" and "Sweet Soul Sister"'s soaring ecstasy breathed easier, unburdened with the overcooked production of their recorded templates, while the stark Dreamtimeand Electricselections wore fresh flesh on their bones. Astbury was tryingtonight (not always the case with this moody geezer), unleashing the full, controlled seduction of his intonation, while Billy Duffy's arpeggiated vines of six-string counterconversation snaked around him. Still in Doors mode (having recently performed with that revitalized outfit), Astbury appeared dapper in black shirt and tie, yet throbbed with timeless rock-deity destiny.
The gulf between a dazzling Cult show and a depressing one is respect: When Astbury and Duffy respect themselves, their songs and their audience, they're peerless majestic masters; when their self-esteem dips, they break the spell and flounder in belligerence. But tonight was a meeting of a mutual-respect society, and The Cult will retain relevance so long as they deliver their heroic visions -- of whatever vintage -- with this degree of pride and panache. (Paul Rogers)
MOVER at 3 Clubs, October 17
It's not 1969, just an incredible simulation. That's what we always thought whenever we'd pop into 3 Clubs on a Thursday eve. Last week promoter/bartender Tamar Michelle marked the final installment of her weekly live-music love-in with a performance by San Francisco's Mover, and the place brimmed for the last time with its usual crowd of shaggy do's and vintage leather 'n' denim-clad cuties. The San Francisco band's late (12:30 a.m.) set was full of country-coated ditties with a Stones/Grateful Dead-ish flair. Led by singer Eric Shea, the group even featured a couple of young Keith Richards look-alikes (always a good thing) cooking up their twang-filled, milk 'n' honey grooves. Tunes off their last CD, The Only One, drifted like clouds over a blissful breeze, similar to the loose 'n' languid stylings of local cowpokes Beachwood Sparks, but with a more rhythm-driven, less psychedelic sensibility.
The group's subtly bittersweet tunes epitomized the laid-back vibe that's made this free-music night such a gas over the past three years. Since there's no real stage in the dimly lit room, band and fans become one in the music, an aspect that made past shows with the likes of Elliott Smith and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club feel more like a jam session in a friend's garage than a rock show, even if back then the room was a bit too smoky for its own good. The venue has obviously been cracking down on cig-lighters lately, but Mover's billowy rock tunes and beer-raising toast to the end of the groovy gathering filled the room with something just as noticeable: faraway eyes wondering what the hell they're gonna do next Thursday night. (Lina Lecaro)
MAKTUB, YOHIMBE BROTHERS at the Troubadour, October 19
It's always a pity to see the Troubadour at half capacity on a Saturday night; the good news was, it meant more freak-funk for us psychonauts. Seattle crew Maktub (pronounced Mock-tube -- Arabic for "it is written") laid down grooves that could be college-mixer corny but were never less fun than a Space Needle bungee jump. Lead singer Reggie unfortunately grows his pinky-nail extra long (ewww!) and hides behind Kravitz shades, but when this spazz wasn't indulging in physical comedy, he displayed utter mastery over his diaphragm -- scatting, beat-boxing, warbling, there simply was no vocal mode the dude couldn't muster. "Now I'm gonna drop some surreal syllables," Reg said to the assembled few he'd long won over. "You repeat them after me and we'll have unity -- even if it's only for a second."
As for the Yohimbe Brothers, it was all about dashing expectations. Both of the band's core members -- turntablist du jourDJ Logic and ex-Living Color ax-god Vernon Reid -- stepped to the sidelines and gave the shine to Deantoni Parks, a drummer who conjures more polyrhythmic swing with a snare and a ride cymbal than any gear-whore skinbeater around. Parks' razzle-dazzle aside, the Yohimbes' ugly/pretty urban tension (as witnessed on their debut, Front End Lifter) got buried under bassist Jared Nickerson's molten low-end, phat as it was. No worries -- motley personnel in the form of vocalist Latasha Diggs, programmer Leon Gruenbaum (tapping a Compaq keyboard that hung from his neck) and gold-plated MC Red Rum fought for the band's right to party.
The Brothers ordinarily communicate telepathically, like autistic twins in a horror flick, but tonight it was a one-way conversation. Reid ran his guitar through two PowerBooks, conjuring textures as disparate as theremin, organ fugue, bagpipes and the cochlea-tickling keen of whales in mating season. Guess the stylistic exoticism got him nostalgic for punk simplicity. "This goes out to a cat who was always associated with one type of music, but that wasn't really him," he said, dedicating the encore to Joey Ramone. It turns out, Joey, we hardly knew ye. (Andrew Lentz)