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
UNION 13 at Huntington Park Family Center, May 9
Once a month the folks at MonkeyBone Productions rent the aging Huntington Park Family Center and host an all-ages music show for the city’s Chicano youth. Over 200 kids gathered at the Center on Friday, kept in check by friendly rent-a-cops and fascinated by a Guatemalan who sold .T-shirts and CDs at $10 a pop. No one but the MonkeyBone people seemed a day out of high school.
The youngsters had a grand old time. Two stages alternated among bands of various genres, from political psychobilly (Dexentonados) to straight-edge (Media Assassins) to sax-heavy punk (Santa Cruzans Flojos Nos Visten). These no-name bands were so-so, but the high schoolers didn’t care. Everyone took at least two dunks into the pit whirlpool, stopping only to suck on the lollipops that promoters threw into the audience at random moments. The few times the pit rested, attendees would begin battling each other on the dance floor with breakdancing moves. Ah, the impetuousness of youth!
It was past midnight when headliners Union 13 appeared and proceeded to rip out a screeching bash-stop-bash-again set that showed why so many of the chamacos in the audience wore the band’s logo. The quartet loved the ferocity their fledgling fans showed — at one point lead destroyer José Mercado took a respite from his howls to declare with admiration, “Good job in the motherfucking pit! Keep it going!”
Cutest scene of the night: panicky parents escorted by security as they looked in vain for their babies in the madness of the moshing. Worry not, padres y madres: MonkeyBone took care of your boys and girls just fine. (Gustavo Arellano)
THE SADIES, SALLY TIMMS at Spaceland, May 11
“Why’s your voice so sweet?” the wag wanted to know halfway through Cowboy Sally Timms’ set. She thought about it for a beat. “’Cause everything else about me isn’t,” she decided. “God had to give me one compensating good quality.” Though Timms’ between-song self-mockery brought her down to Earth (“I always say the same things: ‘I’m fat, I smoke too much . . .’”), once the music started, that voice kicked in otherworldly, as hypnotized as it was hypnotizing. Last time through town, backed acoustically by the Spinanes’ Rebecca Gates, she kept things slow, for a fragile, austere spell. Sunday, her dreaminess was given fuller power by the Sadies, and pedal-steel guitarist Eric Heywood, who artfully wove firefly trails ’round Timms’ languid phrasing on Johnny Cash’s “Cry Cry Cry.” Her lingering delivery on fellow Mekon Jon Langford’s closing-time ballad “Sentimental Marching Song” took the protagonist’s aching loneliness to an elegiac level. Even when she picked up the tempo on John Anderson’s “Seminole Wind,” the mood was soulfully urgent rather than raucous.
The anti-heckler also asked the Sadies’ Dallas Good why his voice was so sweet. “Same answer,” Timms replied for him. Unlike Timms’ angelic breathiness, Good’s rock-bottom crooning wasn’t sweet so much as it was impressively gloomy and weary-sounding on Western shuffles like “Oak Ridges.” The Sadies broke up well-considered covers by Bob Wills and Johnny Paycheck with their own mournful variations on spaghetti western–surf instrumentals. The most poignant moment of all came near the end, on a somberly rueful version of the Gun Club’s “Mother of Earth,” in which brother-guitarist Travis Good deftly manipulated his volume control, fading in and out of vibraphonist Paul Aucoin and Heywood’s shimmering waves. Bitter and sweet. (Falling James)
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