Rehab (Formerly Club Midway)
March 25th 2008
What better way to begin the week than drinking beer and seeing a show. On Tuesday, Darla Farmer had their debut performance in New York City at Rehab just north of Houston on Avenue B. After listening to Rewiring the Electric Forest, released March 4th of this year, one can only hope to catch them in the flesh. What makes a Darla Farmer live show so appealing is not simply their horns, their guitar, their rhythm, or Clint Wilson’s spectacle of a voice. It is the layers. It is their stop-and-go song structure. It is the opportunity to see exactly what these people look like, and to witness them assemble the disjointed musical movements that range from staccato ballads to all out assaults.
Rehab was pretty typical of subterranean and first levels venues like the lower floor of Union Hall, a dim, dingy, low ceilinged hole of a bar. Upon arrival, I happily grabbed a three dollar PBR and walked toward the stage. Brooklyn’s Emily Long was setting up her gear, dressed in a flashy sparkly shirt and that oh-so fashion savvy mid-section belt. Her hair was punkily feathered and chic. When she finally constructed her Roland center stage, it was as if her synthesizer was the helm of a spaceship. She honestly had the look of one of those groovy alien chicks opposite Captain Kirk from the original Star Trek series. Not that I’ve ever seen an episode, just the late night infomercials for the special DVD compilations containing every sci-rific episode. Either way her band generally seemed inconsequential as her billing implied. Emily Long. It was all her. Not through any fault of their own though, the guitars were not leveled and the drums were completely saturated by the keys and her voice in full vibrato. This girl puts Cindy Lauper and Stevie Nicks to task. Not that I am particularly fond of either of these ladies, but throw-back or not, she sang like a banshee and you could tell she meant every word.
Darla Farmer took stage all dressed in blue. Clint Wilson sported the most math-class tie I had ever seen. Ben Weber wore suspenders, a buzzed head, a beard, and coke bottle glasses. Ben Weber…no more…Uncle Sticky…your new name is Uncle Sticky. In fact the whole band looked as if they haled from the deep sinister South. Deliverance has truly inspired generations. With a wall of carnival mayhem, Darla Farmer proceeded to erupt into cycles of genre bending fury. The band was tight in their execution and exuded so much character that they were as much of a pleasure to watch as they were to listen to. Uncle Sticky marched with a tambourine in the crowd, hopping and jolting to the guitar and horns. Clint Wilson’s high pitched voice morphed seamlessly into a rageful scream. The brilliance was not in the particular skill of each instrument, but rather how the threads of this mayhem were woven together. These Nashvillains put on a great show. I might just catch them again tonight at Piano’s or tomorrow at Galapagos in Williamsburg. They really want to make the most out of this New York showing and I encourage everyone to take them up on their offer.
Other Darla Farmer Shows
March 27th @ Piano’s- NYC
March 28th @ Galapagos- Brooklyn
Other Emily Long Shows
April 15th @ The Annex- NYC
May 2nd @ Luna Lounge- Brooklyn