Birthday Suits, Blind Shake and Vampire Hands tomorrow at Turf Club


Vampire Hands invented patriots.

It's the first weekend of a brand, spanking new year. Could there be any better time to plant your feet firmly in our cities' loudest, most bracing musical pleasures?  For three years running, the Turf Club has hosted a showcase of our finest guild of musicians on the first weekend of a new year, and this lineup is potent enough to make all those worn out Thursdays you spent nursing a beer in the Clown Lounge seem like a distant cloud of erasures.

None of these bands want for attention or description-- their ascents to the top of this glorious scrapheap have been well cataloged in all manner of local media. But in the event that the Gimme Noise readers are uninitiated and have resolved to make 2009 a year of music, this show will make for an excellent primer.

The Blind Shake

A two piece of the most liberated order, Birthday Suits travel light and loud, and with only drums and guitar to toy with, the Japanese post-punk duo make a sweaty, grinding, and elegantly crude cocktail that leaves their fans as spent and euphoric as the performers themselves.

Blind Shake, who made splashes in 2008 by collaborating with local legend Michael Yonkers, are most frequently described as "loud." This synopsis does them no favors, for inside their booming decibels lurk an urgent and asphyxiating perversion of familiar rock tenets. To stand near their performance is to cower in the shade of a cresting tsunami. They play as if standing in the eye of a mudslide, and the experience is thoroughly suffocating.


Vampire Hands, who made City Pages' short list of outstanding local albums with 2008's Me and You Cherry Red, are an ethereal and lucidly psychological five-piece who never let their high concepts obstruct their immediately appealing, fathom-deep pop music. Theirs is an intoxicating vintage-- an absinthe of Kraut rock with a draught of shearing noise to keep the ear squirming.

It's a can't-go-wrong, do-not-miss show. It's likely to sell out in a heartbeat-- New Year's hangovers ought to be dissolving by this point, and scenesters will be ready for more punishment and pouring out of their Best Cabs by the bushel. The moral? Get there early, and buy your beers two at a time.