Michael Yonkers was once a surf rocker. This is something he wanted the audience to know last Saturday at the Hexagon Bar's "Surf Night," so he told them about his old '60s band, the Vectors. Good strategy, since many of the baby boomers who came to check out the opening band Big Surf didn't know what to think when Yonkers finally brought out his guitar mutation. "Think about it/Forget about it," he belted out, obliquely criticizing the Bush administration, and playing riffs lost in intense doses of noise, reverb, and delay. It wasn't surf night anymore.
A tight band of fans stacked alongside the stage knew exactly what Yonkers was about. Some simply respect the idea of him: An outsider who stayed true to his art, Yonkers was almost signed to a major label in the '60s and enjoyed a second coming in the early millennium, with a CD released by indie giant Sub Pop. Others were there for the spectacle of watching a strange guy with strange effects play a guitar butchered to a small rectangle and neck, all swaddled in duct tape. And still others wished he had a full band, which he does sometimes, to give the music some attack.
A couple of artsy young women in front were simply into the sex appeal of a rocker who knows what he's doing. One girl, late 20s, gazed up at Yonkers, early 50s. She was worried about his back because, she explained, he had once hurt himself and has never fully recovered. And then she went back to dancing, singing along with the songs that she knew, which was most of the set.