Janis Figure at the Johnny Cash tribute show at the Cabooze

janis figure

Since Janis Figure frontman Billy Bisson suffered a popped blood vessel in his brain in May of 2003, his band's gigs have become exceedingly rare. Friday night's four-song set during the fifth annual Johnny Cash tribute show at the Cabooze was predictably ragged and righteous. The four-piece garage rockers opened with a funereally paced version of Glenn Danzig's "Thirteen." The snare drum went tumbling to the floor at the start of "A Boy Named Sue," but it made little difference. The main attraction of the song was watching Bisson--wearing a battered cowboy hat adorned with a cheesy sheriff's badge--twirl the mic stand over his head and hock gobs of spit onto the stage in between howling "My name is Sue/How do you do?" Janis Figure closed with another track from Cash's Unchained album, the Hank Snow hit "I've Been Everywhere." Bisson provided a fitting denouement by diving off a five-foot-high speaker and nearly cracking his damaged brain on the floor.

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