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Dysfunkshun 25th anniversary with Blowtorch, Tsunamibots, Swillbillie and the Dirty Blondes at Higher Ground September 9, 2017   Leave a comment

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Blowtorch pic by Tim Lewis

I had a great time seeing music last Saturday at Higher Ground. I worked until 5:30, got home and settled for a bit, then went to the club and arrived just before the 7:30 showtime. I was kind of psyched for the anniversary show but was mostly excited to see four cool rock bands.

I got in and settled and soon enough it was time for Blowtorch to begin. They opened with a bit of a cowpunk sound but as the show progressed it was nothing but punk rock. Singer Clark Russell was delightfully animated and introduced many of the songs with a sound effect of some sort. Bill Mullins was as amazing on guitar as usual and the bass and drums were perfectly solid. They sang songs about watching your head and waving goodbye. They showed us what democracy looks like and wondered why they even try. They spoke of how hurricane Irma had two nuclear plants in it’s path and advised us to run for our lives. They encouraged us to rise and shine since we’re all in this together then told us about how water turns to ice. I think they played a song about a human hippopotamus but I might have missed something. They let us know that Trump lies matter and sang something about what in the world is wrong with you that had a bit of a Teenagers From Mars vibe. They closed the blistering 30 minute set saying I want what you want. I’m so glad I did not miss a note of their show.

 

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Tsunamibots pic by Tim Lewis

Up next was a band who have been playing around for a while that I’d been meaning to check out. The stage was set with a robot wooden cut out and a robot with flashing lights and The Tsunamibots were dressed as robots and let us know they identified as robots. Much of the music was instrumental with a few vocals. I thought the sound would be more surf rock but it was more instrumental punk that had surf mixed in, though a couple had that classic surf sound. Imagine a looser Devo ripping it up and you’ve got the idea. Their 12 song set was fun and featured chants like Fuck You Robots Rule and songs about robot uprisings. They capped the night with a fun song called Co2ULater that made me want to check them out again.

 

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Swillbillie pic by Tim Lewis

I thought that there were four bands on the bill but Swillbillie took the stage next for a short and sweet set. They rocked a punkabilly sound super hard and fast. They opened with their Manifesto then rolled on. The next song was about the devil being on the run. I missed the details of the next song but I think it was about whiskey. They closed the short set with a rousing Hell Chicken that kept me smiling and rocking.

 

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Dirty Blondes pic by Tim Lewis

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Dirty Blondes pic by Tim Lewis

The set break was short then Dirty Blondes hit the stage with a roar. Their songs have nice melodies and a punk rock sound and are always fun. They opened with Burn then rocked out Crybaby. They brought the spirituality with Hallelujah then sang about Jacking Off. Oh Dirty Blondes filled my heart like it always does. At one point Lefty played his guitar in the audience all around the room and at one point the Sisters LeMay cruised through. The Blondes taught us to dance with Kung Pao. Slut rocked hard and Drunk is always a fun song. They celebrated their kick ass drummer Ornan then taught us who James Bond really is. They capped the night with a ripping Yayo and fun was had by all.

 

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Lefty out for a stroll  Dirty Blondes pic by Tim Lewis

It was finally time for the 25th anniversary of classic ’90’s rap punk band Dysfunkshun. Marc Daniels sang and Richard Bailey sang and played guitar. Ornan McLean sat in on drums and the band was filled out with Ben Bouchard on guitar and Aram Bedrosian on bass. Imagine reggae played at punk speed with super fast rapped vocals and you get the idea. They opened with Here We Go and kept the show at blistering pace for all 13 songs. The vocals were so fast it was hard to catch anything but I did catch themes like stopping and listening to the sound and freeing your mind and how it all falls down and it all comes down. They played a rockus song about the President and sang an anti-Nazi song. The whole set was fun.

I was pretty drained when they wrapped up so I did not stay long and headed for home. Any of those sets would have been enough and the combination made it yet another fantastic night of music in our town.

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Dysfunkshun pic by Tim Lewis

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