The Sperm @ The Record Bar 3-26-07

Went by myself. There was a spring rain so I wore my short-sleeved trench coat that I’d just gotten in Chicago. Stood at the bar, drinking Old Style, wistfully remembering that Chicago trip I’d just returned from. Briefly spoke to two of The Sperm guys (two of “the Sperms”?). Then the first guy started–dammit, I forgot his name. He used a drum machine, a tiny Korg, and looped his voice. His friend drew little scribbles and words on the overhead projector, which was half-obscured by things like lights, speakers, and old megaphones. Or whatever those things are that amplified old phonographs.

I was standing by the door and enjoyed watching the reactions of people walking in and getting their first earful of this spectacle. A few people left–actually, those were frat boys who had obviously stumbled upon a scene that was not theirs. They were pissed and I was amused. A few people enjoyed the first act, but it looked like most people were there for the justification for the $8 cover charge, which was Man Man.

So what the hell was that first act? I just tried to find the name…couldn’t. I’ll update this later, when my lazy ass feels like it. But I did like whomever that first guy was. Especially the last song, which was a dance ditty. The music was weird, and for me to say that take a lot. For lack of a better vocabulary, it was just weird. Part of that “weird” genre. And I love weird. This guy’s set was unskilled in the technical sense, but raw in the way that a toddler can express himself: without abandon, slightly embarassing, and admiringly self-indulgent. It was kind of scary and kind of funny: the bizarre graffiti of electroclash. Like this.

Then The Sperm played. The art kids were dancing around, enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, I’m more reserved, and I stood on the sidelines drinking more Old Style. The three-piece band is lose and tight at the same time. In that way, and because of their crazy energy, they remind me of The Liars (although The Sperm disagrees). They sound like Primus-meets-early Beck (One Foot In The Grave era). Lyrics seem to be about masterbating or failed serial killers. Kinda creepy. I think my super-scary basement would be the perfect venue for their thump-clash groove. No, wait: the falling-down porch on an Ozark shack. That’s the perfect venue.
Check out their myspace.

I also bought their cd; at a starting offer of $10, I was able to purchase one for $8, which was all of the remaining cash I had. It has 9 tracks; the last of which is an old Idaho Joe Winslow (I prefer to call him “Joe From Idaho”) song called “Dying to Die”. It’s hilarious, as are all his songs. But in The Sperm, he skips singing, and instead plays bass with his whole body. Quite a show. Most entertaining band in town. Go to their show. Purchase a cd too; they are unique works of art and come with a bonus condom!

Because I was by myself, had not heard Man Man before, and am enslaved to my boring day job, I went home. No Man Man for me, but I bet I missed a good one. At least I saw what I wanted: The Sperm.


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