“IGGY!.. BABY!.. IGGY!.. BAAABY… I like the sound of you strut, strutin’ in those tight pants, tight pants…”
I never thought a song written about the most awe-inspiring, wild child of the stage could actually be a solid, uncontrived, hip- shakin’ tune. The band that achieved this also managed to churn out five fantastic albums. The 1st being, The Murder City Devils 1997 eponymous album which included the liquor drenched, romance warning of “Tell You Brother,” threatening the frigid audience with, “Get Off The Floor,” and of coarse the Iggy Pop tribute, “Broken Glass.”
Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts was released in 1998, and is possibly their most popular record to date. The primally sexy “Dancin’ Shoes,” had young hearts racing when singer Spencer Moody growled, “I’m gonna take you home toniiiigghht…” White trash problems and unrequited love propelled, “18 Wheels.” I could go on and on but just listen for yourself.
In 2000, In Name And Blood came along with a bang. I was actually engaged onstage at their show at the Palace in Hollywood in 2001 to my boyfriend at the time, Tom. As he got down on one knee and expressed his vows of love, an audience member yelped, “Don’t believe him! He’s a liar!” To the hum of 5,000 bodies laughing in the club, including myself. They randomly played our favorite song from that album “Someone Else’s Baby,” right after the ring was placed on my finger. As fitting with many of MCD’s tales of crushed feelings, we broke up not long after.
Thelema is occultist Aleister Crowley’s religion based upon a philosophical law. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” The philosophy also emphasizes the ritual practice of Magick. The name was also given to the 4th album in 2001. “This ship of death, this ship has a new captain,” Spencer belts on the head bobbing Bear Away. A tribute to the great Mutter Museum of medical oddities and anatomical specimens of Philadelphia shines with “Midnight Service at The Mutter Museum.”
Two years ago, with The White Ghost Has Blood On It’s Hands Again, some fans were disturbed at the change of direction along their seventeen year route. Great artists transform themselves, (take a tip from Bowie.) These guys aren’t any different and are in their forties as opposed to the twenty-something beer guzzling babies they were when they began. “Old Flame”, has a hazy atmosphere which conjures a desert murder mystery flickering on an old TV. The groovy, haunting organ on “Hey Playboy,” sways haughty dancers in the spotlight of a red velvet curtain.
This January 22nd, MCD took the stage at NYC’s Webster Hall. I ran into many of my friends at the show, most of them tattoo artists and bartenders. I believe the show was sold out and even though the band played as fiercely as ever, not many people were moving around. I smirked to my pal Antonio, “Their fans are getting old and lazy.”
Although singer Spencer didn’t get the memo… and has seemingly gotten thinner with every year he ages. Guitarist Dann Gallucci’s ridiculously good (eyes shut) riffs continue to blow me away. Derek Fudesco’s deep bass lines never disappoint. Drummer Coady was on point… although I miss the flame ridden drums of the 90’s shows. As the show continued, I couldn’t help myself and pushed to the front to sing along and pogo like the old days. The crowd loosened up as they played the hits and what was a massive crowd of still bodies became a sea with its own ebb and flow. The Doc Marten boot of a crowd surfer knocked a girl in the head next to me, as a pit circled behind. These Seattle boys came from punk rock roots which keep their genuine spirit alive and kicking. While for me they are nostalgic, I know a teenager somewhere is hearing them for the first time in the prison that is his parent’s home and is feeling relief that he isn’t alone.
Derek’s longtime girlfriend and by her own right, life long artist, Andrea Zollo sang in the opening group, Deep Creep. Check them out below:
Spencer Moody has a fantastic solo project as well. Give it a listen!