Show Review: Hunx and His Punx with Shannon and the Clams and Grass Widow at Bottom of the Hill, 4/2/11

by Jason LeRoy on April 4, 2011

Hunx plays hard to get with a fan at SXSW last month. Photo by Nev Brown.

Hunx and His Punx played a sold-out record release show for their debut LP, Too Young To Be In Love (Hardly Art), at Bottom of the Hill on Saturday night. Also on hand were Shannon and the Clams (featuring Punx VIP Shannon Shaw), who were celebrating the release of their sophomore album, Sleep Talk. And as if that wasn’t enough, we also got the dependably awesome Grass Widow (recently seen playing with Wild Flag) as the opener. Needless to say, a fun time was had by all.

Since Hunx (née Seth Bogart, formerly of Gravy Train!!!!) and Shannon both play similar brands of retro garage pop, Grass Widow (a phrase enjoying newfound popularity thanks to the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce) was musically the odd band out. They seemed a bit more timid than usual, not really engaging the audience; they just kinda walked onstage, played a short no-frills opening set, said thanks, and left. Maybe they were just refraining from making the show about them. Don’t get me wrong, they sounded fantastic. I just wish they would have maybe hit a bit harder.

And then it was time for Shannon and the Clams. This was my first time seeing them, and I think I can safely say they kinda changed my life. Where has this band been? Why didn’t I know about them before this? Who can I yell at? Heads are gonna roll! Because Shannon and the Clams are AWESOME. I mean, seriously. I didn’t really know what to expect when Shannon and the boys walked onstage, or when Shannon politely greeted the crowd. But the second she opened her mouth and let loose a ferocious Wanda Jackson/Brenda Lee “Wellllll!” growl, my jaw dropped and remained conspicuously open for the remainder of the show. This woman “could rip out your eyeballs with her voice” (©Beth Dean 2011).

I mean, they were just fucking killer. They also got a raging mosh pit going in front of the stage, which I daintily tiptoed away from because I’m delicate. Please be careful with me (JEWEL!). Anyway, I haven’t seen a band rock this hard in a while. They deserve to be huge fucking stars. Once they return to the Bay Area from their nationwide tour with Hunx, see them as soon as possible.

And finally, the John Waters Wet Dream Tour concluded with the ladyman of the evening. For his big record release show, Hunx was decked out in a sheer button-up shirt with a black bow-tie, tattered pantyhose over black undies, and that ubiquitous conical black cap he’s been sporting. Joined onstage by Shannon (who provides many song-stealing vocals on the new LP) and the rest of the Punx, he was much more in his element than last time I saw him. And yet, not as much in his element as when I saw him at the Eagle shortly before he recast the Punx as a girl group. On that memorable occasion, he staggered out on the patio before his set, stripped naked, and peed on the wall a few feet from me. I’d like to think of that as “Hunx in his element.”

I expected even more sordid shenanigans from the record release party for his first proper album (not counting the invaluable compilation Gay Singles), but he was surprisingly (some might say disappointingly) well-behaved. Now that he’s poised for indie stardom, is this the new cleaned-up Hunx? Or does he just seem cleaner to those of us who’ve been watching him for a few years? Regardless, it was a hell of a show. On behalf of his Bay Area fanbase, I wish him well on his big U.S. tour (which kicked off with this show). Hopefully he’ll be back here urinating in public in no time.

Read Also:

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: