Lacking the number of growling stomachs to necessitate the $29.99 order, we wisely chose a less intimidating dish I would retroactively refer to as "Frychos." Forgive me, PNL, for the sin of not remembering the appetizer's exact name. I was probably cast under the spell of a sizeable "Totchos" bowl from Mason's Grill & Smokehouse in Suffolk that had been my nourishment on five half-priced Tuesday nights earlier this year. As the aforementioned handles imply, respective gobs of fries and Tater Tots replace the standard tortilla chips for the foundation of a respectable nachos offering. Like at Mason's, Pancho N Luigi's fry-based version contained generous amounts of chicken, cheese, beans, curd, salsa and other usual suspects. After only a few samples, Hoyt waved the "No mas!" towel in my direction. Thus, it was my responsibility to consume the remaining 75% of "Frychos" on our piled plate. I didn't know what to make of the imposing situation, but that didn't suspend me from greeting my mouth with tasty forkfuls of the creatively arranged standby. While the opening act commenced its sound check, I put a check mark by another completed challenge in the ongoing gourmand extravaganza. Thanks to this training camp- worthy feat, I would eventually post my highest apps score on "Goodbye, Laura Night" at Applebee's. There were meatballs and nachos and enchiladas and wonton tacos galore! So much food, how did I get out the door? It was a most unusual chore.
With a succulent smorgasbord of chest-high surf, Northwest-style garage, Sun Records-esque twang and Brill Building-approved vocalization, The Lonely Teardrops matched the "Frychos" in the Q-rated departments of quantity and quality. Drawing from a dozen or so eggs in the carton, not one yolk-filled orb was prepared to the dissatisfaction of anyone in the restaurant. If you were to turn back time in Cher's groovy machine, you'd witness an early incarnation of the Katie Teardrop-fronted group joined by a mysterious bassist and an anonymous drummer. Like The Cramps, The White Stripes and Hoyt's old pals in The Larchmont Trash, the sight of a bass guitar is a sore one in the eyes of TLT's current lineup. Having bashed the skins alongside the masterful Dexter Romweber for many years in countless puke joints across America, the perfectly monikered Crash LaResh brings a similar big beat to the latest two-person party. Staples such as "Surfin' Monkey" and "I Want Some Of That" connected with the crowd like gratis bottles of Modelo Especial, but their take on "Leavin' Here" was the bottomless shot of Patron that held everything together. Whether it's the classic original from Eddie Holland, Motorhead's rough-but-right interpretation or tonight's reading by one of Norfolk's finest, there's something about the composition that just emits an inexplicable strain of "bad-ass." For further clarification (or confusion), get a gander at the Paul Unger-manipulated clip on YouTube of the Teardrops attacking said cut on an ancient Sony B & W handheld TV. I'd love to see vintage electronics guru Matthew Roy from Chesapeake review the set on his on-line channel, but I digress.
People who bought Daddy Long Legs' two studio albums on Norton most likely had made earlier purchases of full-lengths by Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Flamin' Groovies, Raunch Hands, The Mojomatics and other folks steeped into blues and subsequent styles that respect the form. Their turn at the last SXSW festival generated major praise in the pages of Esquire magazine. More importantly, several friends whose musical taste I respect wholeheartedly recommended the NYC-based trio via blog posts and word-of-mouth blurbs on Facebook. Before the gig, I crash-coursed at least ten DDL songs on YT and stored away key moments for later. The four tracks that stood out to my ears were "Death Train Blues," "Evil Eye," "Blood From A Stone" and "Motorcycle Madness." According to my post-set stats, all of 'em were on the list this evening. Daddy Long Legs, the man, blew the electric harp with an expert intensity that would've alone justified the five-dollar cover charge. Guitarist Murat Akturk's stylized appearance and technical prowess drew more than a few comparisons to a younger Keith Richards. Birthday boy Josh Styles celebrated with the gathering of well-wishers per skillful strikes behind the kit. Unbeknownst to me, a future FB friend by the name of Valerie filmed the entire block of "Evil Eye" with her focused pair of peepers. Even if you don't read one letter of this assessment, watch her YouTube video for a better-than-a-thousand-words look back at a wilder-than-usual Wednesday night.
"Which one is Pancho, and which one is Luigi?" asked Daddy Long Legs at one point. The Mystery of the Deep-Dish Pizza Makers remains unsolved.