Genderbent Rock City

Last week I went to check out the Thursday Night Live show at the Eagle. Due to it being a school night for me, I only caught two of the three bands: The Ethel Merman Experience and Wood.

The Ethel Merman Experience involves recognizable rock as translated through the mind and mouth of Mark Sargent impersonating Ethel Merman with a big voice and a bigger wig. Keep an eye out for them around town (in the last few months, they’ve played at Cherry Bar—on the same bill as Wood, again, incidentally—and at the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Easter fundraiser in Dolores Park) and hopefully you’ll catch them covering “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Hello! Hell no.

I’m going to have to give much credit to the gender-impersonating talent to the drag kings of Wood, because right up until one of them said something on the mic, I thought they really were men. To tell the truth, I saw all these Alabama biker types unloading amps into the place and thought, “No way, these guys are playing here? These guys are queer?” Shows what I know. Then again, my vision in less-than-well-lit bars has always been spotty, even before I have a drink. Wood plays tunes that fit their image: classic hard rock meant to be blasted from your pick-up or conversion van. They do not screw around.

The band I missed, Pepperspray, also consists of drag rockers, and I’ll have to save them for a later post. They’re locals, so I’m sure I’ll catch them soon enough. Tonight’s show is a benefit for Golden Gate Wrestling, and features The Cold War, The Militant Children’s Hour, Black Ice and Weed Wolf (with members of Spector Protector and Erase Errata). Hopefully I’ll make it. Queer Rock Heaven, why did I not go to you before?

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