BAND: X_X, Obnox, Gary Wrong Group
DATE: Saturday, Jan. 16, at 9 p.m.
VENUE: The Merry Widow, 51 S. Conception St., www.themerrywidow.net
TICKETS: Tickets $10, available at The Merry Widow and its website
During the mid-’70s, when punk was still its infancy, the Cleveland “art punk” scene flourished, giving birth to many iconic bands. John D. Morton’s raunchy guitar helped fuel the band Electric Eels’ furious, minimalist form of rock ‘n’ roll, when the band pummeled its audience with underground hits such as “Agitated.”
As Morton and the Eels raged through Cleveland, Craig Bell brought his pounding bass to Cleveland along with his punk outfit Rocket from the Tombs. That band created an innovative sound that mixed ‘70s rock sounds and with a healthy dose of psychedelic, protopunk fuzz.
When X_X comes to The Merry Widow, the Azalea City will have a chance to experience a collaborative effort between Morton and Bell. Originally formed in 1978, X_X’s music from those early days shows the movement away from psychedelic rock influences and more toward the punk styles that highlighted the early ‘80s. Its local performance will bring the glory days of protopunk to LoDa.
X_X’s openers promise to keep the energetic vibes maxed. Drummer Lamont Thomas (This Moment in Black History, The Bassholes) is bringing his project Obnox. Also a Cleveland native, Thomas’ project will provide charismatic garage punk. Fronted by Chad Booth (Kajun SS, Wizzard Sleeve), Gary Wrong Group was the darling of last year’s annual punk gathering in Memphis, Gonerfest.