Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lords, Joans and Handcuffs!

Last night, The Joans, a tangential project of Hell In A Handbag Productions, made their first public appearance (outside a theatre group setting) at the Flesh Hungry Dog show at Jackhammer. The lineup included The Venom Lords, a fun band consisting of Dan and Gina Knapik on guitar, bassist/vocalist Amy Anderson and drummer Scott Gibson.

We went on right after. It went very well, despite a few smallish glitches in the road (costume dramas and an amplifier mini-outage on stage) and the crowd had lots of fun, which was our goal. I was a little nervous following The Venom Lords, a great full band, with our more experimental, "stripped-down" sound (just me on drums and Taylor on guitar), but it worked fine. (We are still adding a keyboard soon.) We played all three of our prepared originals (we have four more that we're still learning) and finally, our "new one:" we'd been playing with a cover of Blondie's "Rip Her To Shreds" for over a month and couldn't decide on a treatment. We tried a straight cover at first, but the Joan Crawford concept seemed to call for a bit of a "milking" of the lyrics, so David pulled together a slow, Cruella DeVil-like reading, complete with dagger glances and icy smirks. As soon as he uttered the opening line ("Oh, you know her"), every head snapped towards him (although why they wouldn't have earlier, when he came onstage in a plum silk dressing gown, CFM high-heeled slippers and fishnets, is a wonder).

(The Handcuffs' Brad Elvis and Chloe F. Orwell. Photo courtesy of

Much fun was had by all, including the other bands. I particularly enjoyed The Handcuffs, the headlining band. Lead singer Chloe F. Orwell has an amazingly versatile voice that goes from sweet to strident, as the occasion calls for it, faster than a Maserati. And drummer Brad Elvis is just simply the best I've ever heard live. Period. Guitarist/keyboardist Lennie Dietsch and bassist Emily Togni complement each other and Chloe's vocals beautifully, and rounded out a very tight lineup. They were a treat, visually and musically. I got a chance to talk with Chloe and Brad afterwards and they gave me their e-mail address to the Joans mailing list. I also got a flyer for their next gig on May 23 at Double Door. I'm quite looking forward to it! I visited CD Baby this morning and bought their album. A bargain at the price.


Speaking of bargains, I rented an additional storage locker this morning in my building. We'd been talking about building extra storage spaces for some time, and they were finally finished this week. I took a look inside my new space this morning and breathed a sigh of relief as I saw my living room magically empty of junk--you know, the kind you don't need, but you've had since you were 12, and you know that you can't get rid of it, because nobody else will have it. $25/month for the locker, and worth it for my sanity!

I'm off to buy a padlock now. Have a great weekend, all...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get a pick proof Chicago Ace Padlock. Expensive but well worth it.
Glad the show was a success. Ed

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Dave A. said...

Congratulations on another great Joans appearance. Wish I could have been there -- "Rip Her to Shreds" sounds amazing!

9:22 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Thanks, Dave!

We'll be sure to let you know when the next gig's going to be. As I mentioned, we'll probably be back to the Flesh Hungry Dog Show sometime this summer.

I really enjoy hanging with this Joans group, you know? Ya never know what's going to happen next...we could be invited to the next Royal Wedding (if William ever settles down), or thrown out of a bar on our asses. ;-)

The adventure!

12:14 AM  
Anonymous gina k said...

i LOVED the JOans!!!!! You all ruled.

gina (venom lords)

4:36 PM  

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