The folks who throw the fun themed All Tomorrow's Parties/Don't Look Back series, in which they invite chosen acts to recreate an album live from their back-catalog, have convinced the seminal D.C.-born, NYC based Girls Against Boys to perform their classic early nineties post-hardcore album Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby. And this weekend, the band, which began as a side project of Eli Janney and Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty and whose lineup then became Janney plus Scott McCloud, Johnny Temple, and Alexis Fleisig, will perform the entire album from start to finish in exact sequence for two performances only -- one in NYC and one in LA.
The first concert is tonight, Friday (7/20) at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City and the second is scheduled for Sunday night (7/22) in Los Angeles at the El Rey Theatre. This will be the first time the band has performed in LA or New York in five years (they performed in Europe this year -- most recently in Spain last month). I recently caught up with Johnny Temple, one of the band's two bassists, to ask him about this unique, two-gig, bi-coastal event and the idea of a dual bass rock band.
AMOEBLOG: How did the two bass players idea come about and how does it affect the band's sound?
JOHNNY TEMPLE: A lot of the rock bands of our era, well, really the rock bands of any era, tend to be more melody driven, while we tend to be more rhythm driven. Basically, we all grew up in Washington, DC, which is very funk music oriented. We grew up listening to a lot of soul and funk and Go-Go music which, as you know, is native to DC. And a lot of bands from DC have a greater emphasis on rhythm and groove than a lot of other (non DC) rock bands do. So by having two bass players it kind of pronounces the bottom end, the sort of rhythmic feature of the songs, more so than the melody.
AMOEBLOG: Girls Against Boys haven't performed Stateside in ages. So why these two concerts now?
JOHNNY TEMPLE: Earlier this year we were invited to England by the Don't Look Back Festival to perform at their festival in Europe to [play] one of our albums in its entirety and it went very well and they've expanded it to the US and they invited us to do shows in New York and LA and once again to do one our albums (Venus) from start to finish...That album has always been one of the favorites of our hardcore fans as well as ourselves...We've never performed an album, start to finish, before they [Don't Look Back] asked us to, so it is a great experience for us as a band.
AMOEBLOG: What other bands have been invited to recreate an album live by the Don't Look Back folks?
JOHNNY TEMPLE: Sonic Youth is doing it and they did Daydream Nation and there have been a bunch of other bands.
AMOEBLOG: Will you guys play the album Venus pretty much verbatim?
JOHNNY TEMPLE: There's small changes to a lot of the songs and, assuming we get an encore, we'll play some other songs as well.
AMOEBLOG: And will the El Rey in LA and the New York shows' sets be identical?
JOHNNY TEMPLE: Our songs are such that oftentimes we don't play them the exact same way both times. We may extend some songs and we will probably choose different songs for our non-album/encore selections.
Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby. (Touch and Go) by Girls Against Boys was originally released on August 20th, 1993 featuring the following tracks in the following order:
1. In Like Flynn
2. Go Be Delighted
3. Rockets Are Red
4. Satin Down
5. Let Me Come Back ( 2.3mb)
6. Learned It
7. Get Down
8. Bullet Proof Cupid
9. 7 Seas
10. Billy's One Stop