A punk-rock quartet of dark-haired females known as The Catchelorettes bounce around on stage, stumbling through their sacrilegious anthem “Holy Grail” with drunken, Sid Vicious-like musicianship. Dressed like an updated version of The Go-Gos, one expects these twentysomethings to play crowd-pleasing bubble-gum pop; instead they step to their microphones defiantly and rebelliously holler “Holy grail! Fuck you and your fucking holy grail!”
Perhaps they were introduced to the dark side at the Old Town School of Folk Music, where they—and all the other bands performing at the “Lincoln Square Idol” at the Dank Haus German Cultural Center—were taught how to properly tap into the dark forces of songwriting. Tonight’s battle of the bands features sixteen mostly amateur bands, each adhering to slightly different genres of pop/rock. Among them: June Carter Clash and the Tex Pistols, who posits a world in which Johnny Cash, the Clash and the Sex Pistols allied to form a punk-country concoction (minus the spitting on the crowd); instrumental trio Snarf, noticeably influenced by Spinal Tap’s “jazz odyssey” phase; and an obligatory indie kid called Voluptuous Tusk, who sports red slacks and Roberto Benigni’s smile and grooves to a midi drum machine while convulsing wildly around the stage like Cosmo Kramer.
There’s five hundred dollars on the line for the winner, but the MC makes a valid point. “Five hundred dollars, that’s up your nose in a weekend,” he says, jokingly, and then points to the stage to say: “This is what’s invaluable, right here.” (Andy Seifert)