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McCoy's and hip-hop have probably never appeared in the same sentence, so when Approach appeared to reclaim the MC in the pub's name, heads paid attention and curious dinner guests set down their silverware. When surprise guest Mac Lethal dropped his a cappella flow, filled with battle-rap violence about mutilation and the like, those with weak stomachs might have pushed their plates away in disgust. Things cheered up quickly, as Cruse briefly turned the pub into a dance hall before Jade Raven sent the perkiness detector through the roof with its unfailingly sunny originals and a feel-good cover of Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll." 7 Fold Symphony then crammed its nine-piece funk-hop band into the venue's slim performance space before Rex Hobart, a veteran at the club-hopping game after playing four times in three days at last month's South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, coolly delivered the night's most confident, seasoned performance.
There was nothing calm about Ruskabank's sweat-drenched skankfest, which opened the festivities at Mill Creek Brewery. For Lafayette, one of the least-known bands on the showcase, following such a performance was a tall order, one to which it proved equal. The group's mesmerizing set balanced technical wizardry with droning ebb-and-flow construction.
Lafayette's music, though often breathtaking, won't serve as a soundtrack to many parties -- it's arty, dense and a bit overwhelming even for listeners who are giving it their full attention, let alone multitaskers. But the Jesse Jackson 5 immediately snapped the Creek crowd out of its collective daze with rumbling free-form funk, provoking an outburst of unseemly dance moves. However, the night's most memorable choreography occurred during the Tawni Freeland 4's blistering cover of Lita Ford's "Kiss Me Deadly," when two enthusiastic onlookers interpreted the line I really like dancing with you as an invitation to flail their limbs in a spectacularly spastic fashion.
So far, so good, but Big Jeter was scheduled to close out the show, and its often hilarious, occasionally abrasive blend of traditional country and performance art confused and/or frightened many patrons into scurrying for the door the last time it played Mill Creek. But this was a different night and a different crowd -- one largely composed of people who came to see Jeter by choice instead of being surprised by the group while making a routine trip to the bar -- so no mass exodus took place.
Can't Hardly Wait
"Prom would be okay ... except for the music." This quote, uttered by many a sullen teen ever since pop-peddling DJs replaced bands as prom night's entertainers of choice, summarizes the need for the second annual Punk Rock Prom, which features Parlay, The Gadjits, Big Iron, The Throttlers and Go Generation. Held at El Torreon, this event conflicted with the Klammies last year, which at least allowed those who hopped between the gatherings to get double-mileage out of their snazzy outfits. This time, Punk Rock Prom falls on Friday the 13th, clearing The Gadjits and Parlay's Ernie Locke to serenade spike-attired couples one night and perform an incendiary duet in front of their formally dressed local music peers the next. For the non-curfew-impaired, The Gadjits complete their social-butterfly trifecta by joining Lafayette for the Klammies after-party at the Pyro Room Saturday night, while Roland hosts The Hurricane's after-awards shindig.