The Skunks, Lazy Cowgirls, Sons of Hercules
Continental Club, February 2
What's that Johnny Rotten said about "no future"? No one really expected punk rock to age quite this gracefully, if at all -- "Live fast, die young" and all that shite. But here they were: perhaps a bit reluctant to pogo for fear of back injuries, and more likely to have paid off the babysitter than a speed hookup, but ready to rumble like Old Mother Reagan's inauguration was pointing the business end of a long Republican winter in their faces. The amount of black leather jackets alone at this birthday soiree for Continental head of hospitality Dianne Scott would have brought tears to Lester Bangs' bloodshot eyes. The Skunks, for their part, may have been dormant since the days of ducking frat-boy-flung longnecks outside Raul's on the Drag, but it certainly wasn't evident in the trio's taut, hungry set. The shrapnel flew from Jon Dee Graham's battleship-gray Les Paul like hot needles, while bassist Jesse Sublett's amelodic vocals and staccato delivery hit their stride to the cascading riff of "You Scare Me" before injecting a double dose of downtown Velvet sleaze on "Waiting for the Man" and "Sister Ray." And because "Gimme Some" and "Earthquake Shake" were ably dispatched by stand-in drummer "Mambo" John Treanor, he gets a free pass on the hat. After promising to play longer at their "real" reunion gig next month, they yielded the stage to L.A.'s Lazy Cowgirls, who evoke a time when X and the Blasters were tearing up the Whisky. Whatever their secret, their potent blend of Stones, Ramones, and Mekons peeled off the years like the layers of double-barrel crunch spewing from their amps. By the time these chrome-domes lit into "Route 66," even those who think the Mason-Dixon line is Town Lake were itching to take that California trip. But San Antonio is a much shorter drive, so in strolled the Sons of Hercules, and sure enough, proceeded to wreck the place. Really, the only potential for physical calamity was frontman Frank Pugilese bonking his head on the ceiling, but the battery of Stoogian strip-mining had many in the packed house either running for the bar or the door. Here's to the old farts for teaching a young dude a thing or two about staying power.