Day Party Crawl
Kill Rock StarsCheer Up Charlie's, Thursday, March 18
Kill Rock Stars' day show lineup was delightfully lady-heavy, curated by KRS honcho Maggie Vail. As such, the connections between decades of girl punk became clear as the day went on. San Francisco trio Grass Widow's KRS debut lands in August, and it couldn't be a better time. Their hissing summer lawns come with post-punk beats and three-part harmonies, the Vivian Girls with more personality. They recall the early days of their Pacific Northwest label sponsor, a scuzzy basement band with melodic sensibilities, splitting the difference between late 1970s UK punk and early 1990s house-party band. If Grass Widow had a Slits influence, Viv Albertine was fine with that. The former Slits guitarist took to the stage in a pair of red stiletto boots and declared, "We're not used to the heat." Her new EP, Flesh, just out of Ecstatic Peace, is an honest portrait of a woman at middle age, her slinky guitar and British sneer mounting songs like "Never Come." Onstage, she talked about divorce, wanting a snog, and being a MILF. Portland, Ore., trio Explode Into Colors totally tapped into the post-ESG punk-funk hybrid, with two drummers, guitar, melodica, synth, and sax. The result was ecstatic and danceable.