Last night, my friend Audrey and I went back to Local Band/Local Beer at Tir Na Nog.  I learned a whole bunch of new words:  screamo, scrunk, postpunk, grindcore, and lots of Danish words I can’t translate.  And probably shouldn’t.

I didn’t do my homework on the bands, and I didn’t know what I was in for, which is all the more fun.  It was like a game of “One of These Things is Not Like the Other Things.” The crowd filtering in was edgier than the crowd at my last couple of shows; there were several jean jackets with cut-off sleeves and angry album logos on the back, and a couple of faux-hawks, and a guy in a kilt.  (He and I were actually wearing the same boots, so I’m sure I totally blended in.)  I was sitting at the bar in a skirt, with a sign on my head that said, “I went to an all-girls high school, and my mother made me go to cotillion in seventh grade, and I carry around a pink flower handbag, and I am up past my bedtime.” Nobody cared.

Which, actually, is what I love about a) Raleigh and b) music.  There is a place for everybody in both worlds.  Back in my pre-employment days when I traveled around the world alone, I was out of my comfort zone pretty much the whole time.  I kind of miss it.

Anyway.  The Cola Freaks from Denmark were the headliners.  They were loud.  There was screaming, indeed.  They looked like affable, cheerful fellows; then the music started, and the lead singer was immediately tormented by a thousand demons:

I know. It is a terrible picture.  But that was the closest he ever got to not writhing or thrashing.  And it does sort of capture the show.  He spent most of the set in the audience, molesting people with the microphone.  He battered one guy lightly about the head and shoulders, folding him backwards over the stone wall, while screaming in his face.  The guy took it really well. (Because I am the kind of girl who looks like she was forced to go to cotillion and might recite Chaucer in her spare time, I stayed well behind the stone wall. I’m not asking for trouble.)

The thing is: I liked it.  I am shocked to have liked it. But I liked it.  The lead singer had the Crazy Eyes.  He looked demented, and he exuded all kinds of passion and intensity.  Even in Danish.  The rest of the band: also intense, and the driving bass and the thrashing drums were powerful enough to shake my barstool.  Audrey took one look at the bass player and said, “He looks like the kind of guy who would throw you up against the wall and kiss you.  He radiates anger.  And you KNOW he calls that bass his ‘axe.’ ”   He did look like that. But then, it was kind of hard to look away from the guy manhandling audience members with the mike.

Oh, if any of y’all see me in the next couple of days, speak up.  I can’t hear a damn thing today.

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