Noise rock juggernaut Qui (pronounced 'kwee', a.k.a. guitarist Matt Cronk, drummer Paul Christiansen and David Yow -- yep, that's David Yow, the ex-Jesus Lizard/Scratch Acid howler -- on vocals) plugged in Tuesday night at The Scene in Glendale, CA, and blew us away with 10 successive power surges. The set included eight originals, Jesus Lizard's "Glamorous" (I was beside myself with exuberant, moshpit joy) and the funniest cover of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" I think the world has ever seen. Mr. Christiansen focused on his impeccable, high-precision, math-rock drumming while clad in telemarketer/air traffic controller headphones complete with the little microphone bar. Meanwhile, Mr. Cronk's hair flailed around and sweat flowed as he nailed chords and licks you know he has practiced for countless sleepless nights. Mr. Yow slipped back into his Grand Ol' Entertainer role (as if a decade hadn't gone by since I last saw him on stage): the pants were unbuttoned and allowed to tantalizingly slip downwards an inch or three [We saw more of Yow than we ever needed to at a 1994 Jesus Lizard/Helmet show in Jersey. -- Ed.]; a half-smoked cigarette (on stage! In California!) was flicked into the wall (emitting a shower of sparks); the mic stands spent more time horizontal than vertical; and several songs were summed up with a "That was really good." I'm pleased as punch (or sangria, even) that Yow has decided to re-enter the world of the rock singer, and that he has found an extremely tight and talented band to play with in Qui, which was founded as a duo in 2000 and plans to issue a sophomore set with Yow later this year.
Opening the evening was Los Angeles' own Black Fur. If the band is reading this, I sincerely hope you are not offended by my mentioning Hole and Courtney Love as a point of reference. I'm sure I'm not the first person to make this comparison, and it's the easiest way I can think of to orient readers to your sound. Even if Black Fur's fist-pumping and entertaining melodies, harmonies, chords, overdriven bass lines and solos were to disappear into the ether, the band would still be worth checking out just for the sheer intensity of Louis Wylie's drumming, which even knocked him off his drum stool at one point. Also supporting was Seattle's Thee Emergency, who took the stage with no intention of letting up the rock. Their sound is a bit more '70s-leaning than Black Fur's '90s-tinged tunes, but jams were duly kicked out nonetheless. The band careened around the stage while the amply-lunged (the respiratory organ, not the verb) Dita Vox plunged into the audience and worked the main floor during my favourite song of their set ("Cream," I believe). The tune is a building, soulful song which Janis Joplin and Big Brother And The Holding Company would be proud of. -- Lars Ro
Qui -- "Apartment"
Qui -- "New Orleans"