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The Noise - December, 2002

Led Zep II, All the Queens Men (CD Release), Dresden Dolls at Bills Bar

by Lexi

Getting the incomparable Gene Dante to host tonight's show was a stroke of pure genius. The sexy, sweet 'n' bratty thespian has just earned oodles of kudos for bringing Hedwig to Boston, and tonight he's busting out his trademark charm and zeal to turn All the Queen's Men's Curvy Baby CD release into a real event. Plus, he's strutting in purple vinyl, baby.

Despite the buzzing excitement in the room, there's nearly a hush as Dresden Dolls begin their set with "Good Day," a characteristically dark and quirky aprés break-up song. Amanda Palmer (piano and voice) and Brian Viglione (drums) storm through an exceptional set of their arty, theatrical piano-driven tunes. The duo pound their instruments and lock eyes like desperate, doomed lovers. Twisted psychological angst is Amanda's specialty, and she's outdone herself on "Half Jack," an ode to having no control over who your daddy is. You don't have to be a fan of Kurt Weill, Legendary Pink Dots, or Tiger Lillies to appreciate the bold beauty of this band's gorgeous gloomy theatrics. They end with the whimsical, music-boxy "Coin-Operated Boy," bow demurely and leave the stage to ecstatic applause.

AQM drummer Tamora Gooding and bass player Joe Kowalski do something a little different tonight, namely, a dual djembe intro to invoke, as Gene Dante puts it, "the spirit of the Curvy, baby!" As the two African drums thunder, red pulsing lights illuminate Tamora's silky white feathers, Joe's bare chest, and silver lamé curtains which hide tonight's special guests, "the curvy dancers," who'll emerge from the curtains to swivel and kick throughout the rockin' set. Christine Zuffery is in full voice tonight, her expressive operatic wails weaving through Cathy Capozzi's crazy gorgeous guitar work, while Joe and Tamora lock into their rhythm and don't let go. Standouts are "You Want Me" from last year's Madame Static, and "Pig in the City," and "More," from the new disc. The Queens defiantly take threads of dance, trance, and rock and spin them into gold. Rocktronica wizardry with heart and soul, baby.

Axemaster Capozzi stays onstage for a reprise of BoRoCo's Led Zep II band, a veritable who's who of local talent who deliver a gut-wrenchingly accurate rendition of Led Zeppelin's most influential record. Highlights are Izzy Maxwell's theremin bump 'n' grind during "Whole Lotta Love," Billy Bracken and Cathy Capozzi's dueling guitar solos, Linda Viens' sumptuous "Thank You," and any time Chris Cote opens his mouth. God, I hope these guys do this again. Inspiration… look, see.