After Friday night's feel-good performance from Neal Medlyn, next up was Ice Rod. He's come through before, first catching my attention by playing a show at Stand Up Comedy in November, plus a gallery show the same week. I forget what was happening at the time, but although I was curious (based entirely on SUC's endorsement) I missed both shows. I was curious because everything I'd seen and read about the act sounded fucking lame: Ironic hiphop? No, thanks. The frontman, whose real name is Michael Gaughan, has long curly hair and wears shiny shirts and a long chain, looking like a young Weird Al. The songs are silly in the extreme, mostly about sex, art school, and sex in art school, hipster girls living in houses together with synchronized menstrual cycles, skateboarding, etc. One of the backup dancers is "Dad," who wears those deck shoe/slipper things and a henley t-shirt. Sometimes when Ice Rod starts a new song, he teaches the crowd a new dance move, and beach balls fly around the room as many yoga balls are sexually compromised onstage (check out what the old ladies Alison talked to had to say about that).
There are too many layers of irony going on to penetrate here, and I think over-analysis is best avoided. Certainly all the kids going crazy apeshit on the dance floor were not bothered by the sort of cultural feedback loop that was happening, everyone pretty much feeling the thrice-removed aping of black urban culture draped in an innocent, if exceptionally horny, joie de vivre. If anything, Ice Rod and his posse seem a little naive, with the pure intention of bringing good times. Hell, the Rod even invited everyone over to his house after the show--turns out he's a newly minted Portlander, which means, I strongly suspect, you'll have plenty of opportunities to see for yourself. Wanna take bets on how long it will take before there's a double billing of Ice Rod and Fleshtone at Holocene?