This house is the dilapidated shell of a mansion in one of the old neighborhoods of Louisville, a place that looks like the Adams family vacated the premises one step ahead of the law; and the ex-frat kids who just moved in have decided to throw a keg party to pay for the renovations. Somebody remembered that they ought to have music, so these two bands that nobody really knows about came in. At around nine o'clock, a bizarre assortment of people--two of them in gawky drag, the others just dressed as nerds--straggle onto the makeshift playing-space. Then this stunning girl in black Spandex leans into the mike and says cheerily, "Hi, we're the Dickbrains."

The punk clique in attendance, all six of them, are pogoing wildly; but nobody else is paying much mind. Both the Dickbrains and the Babylon Dance Band--who originally got this gig, and then asked the Dickbrains to open--were nervous about playing here: it was off their turf, and this crowd is the kind that can turn ugly as a matter of birthright. Right now, though, most people seem more intrigued with trying to find out where the beer's been hidden.

But then on their way back they start to collect in the doorways, or stand in clumps along the wall: just checking it out, you know. The Dickbrains make music out of snips and scraps: guitar lines scratching in and out of the mix, bass taking over sometimes rhythm, sometimes lead, and the rubber-ball keen of Tari Barr, the girl from Spandex, sailing over it all. Somehow it works. By the time the band finishes, there is a respectable crowd huddled around the room.


Tom Carson

"Stop 'n' Rock; Music from the 'Burbs"

The Village Voice, Vol XXV, No. 49

Dec. 3-9, 1980