Review: Mojo Nixon at Lion's Lair, 4/14/12
Tom Murphy Sputnik Slovenia at Lion's Lair
The night started off with Sputnik Slovenia (aka Jim Yelenick). Who wears his own band's T-shirt to his show? Many people on tour without laundry facilities and time available. But also, someone like Jim who probably should be in comedy, which he informed us, he might do it when he turns seventy. He began by telling us that if the show was going to be anything like what he heard about the previous night's show, there might be group sex, but, he noted, "I prefer to watch."
The music started with a version of the song from Gilligan's Island, and many people joined in. It was kind of an Irish drinking song version, appropriately enough. But the hijinks were far from over. "London Calling" got the same treatment. "This song was written by my ex-girlfriend," announced Yelenick. "Before she became a skinhead."
Could it be?
Yes! Yelenick performed his version of "Hit Me Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears, only he changed lyrics, as he did with most songs during this show, including the end where he sang, "Closed fist punch me in the face one more time." When some people made some humorously snide remarks on the song, he responded, "She had a right hook to die for."
During a piss-take rendition of "I Got Erection" by Turbonegro, Yelenick yodeled a bit and told us, "That's my Slim Cessna." For Van Halen's "Ice Cream Man," Yelenick dipped into "Hound Dog," and then blended both songs together for an absurd mash-up of the two in the way only Yelenick even could.
For the Zappa cover, Yelenick shouted out, "I love you Whitney" as a quick aside. Yes, it was "Bobby Brown," but the wonderful bad taste is part of what makes Yelenick so entertaining. For Madonna's "Holiday," he did it fairly straight and then brought in a line from "Holiday In Cambodia," and then, at the end, he changed the lyric to, "I smoked pot with Pol Pot," followed by the rapid vocals at the end, "smoke pot with Pol Pot."
Pointing to his T-shirt, Yelenick said he was going to cover a song by his own band, Pitch Invasion, and he did "Peeping Tom." Of course, it was a lot less punk than the original. And so was the lounge version of Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice." Of course Yelenick was going to take his comedic scalpel to John Denver, and "Country Roads" had a line that was changed to, "Country roads, take me home, to the lands where I belong. Your vagina, I'm gonna mount ya mama."
During "White Man in Hammersmith Palais," Yelenick put in some commentary about how West and East Colfax were scarier than the whole British Navy. Then, even without chickenwire to protect him and despite playing more than both kinds of music, Yelenick played "Rawhide." He followed this up with a pretty straightforward "Police and Thieves" and "La Bamba," except for the latter he injected references to Casa Bonita.
Yelenick then told us that if it hadn't been for the three chords that appeared in every song written by the Irish he probably wouldn't be playing music. So naturally he did his own version of "The Wild Rover" and made reference to one of the people involved in the Lion's Lair: "I won't play for Tony Meggit anymore." The set ended with an irreverent cover of "Blitzkrieg Bop" in which Yelenick sped it up, slowed it down and changed his accents in singing. But Yelenick managed to tag on to the end of it a bit of "Punk Rock Girl" by the Dead Milkmen starting with the line referencing Mojo Nixon.
Personal Bias: Ever since hearing "Elvis is Everywhere" sometime in the late '80s, I've been a Mojo Nixon fan.
Random Detail: Ran into Jeremy Maclean of Action Friend at the show.
By the Way: Someone should reissue the old Mojo Nixon albums.
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