Stroker Ace, opening for Ko and the Midnight Intruders
Feb. 22, 2001
Is there anything better than going out to see a great garage band and getting all fucked up on a Thursday night? Well, yeah, there is: Doing it when a deadbeat friend owes you money and he’s picking up the bar tab. And here in Detroit, chances are, you’ve got at least one deadbeat friend. Mine decided that last night would be a good one to pay me back for some money stolen from my wallet last weekend.
And that’s how I met Stroker Ace. No, not Burt Reynolds and not Bill Neely and Bob Ottum, Stroker’s creators. Not even Curtis Turner, the real Stroker, as he’s been dead for years. I’m talking about Jackie O and Melody Licious (and their boy Dougie Tangent, but I’m not really interested in him because he’s a dude and I’m relatively straight where that’s concerned). This loud Detroit femme trio makes the kind of noise that, if it must be classified according to mainstream taste, goes into same riot grrrl bin as L7, Hole, and the Runaways. But who cares about that—this is the type of shit that, when sitting in a bar with a head full of beer, sounds like fucking Beethoven.
You want power chords, you got ’em. Licious blasts her Gibson SG through some distortion pedal that makes it sound as good as the best guitar rock guitar can. O, despite calling her bass-playing “Sid Vicious-inspired,” is far better than that. She’s no Mike Limbert, but hey, I already told you where I stand where dudes are concerned. Watching Jackie (I can call her that because I introduced myself to her after the show; she gave me a sticker) slouch her Fender Squire. . . Oh man! Let’s just say that between the several cans of Stroh’s and her “Pussy Rules” T-shirt (Which she just had to draw attention to, in the finest rock star fashion, by asking the crowd what they thought of it. I mean, what did she think we thought of it?!?! It was totally awesome; it turned me into a groupie the instant I saw it!), I was feeling all warm and fuzzy inside like some sick sort of puppy love. Except that this puppy is a rabid street mongrel. Funny how the canine metaphor also works for “doggy style.”
The point here is that chicks with guitars rule. Yeah I’m a sicko because I get turned on by every woman who’s ever picked up an axe. Yeah, go ahead and let the feminists bash me, but sometimes it’s nice to be exactly like the little 12-year-old girls who swoon over the Backstreet Boys. It feels good to embrace the kind of love/lust that you know is totally without merit, because dammit, we all want to bed a musician after we’ve seen him/her on stage. Didn’t you read/see High Fidelity?
Who knows whether I’ll dig Stroker Ace quite this much the next time I see them. This was certainly no one-night stand—I’ll be back to check them out again. Maybe the music will overwhelm the sex appeal next time, it certainly has the potential to do so. But I am realistic. I know that deep down in my heart, I don’t care one way or the other, because there will always be girls with guitars and me standing in the audience with a dreamy look in my eyes. These girls, however, seem special right now. It feels like more than just a good loud chick band. Could be just the immediacy of the crush, or it could be the start of something bigger. Do you ever really know? Is there such thing as everlasting true love at first sight?
I don’t know. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how this one turns out. But I did e-mail O this morning…