Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Nov 13th 2009 11:30AM by Kenneth Partridge
With his matted-down mod haircut and irrepressible energy, the 46-year-old former Smiths guitarist looks, moves and plays like a Jarman. At Thursday's show -- the Cribs' first New York appearance in nearly two years -- those unfamiliar with the band would have been forgiven for thinking they were watching four brothers lay waste to the Bowery stage.
The English trio-turned-quartet opened its frantic hour-long set with 'We Were Aborted,' the leadoff track from its just-released fourth album, 'Ignore the Ignorant.' Marr, a full-time Crib since 2008, led the charge, and as he finished strumming the tune's stuttering intro chords, the brothers Jarman bounded into action.
Ryan, rocking a leather jacked he might have swiped from Joey Ramone's closet, leapt about like a runaway rubber ball, steadying himself only when it became necessary to hunch over and sing into his microphone, positioned several inches too low for dramatic effect.
The guitarist shared lead-singing duties with his twin, Gary, who attacked his bass with equal vigor. On 'I'm a Realist,' one of the evening's standouts, the one-two punch of the brothers' vocals underscored the central complaint of the song's two-faced protagonist: "I'm a realist/ I'm a romantic/ I'm an indecisive piece of s---."
If the audience tried its best to match the band's kinetic fervor, its efforts weren't always enough. "So, has crowd-surfing gone out of fashion in New York?" Ryan asked midway through the show. "This is such a fashionable town." At least one fan took his words as a challenge, and as the band blitzed through 'Our Bovine Public' -- a song about, ironically, people's tendency to follow trends and do as their told -- a tall brunette girl rode a tide of groping hands, waving to the band as she passed the stage.
After collaborating, sort of, with Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo, who recited the spoken-word rant 'Be Safe' via a pre-recorded video projection, the Cribs closed with a pair of ragers, 'Men's Needs' and 'City of Bugs.'
As Marr lunged from side to side and struck various rock-star poses, he appeared content to share, though by no means hog, the spotlight. He may be old enough to be the Jarmans' cool uncle, but really, he's a brother by another mother.