Who would have ever imagined a Tin Huey reunion tour? Who would have cared if not for the success one-time member, Chris Butler, has had with the Waitresses?
Tin Huey was a lumpy, jumpy progressive anachronism when it first rose to semi-prominence on Devo's coattails in the late '70s. The band's set at the 9:30 club last night showed that little has changed in the interim.
The group did start promisingly with two handsomely wrought, straightforwardly delivered songs, "Like a Hurricane" and "Want to Be a Clown." Then it was back to the lyrical whoopee cushions, bad cocktail jazz and soft-boiled avant-garde-isms of yore. What a bore.
Washington's Velvet Monkeys opened the evening with an unusually rousing set. A lot was added this time out by their new bass player, Tim Carter. The material's melodies seemed better defined, the rhythms more set and propulsive.
Front man Don Fleming took advantage of his rhythm section's new-found solidity by taking more chances with his guitar playing and stage antics. He ended "Real Cool Time" in a welter of psycho-delirious feedback, guitar tossed to the floor as he throttled the mike stand.