They rock, they shred, they melt faces. In this regard they are tireless. Mother Death Queen however are not what you’d call great self-promoters. Case in point: readying themselves for this forthcoming post-pride event, they asked me to a “practice party” at the home of MDQ groupie-galore Tami Abts (whom I’ve known for a million years through defunct local music zines like Smartypants and Static ).
Feeling a bit nervous after an extended hiatus, the ladies decided to keep it small and intimate. To, y’know, just play it cool. As a result, they collectively invited about three people, including me. It was soon decided to call in the reserves and get some more asses in the smattering of chairs disarrayed around the patio. That left more time to enjoy a quite generous spread of food. Besides the whiskey (of course), I went strictly for the coconut cake made in honor of guitar player Amy’s birthday. Which of course no one mentioned beforehand but nevermind. The way I see it, Amy was giving all of us a valued gift on her birthday by rocking us out. To that, the best we can offer in return is a heartfelt Thank you. And a promise to listen to more Mick Ronson records.
Prior to aforesaid rocking, the, uh opening act consisted of drummer Cara’s and guitar player Ella’s little kids clearly relishing their turns at the mic and drums. Appropriately, in light of Kandy Krush, Cara coached and cajoled them into trying “I Want Candy” when all they really wanted to do was sing the theme to something called Frozen . (My kids are grownups. I am way outta the loop.) No word on what bassist/vocalist Alexis’ baby boy thought of all this. We’ll ask when he learns to talk.
photo by Kelly Vigil
If this practice was any indication, the show is gonna be a landmark. Besides MDQ’s few but compelling originals and songs by the likes of P.J. Harvey, Nirvana and Kim Deal (a band fave) there’s a new batch of covers including the “leaked” news of Go-Go's, Joan Jett and Amy Winehouse. There are however many other covers to which I have sworn secrecy under pain of … stern looks. Remember that Women In Rock “phenomenon” that the hacks at Spin, Rolling Stone and even The New York Times blathered about back in the ‘90s? No? Good. Women have always been a huge part of rock and roll. Anyway, Mother Death Queen’s repertoire has drawn heavily on femme-fronted outfits from that godforsaken “alternative” era, ones that fell into some hole, buried under the heavy rotation of swill like Sponge or Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. But let’s challenge a bad reputation from naysayers who’ve claimed MDQ only plays songs headbanged to in their sonic youth. Sure, there is some seething rock on which they’ve been working hard, like convicts back on the chain gang but also expect some recent and surprising covers of top 40 teen queens that turn toxic megahits into gold.The few of us lucky bastards at Tami’s (yes, I am going to rub it in) were treated to a loose but terrific private set, all the more sweet since this ArtBar show could be their final one. Never say never and all that but a word to the wise.
Mother Death Queen
DJ Matty Be
Saturday May 31, 2014
119 Gold SW
Albuquerque , NM
$20 non-members (includes one-month membership)
$25 VIP (includes guaranteed seating, personal server, Self Serve gift bag)
this orignally appeared in Weekly Alibi in a slightly different form