Raw deals

The Breeders at the Paradise, June 5, 2008
By MEGAN V. BELL  |  June 10, 2008
BANG ON! Kim and Kelley will never let you down.

Disclaimer: “Cannonball” was released when I was like, nine, and I had no idea. I heard the song for the first time on the radio shortly after starting high school, and everything I thought I knew about music crumbled around me. (Take that, Smash Mouth.) It was unpredictable, catchy, anarchic, playful, explosive, and unbelievably cool all at once, with just enough distortion and feedback to sound melodic and give me chills. All I could think was, “If it sounds like this coming from a studio, what must it sound like live?” Now I can say with some authority: it rules.

At this point, Kim and Kelley Deal must hate that song more than life itself, but they didn’t show it. Kim spat into the mic with ferocious intensity, and the entire song was sped up to a point beyond what I thought physics would allow. The Breeders — in a line-up that now includes the sisters Deal, bassist Jose Medeles, drummer Mando Lopez, and jack-of-all-trades “Cheryl from Florida,” who was, according to Kim, found on Craigslist — are, of course, anything but one-hit wonders. The crowd — bedecked in relics of yore: baggy pants, oversized sweatshirts, ripped T’s, and, yes, flannel, as if emerging from some cryogenic grunge chamber — was almost as equally enthused about the rest of the set.

They resurrected Pod’s heavenly cover of “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” to uproarious excitement and a full-room sing-along (as is wont to happen whenever you bust out the Beatles live). They also tapped songs from the epic Last Splash and April’s already underrated Mountain Battles (4AD): we got idiosyncratic opener “Overglazed” (which they claimed had crashed and burned live many times yet nailed here), and the foreign musical fracas of “German Studies,” and the jaunty minimalism of “Bang On.” They even played an Amps number. I was a bit nervous about this show, what with the pressure of waiting one decade to hear one particular song, but all fears soon subsided. How could I ever think that Kim and Kelley would let me down?

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  Topics: Live Reviews , Paradise Rock Club, The Beatles, Kelley Deal,  More more >
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