World/Inferno Friendship Society at Paradise Rock Club, April 11, 2009
A substantial portion of the Paradise's clientele Friday evening wouldn't have looked out of place at a fancy dinner party. Thanks to the World/Inferno Friendship Society, punk rock and snazzy fashion sense are no longer mutually exclusive. Except in the case of guitarist Lucky Strano, who's too bad-ass to wear a tie.
According to a source who may or may not have known what he was talking about, the kooky riot-klezmer-circus-punk Brooklyn collective spent the night at a five-star hotel. If that rumor is true, the lodgings were likely paid for with raw charisma. More reliable information, and a valid analogy, came from a gentleman I'm pretty certain was rolling on ecstasy. He wanted to make sure I noted that "Brian Viglione drives them." Viglione — the ex-Bostonian, maybe-still-Dresden-Doll, and World/Inferno drummer of record — supplied madcap beats for frontman Jack Terricloth's renowned between-song anecdotes as well as for the songs. I ceased to mourn the pack of cigarettes that had danced out of my pocket sometime between "Tattoos Fade" and "Me V. the Angry Mob" when Terricloth recounted a miraculous saga from World/Inferno's previous visit to the Paradise. It seems he was caught doing drugs in the bathroom by a fellow who turned out to be a member of Blue Man Group.
This time around, World/Inferno manifested as an octet. Their roster may fluctuate, but not their knack for eliciting language-defying quantities of jubilation. They've never wanted to be called a "band," and "collective" doesn't do them justice either. They're more like a mobile alternate dimension where sweaty punk kids can waltz without irony. There are, however, limits to appropriate levels of weirdness. A random woman who was not affiliated with the entertainment interrupted the festivities briefly to announce something that might've been about protesting K-Mart.
Local openers MEandJOANCOLLINS were saddled with an unenviable task: winning over a room full of cultish World/Inferno fans who were not there to hear glam-rock. The band met this challenge with laid-back, too-cool-for-school charm and some truly excellent tuneskis. As if they were going to suck at this, their CD-release show.
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