Hot Picks: That’s MISTER Bates to you

Today on THE BRANCHES OF PUNK we explore “punkabilly,” which may also be called “psychobilly” or “what the fleckabilly,” and all it really means is a fusion of rockabilly and punk rock – plus something else, we don’t know what.

Ahh, the aroma of “je ne sais quoi” can be detected in the music of Big John Bates, bringing his “Grindshow” to the New City Legion (8130 Gateway Blvd) tonight – with bull fiddle thumping, growly ruffians leaping about, perhaps even cowboy hats being worn ironically. Imagine the mayhem! The extra twist to this rustic post-punk-freakabilly Canadian West Coast sort of sound is the carnival sideshow atmosphere Mr. Bates has created. Do they ever call him Master Bates? Just wondering.

He probably wouldn’t mind. The guy sings and looks like a young Tom Waits suffering from strep throat, and writes songs that are fast and fun and full of bawdy notions. There’s a new seven-inch – it’s a record, people, so get your mind out of the gutter – for a Bates song called “Bad Pussy.” Never mind. Put your mind back in the gutter. And here’s a sample lyric from a little number entitled Big Boom Bop: “You’re the bomb in that bikini, looking better than a mile of sin, oh, are you ready for the big boom bop
let’s get to the bop, bop, bop – giddy-up!”

Whatever could he be talking about?

Perhaps all will become clear at the show, which features the presumably like-minded opening bands Rev. Deadeye and Grave Mistakes. Tickets are $15.