ELECTRIC OWL SOCIAL CLUB, NOVEMBER 19, 2013
“PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY AND DANCE!” was the warning scrawled across a huge banner behind the drum kit of our main event. On a chilly Tuesday night, we took full heed as nary a device was thrust skyward and it was clear that a certain somebunny was appreciative of the gesture wholeheartedly — figuratively, literally and coincidentally by answering the nagging question BeatRoute staffer Glenn Alderson posed to me about was tattooed under the gnarled chest hair of the wascally wabbit himself. From the opening chords of “Bye Bye Roxie” (off his just unleashed Secret Songs album) all the way through “Nobunny Loves You” (his punk parody of the Isley Brothers hit tune), it was apparent that both band and audience were there to shake our tails and then some.
With the comedic mind of Jerry Lewis trapped inside the lascivious body of Lux Interior, you couldn’t help fall prey to Nobunny’s animal magnetism and music that blends ’60s bubblegum, ’50s sock-hop rock’n’roll and ’70s gutter-punk into a sonic cocktail from which we drank every last drop. Clad in ripped fishnets, a leather jacket better fitted for a five-year-old, and his trademark mask — which I’m sure will be preserved one day in a museum as a “historical” artifact — Nobunny had us in stitches while trying to ward off the advances of a gaggle of girls during “I Am a Girlfriend” and the laughs continued when he carried on seemingly unfazed during the self-described self-hate poem “I’m Pathetic.” As our floppy-eared friend sang “I know you’ve heard it all before…” from “It’s True”, our intrepid gal gang decided to press on unfettered by using that innocent-enough innuendo to incite an impromptu stage-dance party and from that point on, the hits just kept coming for the rest of the enraptured crowd.
Even with a new album to share, the man-hare with the hooks to spare regaled us with a hearty batch of tunes from 2009’s Love Visions, taking us on a “Chuck Berry Holiday,” stopping to visit the “Boneyard,” then realizing it was “Not That Good.” Nevertheless when Nobunny was threatening to leave all too soon, the boisterous bop of his band did delve into a couple choice cuts from 2010’s First Blood by making us do the dance that would make Lemmy proud in “Motorhead With Me” before being “Gone for Good”. We watched as post-show pics of our pointy-toothed protagonist were being snapped only to be photobombed by a B-Line with an impeccable sense of timing. We left satisfied and spent, and Nobunny left with our smiling faces engrained in his brain and a pair of Ghostbusters boxers thrown to him earlier in the set by an adoring fan. A fair trade, I’d have to say.
By Bryce Dunn
Photo by Sarah Whitlam