Weekend Concert Previews: Rock and Lobsters

Friday Oct. 22 & 23
Lobsterboy, Freaky Vaudeville and Burlesque for a Halloween Spooktacular
Chief Ike’s Mambo Room (21+)

One day Milwaukee native Lucas Zarwell discovered that he had a special calling in life, one that would bring forth great honor and pride to his family. That calling was dressing up in a giant lobster suit and performing unusual variety shows with a whole troupe of freaks with names ranging from Fullbladder to The Mystery Tramp. While the dictionary defines “burlesque” as “a variety show of a type that often includes striptease,” Lobsterboy describes his Vaudeville and Burlesque act as being “all about the innocent tease, audience participation and getting up close to theatrics and comedy [while] getting drunk and having a great time.” But that’s not all, by a long shot. There’s the musical genius of Fullbladder, who sings dirty songs about sex and swallowing kittens while playing the accordion. There’s also the homemade horror movies as well as Trixie Little and her tap-dancing “hate-monkey.”

“If you’ve never been to a Lobsterboy show,” says Zarwell, “you’re missing out on the swampiest, sexiest, dirtiest debacles that D.C. has ever seen. It’s the most punk-rock burlesque event on the east coast. A circus side-show for everyone to enjoy.” Lobsterboy, who stands a mighty 6’8″, will grace the stage at Chief Ike’s, most likely “holding a cigar in one claw and a bottle of bourbon in the other.” Wear your own costume to the event and get five bucks off at the door

While a lot of Lobsterboy’s audience is in their mid to late 20s, he hopes to see college students at his shows. “If they want to experience something they haven’t before, then they should come. Hopefully [it will] open up their bright minds and allow them to have some fun, maybe even take off their clothes. It’ll be fun.”

-Brendan Polmer

Saturday, Oct. 23
The Sound of not Settling – Death Cab for Cutie
9:30 Club

Last year guitarist/producer/keyboardist Chris Walla moved through the crowd at 9:30 Club unnoticed, after his band, Death Cab for Cutie, left the stage to overwhelming adulation. The members of Death Cab look more like rock critics than rock stars. But who cares, when they’re equipped with the arresting lyrics and stunning songs of their recent effort, Transatlanticism?

Lead singer Ben Gibbard sings of heartbreak, ecstasy and all things in between, while Jason McGerr (drums) and Nick Harmer (bass) provide an understated beat. The songs are beautiful accounts of the universal, channeled through bits of ephemera-like photographs and glove compartments – poetry written on Post-It notes.

Fresh off the “Vote to Change” tour, an effort to oust our current president, the Seattle quartet arrives for another show at the 9:30 Club. Live, Death Cab is startlingly vital, packing expected emotion, but also unexpected energy, into their delicate songs. Those lucky enough to have witnessed their magnificent set last spring will tell you this is an event not to be missed.

-Jeffrey Parker

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