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Ghosts with Boners mosh out at the Bishop



Published Feb 24, 2014 2:12 pm

Five minutes before Nashville punks Diarrhea Planet were set to play, I talked a little with guitarist Emmett Miller- one of four - about the band's influences.

Among them are Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Satan, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Beyonce, Big Boi, and Formula 1 racers.

Ten minutes later at soundcheck, the band was noodling through the Super Mario Bros. theme, "Smells Like Teen Spirit", "Party in the U.S.A.," and Lit's "My Own Worst Enemy." De facto frontman Hodan Dickie's hair hung over his face and guitar, and he cut an onstage figure that fell somewhere between Kurt Cobain and Andrew W.K. if either of them played a lefty guitar right handed.

The set itself was a maelstrom of finger-tapped solos, waves of feedback, wind milled power chords, and hilarious stage banter.

In the world of Diarrhea Planet, anyone can be a punk, so long as you're willing to get up on stage and shout for 45 seconds about why crappy music is crappy, as was one audience member, over a mess of four dueling guitars.

I never thought I'd see a mosh pit at The Bishop, but lo and behold, skinny white kids with horn-rimmed glasses and flannel were bouncing off each other like it was the second coming of the 2003 Vans Warped Tour.

Fellow Nashville rockers Those Darlins had a lot to live up to, and though they didn't quite reach the heights of the opening act, I don't think anyone reasonably expected them to. Their sound, an indie-garage rock hybrid, isn't made for mosh pits or drunken crowd surfing - its material better suited to toe-tapping and polite head-bopping.

In this regard they succeeded. The audience, albeit about half the size now that it was nearly 2:00 pm, was swaying and dancing a little. From The Bishop's more-indie-than-thou crowd, it was an impressive response.

The juxtaposition of the two bands was a little odd. When Dickie was hollering during Diarrhea Planet's encore about a "ghost with a boner," I didn't care if his lyrics were an allegory for intimacy in the post-modern world or just about a randy poltergeist. What mattered were the guitars, and the drums, the bass - the visceral music that only six sweaty "bros" (their words, not mine) can make. Those Darlins went the more reserved route, their set composed heavily of cuts off their 2013 release, Blur the Line, whose songs suggest a desire to move past their raucous, cowpoke-punk roots.

At the end of the night I bought a record from the merch table - I won't say from which band - and the next morning I listened to the MP3 download it came with. It was decent, but it didn't capture half of what made the show such an experience. Listening through headphones and an iPod, as we so often do, its easy to forget that music is more than a string of 0s and 1s on a hard drive. I had. It took a band named Diarrhea Planet and a song called "Ghost With a Boner" to show me otherwise.

Post by Bryan Brussee


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