If you've ever had fears of getting old–don't lie, we all have them– and wondered what you'd become after six or more decades on this earth, allow me to offer you some solace in the form of one of the coolest bands to ever grace a stage, fronted by two of the hardest-working people in the rock 'n' roll business. I'm talking about Portland band Pierced Arrows, the lovechild of Fred and Toody Cole and a favorite of a certain Eddie Vedder. They play a show at Thee Parkside this Saturday night that already stands out as an absolute must-see on a weekend crowded with Halloween house parties and dance floors crowded with costumes.
Fred and Toody, who've been married practically since the dawn of time and were both in the influential art punk outfit Dead Moon, aren't the usual kind you'd see in dive venues (they're both well into their 60s and look like aging hippie-punk wizards) but one glance at their onstage swagger puts them in a class by themselves. Their scrappy, hard-nosed brand of blown-out garage punk reflects a life spent constantly (and happily) on the road, on the fringes of society (they live in a house Fred built from the ground up in the forests of Clackamas, Oregon) and tells of an existence under the oppressively gray skies of the Pacific Northwest.
When you listen to their riffs and melodies–full of the kind of wizened nuances that come from 45 years in the game–mixed with Fred's passionate, ratty howls and growls, the songs are short and lean–but live, the band lets the tunes run free, ferociously strumming and banging the skins as they feed off the audiences energy. I saw them in Portland once and they played for over two hours without slowing down. There were people yelling every word along with the band, holding their drinks above their heads and sweating to the beat. It's catharsis for them, and for you too.
Saturday, October 29. Doors at 9 pm, $12. Thee Parkside, 1600 17th Street, 415-252-1330.