Cat’s CradleArmed to the teeth with firecrackers and Troggs riffs, the young men of Black Lips are almost as notorious for their music as they are their misbehavior. Their psychedelic hooliganism has plagued this continent for the better part of a decade, and since signing to Atlantic imprint Vice Records in 2006, the Atlanta four-piece has surfed waves of major-label loot overseas, spreading their debauchery like fever blisters.
They’ve toured Israel and Estonia, been kicked out of India, and may or may not have recorded a live album in Tijuana. They even have plans to collaborate with Osama Bin Laden’s niece, Wafah Dufour. And still, among all this mischief for mischief’s sake, Black Lips has managed to release five full-lengths and some two-dozen singles, many of which are pretty stellar. This year’s 200 Million Thousand is better than the last and much-hyped Vice LP, Good Bad Not Evil, more experimental than the scorching self-titled debut, more relaxed than the amphetamine excellence of 2004’s We Did Not Know the Forest Spirit Made the Flowers Grow, and perhaps as well-executed as the hallucinogen-drenched brilliance of 2005’s Let It Bloom. “Flower punk,” the band once called it, obsessed with all things garage, country and early pop.
But the albums almost don’t matter when it comes to the live show. No matter what they’re playing, these boys one-up everyone else, whether that means swinging genitals or breaking stuff. They’re good at freaking out the norms, but they’re even better at converting them. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $10-$12. Gentlemen Jesse and The Moaners open this excellent triple-bill. Rich Ivey