Friday, October 06, 2006

Boom Boom Kid at The Black Box Cabaret

I hosted the Boom Boom Kid show Thursday night at CSU-Monterey Bay. It was a total last minute thing, for a show whose headliner was not supposed to even be there (bureaucratic red tape prevented the university from advertising that Boom Boom Kid, on tour in the U.S. on a non-work visa, was performing on campus).

So it's weird that I'm writing this entry for a number of reasons: I was an active event participant, an automatic conflict of interest from an objective journalistic standpoint; I didn't take any notes, which prevented me from taking down set lists or quoting lyrics; and then there's the whole publicity gag order, which I don't even want to get into.

But Thursday night's show was noteworthy for a number of reasons: Boom Boom Kid is an Argentinian punk rock madman who has forged a solid bond with local bands like Los Dryheavers and La Plebe, whose former guitarist now fronts BBK's U.S. touring band. He opened a 30-plus city U.S. tour in Salinas, at punk rock haven La Perla Restaurant and
Thursday's show was the second of a long-winding thrash through Norte America.

In person, he is a bit bewildering: 5-foot-2 inches in heals, with a bleached mop of hair that may or may not be dreadlocks. Either way, you get the sense that dude just doesn't wash his hair. Yet there's something graceful about his presence, due in part to the easy going nature he seems to possess.

At the Black Box show, BBK was a mix of punk rawness and elaborate showman. He squealed and pranced without any sense of irony, yet managed to avoid coming off like an ass. And his music was exciting: he could pull off straight forward Spanish punk and then ease back into a thrashing Ritchi Valens cover (or at least I think it was Valens, I didn't take a notebook so I'm going off of memory).

But it was the theatrics that really did it. At one point, he busted out a boogie board, threw it into the crowd, then jumped on top while the gaggle of fans held him high, triumphantly. He struck a pose and held his balance. You couldn't help but cheer.

BBK brought with him an old 45-player, one of those portable ones that look like it's about a million years old. I joked that it was an "Argentinian iPod." He played dance music and salsa and punk; one of the record sleeves was for New Kids on the Block. Somehow, it all made sense.

Opening act Los Dryheavers kicked off their usual mix of blue-collar punk. These guys are serious working class punkeros, performing each song with the diligence of a unionized construction team. I've mentioned them in past blogs, but I will have to do a complete review of their shows sometime in the future. In the meantime, check out their myspace page at

1 comment:

Don Juan de Bouchard said...

Being an old fan of Fun People back in Argentina, watching Fun People live in their Bay Area show a couple of weekes ago, still blew my mind. I also posted a story about him and his surf board on my blog, but in Spanish.