Oh how I heart New York City- especially when it delivers my favorite rock folkie’s brilliance and band to its stages.
Since I became a fan in 2005, I have seen Bitch and her band the Exciting Conclusion (also known as B-TEC) play every time they are in the NYC vicinity. After umpteen shows, Bitch and TEC have yet to disappoint. B-TEC never fails to amaze their fans and rock my (musical) world. Their show at the Mercury Lounge in NYC December 6th was no different.
Surrounded by an undeniably queer (and queer-friendly) crowd of family, friends, and fans, the Mercury Lounge Saturday night started up with an awesome act known as Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe and ended with B-TEC bringing their signature sass and soul to the stage. Together these two bands brought the funk, soul, and art-rock that had every queer in the house going crazy.
Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe opened the show with their funk punk soul folk sound. Queer and black and oh so proud, this band voiced their punk politics with such key anthems as “I am American” and “blaK girls”. Nicole’s voice and band are pure dynamite. If George Clinton, Beyonce, and Me’ shell Ndegeocello had a threesome and birthed a band Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe would be it. They definitely prepped the crowd for the humongous-ness that is Bitch & The Exciting Conclusion.
Dread-free and sporting a rockin’ new ‘do, Bitch and the band played old favorites, hits from their EP “B-TEC”, and debuted some new songs from their upcoming album. Bitch & TEC swayed the room with such heartbreaking ballads as “Lost You” and “Highway” and wowed the crowd with spirited songs like “1/2 Naked”, “Left Lane”, “Cat’s Kills” “Bullet”, and an awesome acoustic version of the Bee Gees’ classic “Staying Alive”. With an attitude that was part explosive, wildly witty, and a hint bittersweet, Bitch commanded the stage with her feral antics and no-holds-barred point-of-view on (unrequited) love, art, politics, and social revolution.
Whether with ukulele or violin, Bitch lets you know exactly what’s on her mind and ultimately in your heart. As Shelley Nicole said herself, “Bitch is a force to be reckoned with”. Gabe K. on bass and vocals is hearing Zen manifest itself, and Lee Free drums like her hands are on fire. Together, The Exciting Conclusion augments the grander and glory of Bitch’s lyrical poetry performance with minimalist riffs and fiery drumming.
If you have never seen Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe or Bitch & The Exciting Conclusion perform live, then you are truly missing out on two very magical, musical moments. A B-TEC show in particular is a tribal experience, a meeting of alternative, revolutionary minds, a moment in time when we turn together as queer counterparts in Bitch’s musical orbit.
Capital B (as Bitch’s friends/fans lovingly refer to her) is indeed, a force of nature, and she and TEC left the Mercury Lounge in a whirlwind of ecstasy, a tornado of catharsis, an eruption of movement, laughter, and light last Saturday night.
The band returns to NYC in January, playing Housing Works Café on 126 Crosby Street in good old NYC. Come experience B-TEC’s brilliance for yourself. See you there!