The New Bomb Turks became critics’ darlings and garage-punk heroes in a big hurry upon the 1993 release of their debut LP, !!Destroy-Oh-Boy!!–one of several Turks records that are still dear to my shriveled little heart.
They went on to release five more full-lengths, but the most recent was in 2002. They haven’t played Chicago in six and a half years, and at the time they considered that show part of their farewell tour. Since then they’ve reunited maybe twice a year, when the mood strikes or the money’s right–in 2007 they were flown to Tromso, Norway, about an hour from the Arctic Circle, for a festival that also included the Stooges and Turbonegro.
“The other lads have their hands in various music projects in Columbus,” says front man Eric Davidson, who now lives in Brooklyn. “We’ve all got jobs, some kids in there, good ol’ life stuff . . . I’m working on a book about 90s garage punk.”
The lineup this Saturday won’t quite be the original Turks, but it will include everyone from the final two LPs. The band has only had one personnel change in its history, when Sam Brown replaced founding drummer Bill Randt in 1999. “Oh, and I got breast implants,” says Davidson. “But then I had those removed. Man, I used to think those things were fun.”
Opening are Mannequin Men (who include the Reader‘s own Miles Raymer), the Distinguished Gentlemen of Leisure (about whom I have only been able to learn that Gaza Strippers drummer Cory Stateler is somehow involved), and the Teenage Tits (who are the reason Pabst pulled its sponsorship from the show, according to bassist Eric Block). Let it be known: Pabst only approves of punk bands named after the naughty parts of women who are of legal drinking age.
Block (the Magic), drummer Arman Mabry (the Camaro Rouge), and guitarist Chris Roo (Nervous Fingers) formed the Teenage Tits as a sort of birthday present for their friend, scene mainstay Stacey Egan–she gave them their name, titled their songs (“Cum On! Teenage Tits,” “Check Your Dick”), and came up with everyone’s rock aliases. Mabry has my favorite: “Uncle Knockers.”
Egan has threatened to buy Speedos for the band, but last time I checked she hadn’t bothered and they were planning on making do with Daisy Dukes. To quote Mabry’s e-mail: “We are duuuuuuuuumb.”
Since there’s no cover and no ticketing, this show can’t strictly speaking “sell out,” but given that I’m hardly alone in my opinion of the Turks, the Cobra Lounge is gonna fill up awful fast. I suggest you take the start time of 9 PM seriously if you care whether you actually get in.