The Ghost Town split itself open for May's First Friday to expose 7 of the bands that call this gallery home. Like some visible man anatomy model of my youth, the mysterious innards were slowly revealed.

Brain: I arrived to find long time resident, recording guru and Gris Gris mastermind Greg Ashley playing where the beer machine used to be. Sadly I missed the first few songs, but the ones I did hear were the highlight of the night. His latest lineup included upright piano, upright bass, and sax plus Ashley on guitar. The music is all instrumental and a bit jazzy. He plans to release these new recordings in the coming weeks, and I look forward to a complete live show ASAP, possibly at Cafe du Nord. Don't get me wrong, I LUV the Ghost Town. There is a fantastic new wall of painted boxes behind the main stage that creates a skyscape of clouds with the occasional piano key. As expected the place was hella smoky and lacked adequate vocal amplification, but at the Ghost Town it's part of the charm.

Greg Ashley - Amnesia

The Gris Gris - Mary #38 (Live)

Liver: Next up Mad Rivers. I think the 2 person band thing is getting a bit out of hand. They have some well written tunes, and there are flashes of Nirvana for those that dig that kind of thing. The guitarist alternates between a rich 12-string acoustic and a smooth 12-string electric. Maybe the liver needs some onions (perhaps bass or keys)?

Spleen: 3rd up, The Wolf opened with a barely recognizable cover of the Talking Head's song "Heaven". An excellent song to cover. The Wolf fared better on Wolf material. There were enough keyboards and guitar pedals for a Japanese pop band, but the songs were more Joy Division/80's UK art school. There were some magic moments, but not enough to warrant the painfully long set up time.

Genitalia: 4th in line, a raunchy-good surprise. The Ghost Town bartender it seems, who had just served me a PBR, is Damon. His band, Damon and the Heathens, includes 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, sax and for the first time a violin that added a nice gypsy flare to a few tunes. Other songs had that funky New Orleans, Tom Waitsy, vaudeville vibe. Damon sang through a telephone much of the time (Japanther style), played organ, accordian and theremin during the raging set. He managed to suck down 1/2 a bottle of Barefoot Merlot simultaneously. The show was kicked up a notch when a lovely young lady climbed onto the trapeze hanging in front of the stage and twisted out some amazing moves.

Intestine: Numero Cinco, a sweet finish with Nectarine Pie. The only Ghost Town band with scheduled upcoming shows (July 9 at Amnesia and a very intriguing daytime BBQ show at El Rio July 31). They played a great song called "White Fuzz" that triggered flashbacks of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Nectarine Pie has a cheezy-delicious Farfisa organ and a dedicated chick on tambourine/maraca; every band should be so lucky. This crew seems to be re-living the 60s any way they can, somewhere deep in the bowels of the mysterious Gallery they call the Ghost Town.

Apologies to Architeuthis and Steel & Camoflauge, I had to hit the road at 2:30 a.m. . . .

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