Live Review: All-Girls Boys Choir/the Banana Convention, Choking Susan and the Questions. Friday, Apr. 15 at PJ's Lager House


For those who spurned the Detroit Music Awards last night (or those whose wallets couldn’t meet the price) the rest of the city offered, well, just what it offers every Friday night; rock n’ roll furor fermenting around every corner. At least, that’s how it was at PJ’s Lager House. Surprisingly packed considering the wealth of festivities elsewhere, filling Friday night’s bill were the Banana Convention, Choking Susan, the Questions and the All Girls-Boys Choir.

The curiously-named Banana Convention kicked off the night with an intense sugar-soaked blast of bouncy punk. The crew is one of the few bands around that can be accurately tagged as “pop punk” instead of just being a pop band with gelled up hair. Banana Convention’s tunes are vivacious numbers delivered with an almost sneering attitude. And their energy is infectious. They were having so much damned fun onstage you can’t help but be swept up into it. It seems they really can put the “FU in FUN.”

Choking Susan came next. Playing unapologetically three-chord punk, Choking Susan launched it set with an almost unbearable billow of sound. When the sound leveled out, you’re left with some straight, fist-pumping punk tunes that only could have been written after years of religiously studying the grooves of Ramones and New York Dolls records.

By the time the Questions queued up the Lager House was packed. The Questions are beginning to become known for their roots-y garage sets, which never fails to appease the tastes of Detroit music fans. Interspersed between sets singer/guitarist Drew Bardo sermonized on the corporate world with mantras like: “Fuck BP, fuck corporate, fuck all the shit!”

The All Girls Boys Choir headlined the show and delivered their brand of junkyard blues with the fervor we’ve come to except from the LA-by-Detroit female duo. Guitarists Alicia Warrington and Marlene Hammerle (both former members of the Gore Gore Girls) made a lovely racket complete with slide guitar flourishes, searing harmonica breakdowns and the occasional onerous blast of feedback.

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