The Jinx – Savannah, Georgia
March 13, 2010
Contributing Writer – Garret K. Woodward [TheRFW.com/blog/Garret]
Contributing Photographer – Mackenzie Simkins
Slight drizzle from above soaks already pickled bodies. The cobblestone streets are flooded with green vomit and vulnerable southern belles.
Georgia is an eerie and mysterious atmosphere once darkness, alcohol, and energies of the past arise from the depths, enveloping the masses. Savannah, the Southern Gem, now pawned off like a $2 whore to the highest male chauvinist bidder- covered in shades of emerald, a walking hard-on staring sexual harassment charges right in the face.
Escaping the St. Patrick’s Weekend/Spring Break hordes, I took refuge in The Jinx.
Providing raw, unseen, and absurd musical acts, the venue is a safe zone amid a society bingeing itself on proper etiquette, Garth Brooks, and the latest clothing line from Hollister.
Filled with vintage horror film memorabilia, cheap Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboys, dimly light corners, and bathrooms as dirty and vandalized as a western Arkansas truck stop on I-40, The Jinx played host to Dead Confederate- a band of psychedelic southern rock misfits obsessed with distortion, debauchery, and causing early hearing loss.
Passing around a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 between selections, Futurebirds kicked the audience right smack in the crotch. The Athens, Georgia sextet spews out a rare blend of bluegrass, folk, punk, alt-country, psychedelic rock, and seemingly the kitchen sink. Imagine if The Beach Boys wandered into Deliverance, or Hank Williams taking a hit of acid, or The Felice Brothers brewing moonshine in the Appalachian Mountains- it’s all there
The baby-faced rebel yells and honest lyrics burst from the murky rock-n-roll. The youthful exuberance showcased intrigues the mind. Only together less than two years, the ensemble literally leaves any competition in the dust (“Red Top Girl”).
An amplifiers worst enemy, Dead Confederate abuses their instruments to no end. Chaotic beauty rears its mutilated head throughout the menacing melodic offerings of hard-as-nails southern rock paired exquisitely with a sound straight out of an era in Seattle buried beneath the pages of history.
Skinny as a rail (with a look of starvation), Hardy Morris (lead guitar/vocals) embraces the listener in ways I have rarely, if ever, witnessed in any previous live music experience (“The Rat“). The innocence and vulnerability only emphasizes the intense emotion he screams, as if a cry for help, into the microphone (“All the Angels”). Hair hanging in front of his eyes, the shyness, modesty, and brute force of Morris (“Heavy Petting”) conjures recollections of a once promising hard rock vocalist from Spokane, Washington- taken from the world some 16 years ago.
Jason Scarboro (drums) mangles the kit, utterly assaulting each song in his own John Bonham fashion. Like a broken heart, his arms and legs never stop pounding. With Scarboro, Brantley Senn (bass), John Watkins (keyboards), and Walker Howle (rhythm guitar) act as constant pendulum of harmonious distortion. The foursome surrounds Morris with a presence akin to a pack of snarling pit bulls protecting what is theirs- barking at whomever has the guts to cross into their territory.
“We make a shit-ton of noise and see what happens,“ Senn said afterwards. “Part of making the noise is just letting it go, letting it take us to where it wants to go. I want people to be scared.
“If the music is happy, then we are happy. If the music is going down the drain, so are we.”