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The Rock Show: Battle Of The Axes: Fixer vs. Hookers N' Blow in NYC
Posted on Sunday, September 26 @ 18:18:30 MDT by roadrash
 ShowsIn a frenzy of sex, sweat and volume knobs, New York City's Fixer blow the roof off of the Lion's Den in Manhattan. Not to be overshadowed by the headlining act, Dizzy Reed's Hookers N' Blow, Fixer brings their best to the stage in a classic, all-out screamfest!

Evan R. Saffer: Fixer
FIXER: Evan R. Saffer
�2004 Nelia Wolosky

Battle Of The Axes: Fixer vs. Hookers N' Blow in NYC
By Jill Mosebach
Photos by Nelia Wolosky

Hormones were on order Thursday, 09/16/04, at the Lion�s Den in New York City, as young guns Fixer and Dizzy Reed�s Hookers N� Blow pumped the Manhattan club with enough testosterone and estrogen to fuel a fleet of flying DeLoreans. The conjoined lineup thrust forward with the Manhattan-bred cock rock of Fixer and climaxed with the nostalgic, feminist-friendly renderings of Hookers N� Blow a.k.a. Dizzy Reed�s side project. For those Generation Y and Millennial readers, Dizzy Reed played keyboards in Guns N� Roses for more than 12 years.

Being young, hot and unsigned, Fixer quickly earned a spot on Garage Radio�s bands-to-cover list. After witnessing their live set, I quickly developed a soft spot for their galvanizing showmanship and stonewall work ethic. But the fact remains, these are four guys in their mid-20s wailing suggestive lyrics and churning out alpha-male guitar licks. Even Evan Saffer, the female-wooing lead singer, harbors no qualms about fulfilling the rock n� roll lifestyle, which does not exclude imposing his flirtations upon unimposing ladies. Even I was duped by his palpable libido. No, I did not compromise my integrity. However, for a nanosecond, buzzed by Saffer�s coy demeanor and inescapable hugs and love bites, the thought did not seem absurd.

Wilson Lihn: Fixer
FIXER: Wilson Lihn
�2004 Nelia Wolosky

Thus is the potency of Fixer, a power group reminiscent of 80s hair metal and the melodic brooding of 90s alternative glory. With heavy drilling songs like "Two Into One" and "Need It Now," it�s no wonder they�re popular among beer-swilling 20-something guys and miniskirt-hiking girls.

Onstage, Saffer swaggers and gyrates like Jagger, screeches like Axl and looks a little like the lead singer of Orgy, with his toothpick legs crammed in black leather pants like two worms sleeping in sausage casings. He�s disarmingly candid about everything, including the inherent perks of being young, handsome and the lead singer of a rock band.

"We�ve had some extraordinary sexual experiences in this band," Saffer admits in an interview before the show. "We are all junkies of the godfathers of rock and metal. I mean, we�ve had some shows that I can�t even talk about."

As the band sets the stage, a mix of Jane�s Addiction and Alice in Chains graces the house stereo. The drummer, Reverend Diamond Tim Newton, ambles onstage and assembles his drum kit, all the while holding a beer bottle and a half-full plastic cup in one hand.

J. Brown: Fixer
FIXER: J. Brown
�2004 Nelia Wolosky

Saffer stretches his vocals with a series of ascending notes. As his voice steadily rises to church-choir level, he raises one arm to follow the levity of his voice. Leg propped atop a monitor speaker and arms lifted toward the ceiling, he resembles a ship captain at the helm, or a preacher prepping the congregation for a heated sermon.

At 10 p.m., Fixer opens with "Roaches," a hard-hitting drum and metal track, complete with a white hot guitar solo and backup "Aaaaahhhh" vocals during the chorus. Throughout the set, Saffer jerks around like a chicken in true Jagger form, elbows pushed back, lips smooched in a kiss, hips cutting the air. He�s even compelled to feel himself up at times, running his hand along his thigh and over his waist. Guitarist Wilson Lihn, an otherwise modest, bookish type in everyday life, resembles a 21st-Century version of Jim Morrison, complete with shaggy walnut-brown hair, low-rise leather pants and a perpetually bare and bony � but more tanned � chest.

The predominantly young audience, comprised of late teenagers and early 20-somethings, form a scattered flock of head bobbers and Corona clutchers. Some hug the orange-hued walls. Others are planted around the hardwood floor in overlapping semi-circles, like a vegetable garden of club kids. Reluctant to drop cool demeanor, they remain relatively still. It is this type of hesitant audience that Fixer plans to convert.

"Let�s get a little blood flowin�!" Saffer screeches. Yes, sir. Praise the lawd.

Two women with bodies worthy of groupie status gawk at the Fixer men as they pound through "Junkie Whore," a new song sporting punchy guitar riffs like the flat, militant notes of a typewriter. Occasional screeches emerge from the floor, as the fledgling army of neck bobbers gathers more recruits.

One of the most stellar performances of Fixer�s set is realized in "For You," a melancholy number with melodic strings and high, breath-holding vocals. During the chorus, Saffer croons "Yooouuu" with the concentration and delicacy of a sparrow, all the while resting a cupped hand on his inner thigh. The mood continued with another somber yet catchy acoustic song. Unfortunately, several people mistake the slow flow as a cue to hit the bar or bathroom, even though it proves to be another traffic-stopping performance.

Fixer: J. Brown(Bass), Evan Saffer(Vocals), Rev. Diamond Tim(Drums), Wilson Lihn(Guitar)
FIXER: J. Brown(Bass), Evan Saffer(Vocals),
Rev. Diamond Tim Newton(Drums), Wilson Lihn(Guitar)
�2004 Nelia Wolosky

However, short attention spans are recaptured with more rocking stalwarts like "Bend Over Backwards" and "Home Again," during which the crowd draws closer to the stage with a sort of collective magnetism.

Aside from a few songs, Fixer�s set included mostly new, unreleased material. The same cannot be said for headliner Hookers N� Blow, who harnessed the crowd with time-tested covers of Beatles, Rolling Stones and David Bowie classics, to name a few. Dizzy Reed formed Hookers N' Blow mainly as an outlet to jam and get free drinks. Yet, despite this bohemian collective, their execution is impeccable. The sound was louder but cleaner than Fixer's, and the set was slightly more colorful, from the range of songs to the rainbow lighting.

Whereas Fixer are a force of testosterone, Hookers N� Blow wield an equally powerful wand of estrogen. Both the lead guitarist and bass player are young, hot Asian sisters, Mayuko and Tsuzumi Okai. Sharing the stage with Dizzy, guitarist Matt Starr and drummer Troy Patrick Farrell, these tawny-haired beauties in tight jeans and form-fitting tees cradle their electric axes with the comfort and competence of Kim Deal or, dare I say, Slash himself.

At first, my cynical brain thought, "Nice marketing. Get two hot Asian chicks, regardless of talent, to drive your string section, and start reeling in the horny fans." To this day, I bite my words. These girls absolutely shredded. The audience noticed it too, and within the first song, everyone was snapping photos of the Far Eastern Nelson twins, myself included.

HOOKERS N' BLOW: Matt Starr(Guitar), Tsuzumi Okai(Bass), Mayuko Okai(Guitar), Troy Patrick Farrell(Drums), Dizzy Reed(Keyboard)
HOOKERS N' BLOW: Matt Starr(Guitar), Tsuzumi Okai(Bass),
Mayuko Okai(Guitar), Troy Patrick Farrell(Drums), Dizzy Reed(Keyboard)
�2004 Nelia Wolosky

All in all, it was a night of balance. Equal parts testosterone and estrogen. A forward-thinking start with a retrospective finish. The Manhattan-bred boys of Fixer are leather-clad talismans for hair metal and the 90s alternative rock of Alice in Chains and their ilk, a testosterone-charged bubble of cock rock with a dollop of forlorn sensitivity. Despite the heavy guitar and drums, Saffer�s vocals are astoundingly melodic. His octave range rivals that of Justin Hawkins and Axl Rose, hitting notes that make you question the existence of his testicles.

Hookers N' Blow draws such an engaged response for two reasons: sexuality and nostalgia. Everyone loves to see rockin' hot chicks. Everyone loves to hear familiar classics. You hear the first notes of "Ziggy Stardust," and you raise your beer in exaltation. Then, you sit back and blissfully watch two doll-faced women execute those nostalgic notes with such precision, that you wonder why they're in a cover band in the first place.


Lion�s Den � New York, NY � 09/16/04


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