Photos By: Angela Ratzlaff
With stage antics including a baby mask, non-stop drooling, gagging gestures and multiple mentions of candy and procreating, it’s safe to say that expecting a typical Ty Segall performance at a Ty Segall and The Muggers show would be a huge mistake.
The band performed with openers Vial and CFM Friday night at the Teragram Ballroom. After debuting the live set at various secret shows in LA, this was the band’s first official, scheduled gig. The group consists of Kyle Thomas, aka King Tuff, on guitar; Mikal Cronin on bass and saxophone; Emmett Kelly of The Cairo Gang on guitar; and Wand members Corey Hanson on synth and Evan Burrows on drums. Segall performed vocals only, having free range to become animated and interact with the crowd.
With his new project, it seems like Segall is trying to tell us something through mysterious symbols, lyrics and even the record label’s marketing tactics. One particularly creepy hint comes from a hotline, 1-800-281-2968, where Segall leaves a baby talk-laced message about emotional mugging, in the end telling listeners to get their Mastercards ready to purchase a cure.
Even Segall’s on-stage outfit, which consisted of blue jeans lined with with square silver studs up the seams, a buttoned up blue vest – also with studded seams – a torn up blue dress shirt and a bolo tie, seemed like a nod to car salesman Cal Worthington. And kind of like a car salesman, inspirational speaker or someone trying to rip off or sell something to someone, Segall commanded the stage ready to manipulate the minds of his listeners. At multiple points of the show, he would tower over fans, bend his head down and let a stream of spit string from his mouth into someone’s hand or hair. He would also stare down the crowd with a concrete glare, creating a character to tell a story.
Like on his last record “Manipulator” and in his other band Fuzz, this is Ty Segall turning familiar heavy classic rock sounds into something new and fresh. But The Muggers is something completely different. With a sinister sound focused on robotic rhythms highlighted with shrill exclamations from a vintage moog synth, Ty Segall and The Muggers venture into worlds of fucked up darkness and sexuality.
Throughout the performance, Segall instilled fear in how he approached the crowd, and the band drove sexuality into each heavy riff and mechanical drum beat. Sex and fear, two main components of rock n’ roll. Also two tactics used to trick consumers’ minds, sell product and make money. Hmm.
Segall ended the show with a treat, a few performances of some oldies including “Feel,” “Finger,” “Thank God for the Sinners” and “You’re the Doctor.”