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Noodles and demons 

The Budhahood's guitarist/singer, Tony Cavagnaro, is one laid-back cat. He oozes contentment, charm, and cool. Even when he leans into his guitar to summon noodles and demons while sporting a Viking helmet (like he did Friday at The German House --- a fantastic venue, I might add) he still manages to wax cucumber.

You see, I think hats, more than any other article of clothing, effect mood, behavior, and personal presentation. Cowboy hats urge a drawl and a wider gate. Pith helmets might have you saying things "eee-gads!" and "heavens!" while looking over your shoulder for mummies. White baseball caps help keep your hair outta your face while you deliver street pizza. Viking helmets? Now there's a commitment. Steeped in rape and pillage and conquest and bloody goings-on in general, a Viking helmet is not your casual cabeza attire. Unless you're, say, Keith Moon. Or Tony Cavagnaro.

Cavagnaro rocked his side of the stage beneath his horns as if he always had them on his head. The rest of the band was equally decked out and animated. Troll wigs, stockings with garters (personal fav), and smoking jackets ala Hef were all illuminated by a fantastic, liquid-trippy, psychedelic light show. The band's horn section was punchy and bright and more rhythmically cooperative than the rhythm section that seemed intent on creating new ways to groove and challenge the dancers. And man, that steel drum just always makes me feel all warm inside.

The Buddhahood has always been somewhat schizophrenic, what with its world beat-rock 'n' roll-jazz-funk-reggae-soul-Caribbean-klezmer-polyrhythmic boogie. But new highs were definitely attained when it broke out with a field holler version of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs." By banging on pots and assorted metal objects with multiple ominous harmonies and grunts, The Buddhahood actually returned some of the prophetic evil and power the song once had prior to Ozzy showing his ass --- back when he still had horns. Maybe Sharon will get him to don a Viking helmet.

--- Frank De Blase

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