Music to Your Ears
The Gracchi Reunite at Garage & Wax
During their heyday, the Alibi couldn't really write about The Gracchi. Former Editor in Chief Laura Marrich manned guitar. She's been playing since age nine, when her father taught her folk songs and 12-bar blues. She's a naturally theatrical person and preternaturally confident onstage, which is often considered a masculine trait. Back in 2005, Captain America described Marrich as a cock-rocker: “like Lita Ford after a sex change then deciding better of it and reverting back to female.” She says people often say she “plays like a dude,” and she enjoys that gender-bending aspect of performance.
Marrich says The Gracchi was all about having fun and recreating a feeling: “In high school, I remember trading 7-inches and hanging out in the basement of Fred’s [Bread & Bagel] and feeling so taken with what was happening both onstage and off.” Scared of Chaka was her favorite band as a teen, so playing with Jeffrey Jones was a real rush.
Original Gracchi bassist Ashley Floyd proposed to Marrich onstage on Aug. 29, 2008. Having snuck friends and family into the crow's nest at the Launchpad, he dropped to his knees and asked for her hand. She said yes. The video of said proposal may give rise to misty eyes.
Floyd hasn't played with the band for three years. His main project these days is Riley Switch, which also features former Elephant and Starsky drummer Chris Partain, bassist Russell Pyle of Porter Draw and Las Cruces’ guitarist and vocalist Bill Bunting, previously of Ten Seconds to Liftoff.
Riley Switch, named after Clovis, N.M.’s original railroad designation, has been on hiatus but is revving up again, starting with this gig. Marrich mostly performs in Up the Holler and the 5 Star Motelles (which coincidentally includes Alibi Editor in Chief Marisa Demarco). Raven Chacon is mastering a Motelles album and will release it on his Sicksicksick label.
A while back, the Motelles attempted to start a rumor that one of them was pregnant. That reference was actually to another member, but it turns out Marrich and Floyd are also expecting a child.
The original Gracchi lineup rocks out at the fourth installment of Captain America's Garage & Wax night at Low Spirits (2823 Second Street NW). Jeffrey Jones, Alex Tappan, Floyd and Marrich reunite as The Gracchi to deliver their punk-driven sound. Marrich says her rapidly developing baby bump won’t affect the performance because she’s always played her axe low-slung.
Event organizer Captain America says that credit for the idea of Garage & Wax nights goes to Lucky Donohue and Rudi Thornburgh. America says he’s just a guy who likes to collect and play records. He would never call himself a DJ, because that would disrespect actual DJs. At this installment, the DJs are Rootzrocka (Ernesto Ybarra of Chinese Love Beads) and La Ruda (Erica Ortegon of 66 Guns), but America may also spin a record or two.
with Pan!c, Pumpin’ for Jill and Riley Switch
Saturday, Dec. 15, 8 p.m.
2823 Second Street NW
Tickets: $5, 21+