TX:Promoted inhouse. Bands (Soul Coughing): M. Doughty, Mark De Gli Antoni, Sebastian Steinberg, Yuval Gabay; (Geggy Tah): Tommy Kurstein, Tommy Jordan, Daren Hahn. Reviewed Aug. 6, 1996. They just left the road as the best-known “alternative” act on a Lollapalooza bill headlined by Metallica and Soundgarden, and are about to open an arena tour for the Dave Matthews Band. But Tuesday night, New York-based Soul Coughing found themselves headlining the Troubadour. Aah, the life of a musician. Tied in with NYC’s “loft” scene, Soul Coughing (whose second album, “Irresistible Bliss,” has just been released by Warner Bros./Slash) consists of vocalist and rhythm guitarist M. Doughty fronting a trio of keyboards (Mark De Gli Antoni), bass (Sebastian Steinberg) and drums (Yuval Gabay).
Doughty isn’t a singer in the traditional sense: He reads or rants his lyrics in a style reminiscent of predecessors ranging from Jim Morrison to the Last Poets. The band’s influences are clearly jazz, but not enough to confuse radio programmers or rock fans, and the rhythm section is phenomenal — Steinberg playing his standup bass with ferocity.
Opening with “Lazybones” from their new album, Soul Coughing performed a nearly 90-minute set (including two lengthy encores) to a house jampacked with fans savvy enough to sing along on numbers including the very effective “Casiotone Nation” from their debut (including a snatch of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me,” one of several songs quoted in throwaways throughout the set).
Preceding Soul Coughing was Geggy Tah, a band from Southern California’s Inland Empire whose second album has been released on Warner Bros./Luaka Bop. At times reminiscent of Devo and Frank Zappa with their often-mechanical and self-conscious wackiness, the group was most impressive in their more melodic pieces, like “Sacred Cow,” the new CD’s title number.
The group’s instrumental battery includes trumpet, recorder and steel drum in addition to the traditional guitars, bass and drums, and the set’s climax had all three members whacking at various percussion instruments and marching off into the audience. Probably new to most Soul Coughing fans, they were very well-received.