We got to Knitting Factory on Friday night for Kanine Records’ showcase, but a damning few minutes too late, asked to join the badge cut off line, the side-of-the-rope coral for those waiting until another badge-carrying Northsider left. Instead of being patient, we opted to have a drink at the bar and say hi to Lio Kanine, Sune Rose Wagner and friends. And then, since we’d missed Xray Eyeballs at Knitting, we decided to catch them along with the gloriously evil Thee Oh Sees at their “secret” Death By Audio gig just a few blocks, and a fiver for entry, away.

It was like Florida in August (damp! hot! drink lines long!), causing hair to curl inside DBA, but there was a happy, golden vibe in the air, maybe since all who made it in before the place was at capacity felt as if they were getting away with something, yes, a fierce and amazing gig in an intimate space where almost anything goes. O.J. San Felipe, the eyeball-legging-wearing frontman/catalyst of Xray Eyeballs, made their second show of the night more than memorable, playing guitar with his feet and hanging from the ceiling after a final round of stage dives. O.J. kicked skywards and the panels above our heads fell to bits before he jumped into the crowd, who couldn’t get enough of the sweaty, moshed up set. One of us had to join the throbbing fray, so film duty was handed over to Lady Bree, who caught the last vestiges of an X-Ray song before the ceilings came down. Hotty bassist Carly Rabalais, guitarist Jay High, keyboardist Rop Vasquez and drummer Allison Press held down the fort on stage. It’s not for nothing that Xray Eyeballs’ debut album, out on Kanine, is called Not Nothing. The band knows how to strike while the iron’s hot.

With Thee Oh Sees on stage, the room became a heaving cave of madness. Singer/guitarist John Dwyer and band powered through like a flaming locomotive, slaying us into a dripping, throbbing mess. Their generous, psychotic set, mixing the catchiest songs from their new album, Castlemania, and the most menacing surf garage-fueled hits from their other hundred-something releases to date, (they are prolific!), completed the cathartic night.

Videos by Zabatay and Lady Bree