Certain professionals serve up pleasure instantly, on demand, but musicians can take a while to get into the proper mood and groove. So it was with the Pleasure Barons, whose stated purpose, according to the profanely zany Mojo Nixon, is to "skip work, sleep late and bring forth pleasure here on Earth."
The 11-piece band, which played Friday at the Rhythm Cafe, is a confederation of slumming Southern California roots-rockers who first went on a musical bender together four years ago. This second Pleasure cruise found Nixon, Country Dick Montana and Dave Alvin again on board, with John Doe and country-rockers Rosie Flores and Katy Moffatt augmenting the front line.
At the outset, the Barons seemed to be trying to be pleasurably dissolute--a goal that can't really be reached by design. But the spigot of pleasure started gushing, improbably enough, on a typically puerile piece of Nixonia whose title, "Poontango," is perhaps more than you might care to know about it. It found Flores and Moffatt singing lines such as "Move your buttocks to and fro" while exchanging "Did I really just sing that?" looks and trying not to crack up completely. Now this was pleasure.