Halloween brings out the Joey Ramone in Bradford Cox. In fall 2011, the Deerhunter frontman and Atlas Sound mastermind performed live dressed as the late Ramones singer with the Black Lips at a show in Conyers, Georgia. A couple of weeks later, he showed up on stage with MGMT on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon wearing what appeared to be the same punk-rock costume. Never mind that MGMT were there to cover Pink Floyd.
As Pitchfork points out, Cox was feeling the Ramone spirit again a couple of nights before Halloween this year. Divine Fits — the group formed by Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs’ Dan Boeckner, and New Bomb Turks’ Sam Brown — added Cox as their umpteenth guy from another band during an October 29 set at Atlanta’s Terminal West. After an inevitable joke about forming a new supergroup, Cox led them through what sounds from fan footage like a faithful rendition of “53rd & 3rd” from the Ramones’ 1976 self-titled debut album.
Around this time, Hurricane Sandy would’ve been wreaking its worst havoc in New York City, leading Cox to observe that “53rd and Third is probably under water right now” — a remark that might not have generated as many guffaws if the audience had yet known the extent of the storm’s horrible toll. Luckily, Cox was in familiar company with Divine Fits. In fact, Deerhunter had been opening for Spoon during the 2010 Radio City Music Hall show where Boeckner joined his future Divine Fits bandmate onstage. And Cox accompanied Spoon in a performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live that same year. That was in April, so of course he appeared only as himself.