Thursday, January 07, 2016

Franks & Deans Weenie Roast with Melanie and the Midnite Marauders at the Double Down Saloon, Wednesday Jan 6, 2016

Local Rat Pack punk rockers Franks & Deans, along with swingin' DJ Professor Rex Dart, host a monthly Weenie Roast at the Happiest Place on Earth, the Double Down Saloon, on the first Wednesday of each month. This rock'n'roll variety show can include any and everything and always has an opening band, and for the first show of 2016, Melanie and the Midnite Marauders got to warm up the crowd.

This was our fourth show so far, and we pulled out our regular high-energy honky-tonk versions of Loretta Lynn, Ernest Tubb, Merle Haggard, Dave Edmunds and more and had a great time playing for a damn near full house - which only got more crowded as the night went along.

(MMM photo by Nikki Ruffling)

Up next (after some hep tunes from DJ Dart) were the men of the hour, Franks & Deans, with their punk-pop takes on Rat Pack favorites and other oldies, along with their beauteous dancing vixen, Nickole Muse, adding visual charm. Their tuxedo t-shirts are a bit of a hoot and I noticed for the first time that their guitar straps read - from left to right - "Franks" (guitarist Hoss), "&" (bassist Rob), "Deans" (guitarist Sampson - while drummer Pip has their logo on his bass drum)! The gents all are hot-shot instrumentalists and have great voices, pulling off some superior harmonies while playing tight, raucous, punk rock interpretations of songs like "Dream Lover", "The Lady is a Tramp", "Summertime", "King of the Road" and much more. They'll steal from bands like the Ramones ("King of the Road" is based on "Blitzkrieg Bop") and the Specials (for "Luck Be a Lady", I believe), add in some ska and reggae rhythms, and rock the house all while Muse interacts with the band and the audience.

After their first set, the crowd was entertained by the fur-rocious burlesque of Ms. Kitchy Koo, a lovely young lady in a fur bikini, who gave a wild performance and pulled out a chair to give a lucky gentleman from the audience a growling "lap dance".

For their second set, Nickole reduced the number of clothing items that she wore while pulling out some props such as a hula-hoop, which she excelled at. The boys' set included numbers like "You Rascal You", the great "Hats off to Larry" (Del Shannon), "Bang Bang" (Sonny and Cher - with MMM's Denise Heximer pulling out her six shooters), "What a Wonderful World" (seemingly influenced by Joey Ramones' version), "Do the Mess Around" (with friend Haanson playing harp), among others.

Another short break and we got the Baron of the Universe with his S&M based act which included dangling weights from various, uncomfortable parts of his body, and straining on different piercings - difficult for the squeamish to watch.

By this time it was late enough on a work night that we ended up leaving, but F&D was getting ready for yet another set! These cats and kitten really know how to put on a show with an evening's worth of diverse entertainment, which brings out a big crowd, even on a rainy Wednesday night. Get there when you can - you never know what you're going to see - and yes, there are free hot dogs!