Thursday, August 31, 2017

recommended gigs

Friday Sept 1 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Golden Tiki
Friday Sept 1 - Double Down Radio 9 year anniversary with the Bitters, Goldtop Bob, Mizz Absurd and William Neal at the Double Down

Saturday Sept 2 - the All Togethers at the Grand Opening of the Tap in Boulder City

Sunday Sept 3 - the Mapes, Gentlemen Prefer Blood, Odd Robot, Sheiks of Neptune at the Dive Bar
Sunday Sept 3 - Howlin' King Crawdad at Saddle'n'Spurs

Wednesday Sept 6 - Franks'n'Deans Weenie Roast with the Sheiks of Neptune
Wednesday Sept 6 - X at the Brooklyn Bowl

Thursday Sept 7 - Sept 10 - Big Blues Bender at the Plaza

Friday Sept 8 - Mitch Ryder at the Golden Nugget
Friday Sept 8 - the Bitters at the Dive Bar
Friday Sept 8 - the Tiki Bandits at the Golden Tiki

Sunday Sept 10 - the debut of the Gentlemen of Four Outs Sunday Matinee show at the Golden Tiki - starts at 1:00 PM!

Thursday Sept 14 - Mugen Hoso, Illicitor, Time Crashers at the Beauty Bar
Thursday Sept 14 - the Yawpers, the All Togethers at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Friday Sept 15 - the Psyatics, the All Togethers, the Quitters, the Wolfhounds, the Negative Nancys, the Swank Bastards and Gold Top Bob at the Double Down

Saturday Sept 23 - Danzig at the Brooklyn Bowl
Saturday Sept 23 - the Bitters at Evel Pie
Saturday Sept 23 - the All Togethers and El Maldonado at Golden Tiki

Wednesday Sept 27 - Giuda at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Thursday Sept 28 - Thee Fourgiven reunion show with the Darts, the Jackets (from Switzerland) and the Laissez Fairs at the Bunkhouse

Friday Sept 29 - Shanda and the Howlers at Evel Pie

Fri Oct 6 - Monk and the Po Boys host the Blues Society Jam at the BUnkhouse

Saturday Oct 7 - Melanie and the Midnite Marauders, the Psyatics, The Legendary Boilermakers, Water Landing at the Double Down for Nikki's birthday

Saturday Oct 14 - Bob Dylan at the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan

Wednesday Oct 18 - the Bronx at the Bunkhouse

Tues Oct 24 - Genitorturers at the Dive Bar

Saturday Oct 28 - Agent Orange, the Heroine, Sheiks of Neptune, the Psyatics at the Beauty Bar

Tues Oct 31 - Bob Log III at the Dive Bar

Friday Nov 3 - Shanda and the Howlers host the Blues Society Jam Night at the Sand Dollar

Friday Nov 10 - The Delta Bombers, Shanda and the Howlers and the Inside Outlaws at the Bunkhouse

Saturday Nov 11 - the return of the Swamp Gospel with Water Landing and more at the Double Down

Thursday Nov 16 - Boris with Torche at the Bunkhouse

Saturday Nov 18 - Gwar at Fremont Country Club

Wednesday Nov 22 - Barb Wire Dolls, Svetlanas, '57 at the Beauty Bar

What have I forgotten? Lemme know

Dust (CD comp)

Thanks to Kenne Highland of the Gizmos, I've owned the debut Dust album since the 70's, although I don't believe that I was aware that there was a second album until I read Punk Rock Blitzkrieg. Dust is now best known for being the breeding ground for Marky Ramone (then Marc Bell, who went on to Wayne County's Back Street Boys and then the Voidoids before the Ramones) as well as Kenny Aaronson, who then joined the Stories for the massive hit "Brother Louie" and went on to a successful career as a session/touring bassist. Guitarist/vocalist Richie Wise became a well known record producer with bands like Kiss in his repertoire.

As an early American power trio, the band gained some popularity for their bombastic performances - especially Marc - but failed to hit big, despite touring with some major bands. After their second album failed to sell, the band split.

Oddly, the CD comp of the two albums starts with the sophomore effort, Hard Attack, and so opens with "Full Away/So Many Times", an energetic rocker, with an acoustic middle break that Marc blasts his way back in from and then ends with a major rave-up from everyone. "Walk in the Soft Rain" is a mid-tempo riff-pounder that again has a softer bridge, followed by a string'n'keyboard-laden ballad "Thusly Spoken" that doesn't really work for me, but they burst back in with a frantic riffer, "Learning to Die" which is a raver, despite an overly dramatic, almost Spinal Tap-ian, doomy passage. Another speed-driven number in "All in All", with multiple changes propelled by Marc's drums and cool vocal harmonies, then a country-ish ballad, complete with pedal steel on "I Been Thinkin'" and back to the rockin' licks for the instrumental "Ivory", where Bell really shows off. In fact, the drums are mixed pretty high throughout this whole album - he is truly the showboat here! "How Many Horses" is more medium paced and vocal-driven and less riff-oriented, but with a cool slide guitar solo, back to the bombast in "Suicide", with a fierce, Lemmy-esque bass solo by Kenny, and then some Spanish-guitar for the short record-closer, peculiarly named "Entrance".

The self-titled debut album comes next (who thought that order was a good idea?), opening with the rockin' slide tune, "Stone Woman", followed by the drivin' "Chasin' Ladies", with its nice vocal melodies'n'harmonies, cool lead guitar and varied tempos'n'progressions. Starting as an acoustic slide ballad, "Goin' Easy" builds into a slow, groovin' blues rock tune which moves into the frantic "Love Me Hard", with Bell's drums just about taking front'n'center again with his frenzied rolls, dynamics and bashin'n'crashin'. Their 10 minute opus, "From a Dry Camel" (with some of their more bizarre lyrics), is a multi-sectioned piece that incorporates tempo changes, wah-wah guitar, riffs, instrumental portions, wild bass runs and, of course, Marc's intense drumming. From there we get another slow tune, the slide dominated "Often Shadows Felt" that starts with just guitar, but builds with the addition of Bell and Aaronson and goes through several ebbs'n'flows throughout. For the final instrumental "Loose Goose" they get deliriously hectic with a simple, 50's-inspired riff that lets everyone cut loose with some wild solos.

Super enjoyable rock'n'roll/proto-metal stuff here, although there is something that just misses slightly with the songwriting that makes it understandable why they didn't hit big. They were certainly talented, but didn't have that elusive factor to push them over the edge. Still, I dig this stuff and am happy to see it being reissued.

Monday, August 28, 2017

St Paul and the Broken Bones with Trombone Shorty at the Chelsea at the Cosmo, Saturday August 26, 2017

This was an event that my lovely wife, Melanie, discovered as I had not heard of either artist before. But, seeing as we have been enjoying a number of the new bands doing classic soul music, we decided to check this out. The Chelsea is a medium sized hall in the Cosmopolitan Casino on the Strip that has good sound, good sight lines and, for this show, the floor was general admission, so you could watch from anywhere that you could find a place to stand. The show was reasonably full, but not packed, so it was pretty comfortable overall.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones is, as I said, a modern soul outfit led by an unlikely lead singer, Paul Janeway, a pudgy, fairly dorky, Drew Carey look-alike who has an incredible voice with an amazing range and power. The band consists of guitar, bass, drums, sax, trumpet, trombone and a fantastic Hammond organ player. The songs have a big Al Green/Oris Redding influence, with bits of funk and rock thrown in, as well. Paul is a bit of a goof (he crawled under the drum riser for no apparent reason at one point and threw off his shoes at another), but when he has a chance to show off his pipes, he doesn't fail to astonish the crowd! The tempos varied from ballads to stompin' soul groovers to funky bits (they have a song called "I've Been Workin'" that sounds quite like the Van Morrison number of the same name, although I believe it's more than a variation of that). The horns were terrific, giving the proper Stax-like sound and with special treats like a guitar/trombone trade-off and a trombone/baritone sax dual. It was somewhat slicker than I normally prefer, but truly solid, fun and entertaining. Definitely a soul-licious band to see!

Trombone Shorty headlined and took an extraordinarily long time to come on (although that was probably the club wanted the sets to start at a certain time), and when he did, the bass was about 1000 times louder than it should be and combined with two drummers' bass drums being just as loud, the overall sound was fairly torturous. With 2 guitars, 2 drummers, bass, congas player and 2 other horn players besides Shorty (all wireless), they main quite a commotion with their mix of hip-hop and rock. It really wasn't our cup of tea, though, and with the bass volume reverberating in our chests, we took our leave. St. Paul was certainly worth the price of the tickets, though!

I dug the Chelsea overall as a venue (drink prices are normal Strip-expensive, though) and am looking forward to seeing Bob Dylan there in a month or two.

(Sorry for the crappy pictures - just had my phone as I wasn't sure about their camera policy.)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

RIP Tobe Hooper

Tobe Hooper, ‘Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ and ‘Poltergeist’ Director, Dies at 74 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Les Grys Geys, the Van der Rohe and the Nite Times at the Griffin, Wednesday, August 23, 2017

France's Les Grys Grys were apparently the hit of this year's Tiki Oasis (which we weren't able to make it to) so Las Vegas's own garage combo, the Van der Rohe, set up a show for them in town as they trample through the west coast on their first trip to the States. The Griffin specializes in Wednesday night shows, so this was a perfect spot for this 60's takeover.

Friends of the VdR from Covina, California, the Nite Times, opened the show with their own brand of high energy garage/surf/frat rock with great songs, surfy, staccato guitar lines and fuzzy wildness. Their odd line up of guitar, bass drums and percussionist/backing vocalist (the bassist took the lead vocals) was full and frantic, filled with fine musicianship and they even threw in a cover of "Gloria"! (The 2nd garage band [the Sloths being the other] that I've seen do that this month!) Unfortunately, the PA was not up to snuff at this point in the night (obviously, no fault of the band), so the vocals were buried, but I certainly dug what they were doing and hope to see them again soon!

Vegas' post-teen garage rockers, the Van der Rohe, took the stage next and delivered a unrestrained set of ravin' riff-rockers, chord-stompers, and garage shouters. They pulled out tunes from their smokin' EP, along with newer originals, 60's covers (doing one of the same songs the Nite Times did!) and other reckless abandonment! There were tempo changes, rips from other songs (I detected hints of "What a Way to Die"), a lead vocal from guitarist Cromm and their "Black to Comm" styled raver, "Shake", that closes their set. Drummer Omar and relatively new bassist Alethia keep the backbeat groovin' while singer Will takes over the stage, swingin' his mic stand, sweatin'n'shoutin'! Always a fuzz-drenched good time!

Travelin' to the States for the first time, Les Grys Grys were the talk to Tiki O, due to their Pretty Things-like R'n'B/garage mania. With two guitars, bass, drums and harmonica, their 60's sound is definitely driven by the likes of the Pretties, the Stones, the Yardbirds, Q65 and the (Dutch) Outsiders, with covers from these groups and more with steamy stamina to spare! Very much like the Tell Tale Hearts in the 80's, they even covered some of the same numbers the Hearts used to do ("Bad Thing", "Cry in the Night", "I Got Nightmares") though, of course, with their own brand stamped onto everything. They had the packed crowd dancin'n'flailin' about for their whole set!

Thanks to the Griffin for hosting the night, the Van der Rohe for setting everything up, and the Nite Times and Grys Grys for some amazing garage rock'n'roll!