Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Peculiar Pretzelmen, the Implosions, the Swamp Gospel at the Huntridge Tavern, Saturday Oct 21

Due to a last minute cancelation by the New Waves (which was disappointing as I have yet to have a chance to see them), the Swamp Gospel filled in after a 6 month hiatus. A little rusty and the sermons were maybe not quite so slick, but we had a great time converting the Huntridge congregation. We will be back here with the Psyatics on Dec 2!

The evening was also the debut of the newest Las Vegas super group, The Implosions! Featuring 2 couples - Clay and Denise Heximer (Mapes, Gentlemen of Four Outs, Melanie and the Midnite Marauders, Thee Swank Bastards) and Dave and Adrienne Post (the Mapes, Alan Six) - this combo features Vegas themes tunes in a variety of styles - some Cramps-ian, some garage-y, some punk-y and all cool! I actually preferred the tremelo'd Crampsy/garagey stuff as there are already an abundance of punky bands in town, but it was all good fun and I will look forward to watching this band's evolution!

The Peculiar Pretzelmen are always highly entertaining, in an energetic, Tom Waits-ian way, with drummer/percussionist Deacon playing a kit made up of a skillet, pin ties, car parts and now also pieces from a bicycle (where does he find all of these bits'n'pieces, I wonder) and singer Kevin strumming a mandocello, banjo, mutated guitar and a mandolin-like creation and banjo-ish instrument, both made from film canisters! They are amazing to watch and I love the songs - there were plenty of new ones this night as they are working on a new record, but there were some familiar tunes, as well. For the finale Kevin shouted/sang/scatted through a megaphone while manipulating effects pedals and Deacon causing a commotion behind him. See them any time you have a chance - you won't be sorry!

Thank you to Kate and the Huntridge for another fun night of music!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

RIP Click Mort

R.I.P., Click Mort
Saddened to hear of the passing of Click Mort - a talented artist (we own a couple of his pieces) and former guitarist for the Cramps, the Loafin' Hyenas and more. Of course, I saw him with the Cramps and my bands played with the Hyenas in Hollywood in the 80's. Another one gone much too young.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Bronx, Plague Vendor, '68 at the Bunkhouse, Wednesday Oct 18, 2017

We've known Kenny, one of the guitarists in the Bronx, for decades due to his time in San Diego's amazing punk'n'roll band, the Dragons, but kept missing the Bronx whenever they would come to town for whatever reason. We were finally able to rectify that with this cool week day bill.

The Atlanta, GA duo (guitar/drums) simply named '68 (not to be confused with other bands using these numbers as part of their name) opened the night to a damn full crowd - certainly one of the best nights I've seen at the Bunkhouse, especially on a week night! I was completely unfamiliar with them, but they won me over quick with these frenetic show - completely crazed guitarist/vocalist with tons of properly used effects on both instrument and voice and monstrous drummer who was also quite the showman as well as an incredible musician. The songs were somewhat metal-ish, reminding us a bit of another fave, Nina Coyote and Chica Tornado, but with lots of uniqueness - atonal and a-rhythmic riffs here'n'there, bits of Jack White-isms, and damn cool tunes. Super full sound - a splitter /octave pedal used on the guitar tone to emulate a bass, and speakers perched on each side of the stage with the two in between, facing each other so that they could interact physically as well as musically. Really fantastic - I dunno what it is about Atlanta, but cool stuff is happening there. Check these cats out and be sure to see them if you have a chance - what a show!

Plague Vendor was also unknown to me and, while they still fit into the rough spectrum of the night, were pretty damn different from the opener. This quartet were much more No Wave/Post-Punk/Pixies-esque, and played in the dark (virtually no stage lights at all) with a guitarist that sat down juxtaposed against an animated lead singer who interacted with individual audience members throughout and would grab cell phones as people were filming the show and take close ups of each member of the band as they played! Entertaining and interesting, even if not my usual style.

A number of people throughout the night told me that the Bronx was one of, if not the singular, favorite band of theirs, and they certainly had a massive, loyal fan base this night! With a powerful two guitar attack and a non-stop, drivin' rhythm section behind him, the lead singer ended up spending most of his time in the audience screamin' through the songs while the crowd sang along with him. The audience were insane throughout the entire set - singing/shoutin' along, moshin' and generally diggin' the madness. The band was super tight, with the guitarist that is not Ken (sorry - I don't know anyone's names!) taking most of the leads (and even using a Frampton-styled talk box for a song or two!), but the two guitars pulling off harmony feedback at one point. I got some hints of the Dragons-styled rock'n'roll (actually, probably just pulling from the same influences), but with hollered vocals. Kenny got to let loose on some furious leads towards the end of the set, then there were some harmony leads and everything concluded with more soccer-hooligan groups vocals!

Wild'n'fun night at the Bunkhouse! Thanks for everyone involved and everyone who came out to make this a rockin' Wednesday!

recommended gigs

Friday Oct 20 - The Vibrators, the Psyatics, Thee Swank Bastards, the Super Zeroes at the Double Down
Friday Oct 20 - the All Togethers at World of Beer (Henderson)

Sat Oct 21 - the Peculiar Pretzlemen with the New Waves and the Implosions at the Huntridge Tavern

Tues Oct 24 - Genitorturers at the Dive Bar

Wednesday Oct 25 - Thee Swank Bastards, Stagnetti's Cock for Ivana Blaize's birthday at the Double Down

Friday Oct 27 - the Messer Chups, Boss Martians, Swank Bastards at the Double Down

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

Tues Oct 31 - Bob Log III with the return of Prophet Greene along with Jerk! and Strawberry Fist Cake at the Dive Bar

Wednesday Nov 1 - Franks'n'Deans Weenie Roast 3 year anniversary'n'album release party with the Pluralses and more

Friday Nov 3 - Shanda and the Howlers host the Blues Society Jam Night at the Sand Dollar
Friday Nov 3 - Broken Patron Saints, the Wolfhounds, the Super Zeroes, Lambs to Lion at the Dive Bar

Saturday Nov 4 - the Reeves Brothers at Hennessey's Tavern

Wednesday Nov 8 - the Sloths at the Dive Bar

Thursday Nov 9 - The Dead Boys (Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz) at the Beauty Bar

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
Wednesday Nov 22 - Basstravaganza with Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Friday Nov 24 - The Heiz, the Psyatics, Negative Nancys, New Waves, Rocket to Russia at the Double Down

Saturday Nov 25 - Double Down 25th anniversary show with the Dickies, the Dwarves, Throw Rag, the Heiz, Kings of the Wild Frontier, Dirk Vermin and the Hostile Talent, the Swank Bastards and Franks'n'Deans - starts at 5:00 pm

Sunday Nov 26 - Goldtop Bob, Uberschall at the Double Down

Saturday Dec 2 - The Swamp Gospel and the Psyatics at the Huntridge Tavern

Saturday Dec 16 - The Swamp Gospel at the Double Down

Wednesday Jan 24 - the Psyatics, the Pine Hill Haints, Slow Motion Cowboys at the Double Down

What have I forgotten? Lemme know

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Two Tens - On Repeat

I've been following the Two Tens for a while now, due to a couple of appearances in Las Vegas and their previous CD, Volume (which was a compilation of 4 EPs they had released title Volume 1, 2, 3 and 4). This duo - Adam Bones on guitar and vocals and Rikki Styxx (also of the Darts and Dollyrots) on drums and backing vocals - has quite a unique sound, combining 70's punk rock (Ramones, especially) with power pop, glam, and plain ol' rock'n'roll. The sound on this release is cleaner'n'tighter, although there is still some r'n'r grit'n'grime there.

From the opening title track you get the 2-10's sound - buzzing guitars, slammin' drums, catchy, repetitive vocals and plenty of energy. In "Crushed Me" there's a treated guitar lick leading into a punk/power/pop number before the pure 70's power-pop of "Keeping Hope Alive", which would be a hit in a fair world - terrific, layered vocals, hip guitar licks and boppin' drums. From there they head into practically grunge territory for the shoutin' "Stuck in my Head", they borrow from the Ramones for the repetitive "Mean Spirit", more pure pop for punk people in "Feel So Dumb", a little New Wave is mixed into "Burden", and spit-fire lyrics that somehow still maintain a melody in "Stories".

Bubblegum romanticism (complete with modulation!) pops up for the tale of teen longing, "Streetlight" (nice, 70's punk lead guitar), more heaviness in "Not Alright", Rikki takes lead vocals for the frenetic "Leave Me Behind", I don't know anything about Mortal Orchestra, but apparently, the pop-rockin' "Nerve Damage" is one of theirs, more pure pop for "Girlfriend Island", and the finale is a group-vocal'd, riffin', melodic "Friends".

Totally hep duet, very different than most people doing the 2-piece thing, with cool songs and plenty of energy - especially in the live setting. Dig 'em!

The Darts - Me.Ow.

I've ranted'n'raved about these dazzlin' dames of garage rock many-a times before, for their live shows as well as their two previous EPs. Here, on their debut full length by Dirty Water Records, they continue with their Farfisa-fueled mayhem in their quest for rock'n'roll dominance.

Led by the mistress of the keyboards, Nicole (from the Love Me Nots), the Darts have a sultry'n'stompin' rhythm section made up of heavy-groovin' fuzz-bassist Christina (also of the LMN) and monster drummer Rikki (Two Tens / Dollyrots) along with 6 string strangler Michelle (Brainspoon). Every one of the members are exceptional players - Nicole is probably the best garage keyboardist I have seen - and they interact like a band should - intertwining the runs and working together to strengthen the song, not to show off.

The songs are always rockin', sometimes frantic, sometimes hypnotic, sometimes sizzlin', sometimes ruthless, sometimes menacing, usually danceable and damn cleverly written. I do find the sound slightly muddy, but that's just being picky, as you can still hear everyone and the power is there. Great, fun band and dig there extremely low-fi version of the Trashwomen's "Batteries" as a bonus track!