Thursday, January 29, 2015

recommended gigs

Thursday Jan 29 - the All Togethers at Velveteen Rabbit
Thursday Jan 29 - Doug C and the Blacklisted, Eddie Bear and the Cubs, Yosemite Slam at Triple B

Friday Jan 30 - the All Togethers at Boulder Dam Brewing

Saturday Jan 31 - the All Togethers with Whiskey Breath and Jackson Taylor at the Beauty Bar
Saturday Jan 31 - Jinxy Bear w/Hunter Beard and much more at Triple B
Saturday Jan 31 - the Delta Bombers, Whiskey Breath and Stagnetti's Cock at the Pioneer Saloon
Saturday Jan 31 - 3d6 with Lambs to Lion, GC&FB and Not For Sale at the Hard Hat

Wednesday Feb 4 - The Gentlemen of Four Outs at the Double Down

Thursday Feb 5 - the Blasters and the Yawpers at Triple B with the Delta Bombers and Eddie Bear and the Cubs

Friday Feb 6 - the Delta Bombers at Triple B
Friday Feb 6 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Bunkhouse
Friday Feb 6 - 3d6 at the Artistic Armory with lots more
Friday Feb 6 - The Toasters with the Scoundrels, Frank and Deans, Mustard Plug and Tiki Bandits at the Dive Bar

Saturday Feb 7 - the Swamp Gospel and Thee Swank Bastards at the Hard Hat

Saturday Feb 7 - the All Togethers at the Container Park
Saturday Feb 7 - Bow Wow Wow, Midnight Clover, Unwieldies, Water Landing - Adrenanline Sports Bar

Tuesday Feb 10 - Water Landing and Teach me Equals at Artifice

Friday Feb 13 - the Super Zeros at the Hard Hat
Friday Feb 13 - Paper TigersSilversage , Bravo DeltaBeau Hodges Band , Strange Mistress at House of Blues

Saturday Feb 14 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Tues Feb 17 - Piratefest at LV Country Saloon with the Time Crashers, Alestorm, Dreadcrew of Oddwood, Firewater Folklore, Caliban and the Witch

Friday Feb 20 - the All Togethers at Willow Creek Assisted Living

Wednesday Feb 25 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Thursday Feb 26 - the All Togethers at Eye Candy Lounge at Mandalay Bay

Friday March 6 - The Swamp Gospel with The All Togethers at the Huntridge Tavern
Friday March 6 - the Delta Bombers at Triple B with Big Sandy

Sunday Mar 15 - Anvil at Adrenaline Sports Bar

Sunday March 29 - Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band with the All Togethers and Ditch Diggers at the Beauty Bar

Thursday April 2 - the Delta Bombers at Viva Las Vegas

Sunday April 5 - the Sonics at Viva Las Vegas - Mardi Gras Ballroom

Saturday April 11 - Haunted Garage, Time Crashers and tons more at the Artistic Armory

What have I forgotten? Lemme know!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

recommended gigs

Thursday Jan 22 - Thee Swank Bastards with the Suicide Sirens - Brooklyn Bowl

Friday Jan 23 - the Unwieldies with Part Time Criminals and Sara Patterson at the Hard Hat
Friday Jan 23 - the New Waves at the Double Down

Saturday Jan 24 - the Delta Bombers at the Beauty Bar

Sunday Jan 25 - the Royal Hounds with Jeff Mix and the Biltmore Boys at the Beauty Bar

Wednesday Jan 28 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Thursday Jan 29 - the All Togethers at Velveteen Rabbit
Thursday Jan 29 - Doug C and the Blacklisted, Eddie Bear and the Cubs, Yosemite Slam at Triple B

Friday Jan 30 - the All Togethers at Boulder Dam Brewing

Saturday Jan 31 - the All Togethers with Whiskey Breath and Jackson Taylor at the Beauty Bar
Saturday Jan 31 - Jinxy Bear w/Hunter Beard and much more at Triple B
Saturday Jan 31 - the Delta Bombers, Whiskey Breath and Stagnetti's Cock at the Pioneer Saloon
Saturday Jan 31 - 3d6 with Lambs to Lion, GC&FB and Not For Sale at the Hard Hat

Wednesday Feb 4 - The Gentlemen of Four Outs at the Double Down

Thursday Feb 5 - the Blasters and the Yawpers at Triple B with the Delta Bombers and Eddie Bear and the Cubs

Friday Feb 6 - the Delta Bombers at Triple B
Friday Feb 6 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Bunkhouse
Friday Feb 6 - 3d6 at the Artistic Armory with lots more
Friday Feb 6 - The Toasters with the Scoundrels, Frank and Deans, Mustard Plug and Tiki Bandits at the Dive Bar

Saturday Feb 7 - the Swamp Gospel and Thee Swank Bastards at the Hard Hat

Saturday Feb 7 - the All Togethers at the Container Park
Saturday Feb 7 - Bow Wow Wow, Midnight Clover, Unwieldies, Water Landing - Adrenanline Sports Bar

Tuesday Feb 10 - Water Landing and Teach me Equals at Artifice

Friday Feb 13 - the Super Zeros at the Hard Hat
Friday Feb 13 - Paper TigersSilversage , Bravo DeltaBeau Hodges Band , Strange Mistress at House of Blues

Saturday Feb 14 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Tues Feb 17 - Piratefest at LV Country Saloon with the Time Crashers, Alestorm, Dreadcrew of Oddwood, Firewater Folklore, Caliban and the Witch

Friday Feb 20 - the All Togethers at Willow Creek Assisted Living

Wednesday Feb 25 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Thursday Feb 26 - the All Togethers at Eye Candy Lounge at Mandalay Bay

Friday March 6 - The Swamp Gospel with The All Togethers at the Huntridge Tavern
Friday March 6 - the Delta Bombers at Triple B with Big Sandy

Sunday Mar 15 - Anvil at Adrenaline Sports Bar

Sunday March 29 - Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band with the All Togethers and Ditch Diggers at the Beauty Bar

Thursday April 2 - the Delta Bombers at Viva Las Vegas

Sunday April 5 - the Sonics at Viva Las Vegas - Mardi Gras Ballroom

Saturday April 11 - Haunted Garage, Time Crashers and tons more at the Artistic Armory

What have I forgotten? Lemme know!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jimmy Rogers - Chicago Bound

Jimmy Rogers is best known as one of Muddy Waters' trusty guitar sidemen, though he also had own solo career, encouraged by the great Muddy, who played on many of Rogers' tracks. I already reviewed a Best Of his here, and there are some overlap with these two releases, of course, but this is well worth owning, as well.

I love Rogers' voice and guitar stylings, whether on his own or working with Waters and here he is also assisted by the genius of Little Walter, along with other Chicago stalwarts Otis Spann, Willie Dixon, Fred Below, Big Crawford, Elgin Evans and more. Everything here is high-quality Chicago blues, in the style of Muddy but with Rogers' personal touches, of course.

Everyone is top notch and damn, just hearing Little Walters' work is worth the price of admission by itself - listen to him blow on "Act Like You Love Me"! For some variety, there's some great piano/sax workouts in "Back Door Friend", doubled vocals on "Last Time", jumpin' jive in "Sloppy Drunk", hits like "That's All Right", the swingin' title cut and the great closer "Walking By Myself".

Another fantastic example of the best of Chicago blues by some of the best players in that city.

R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders - Chasin' Rainbows

R. Crumb's love for the music of the 20's and thereabouts is well known to any fan of the artist, but I did not own any of his recordings until I got this great CD for Xmas (thanks honey!). Here Crumb (banjo/vocals) and his Serenaders (Allan Dodge - mandolin, violin, ukulele, vocals; Robert Armstrong - guitar, accordion, banjo, saw, vocals; Terry Zwigoff - cello) recreate these sounds with precision, talent and fluidity as well as humor and plenty of fun.

While the vocals are more energetic and enthusiastic than truly "good", the styling does fit the genre to good effect. I was not familiar with any of the songs previous to hearing this record, but everything here is fine stuff. Opening with the "Hail Hail the Gang's All Here" pep of "Alabama Jubilee" that has some nice slide guitar that continues into "Chasin' Rainbows" which also includes a terrific saw solo. An original that seems to have something to do with Crumb, "Fine Artiste Blues", is a peppy, fiddle howdown, followed by their "Hula Medley" that, naturally, features ukulele and slide guitar and "I Want a Little Girl" that includes a guest musician on bells! "Persian Rug" has some cool mid-eastern sounds mixed with the Serenaders' standard tones, with accordion, mandolin and saw giving it a taste of the exotic and then they create haunting cartoon music with "Mysterious Mose". There's an old-fashioned Rudy Vallee blues in "Crying My Blues Away", another peppy "The Gang's All Here" type tune in "She Lived Down By the Firehouse", semi-circus sounds in the instrumental "Diane", a bouncey "Make My Cot Where the Cot-Cot-Cotton Grows" and an appropriately titled finale "Moana March".

If you dig old-time sounds, then this is certainly one to get. Great material and great playing!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Kyle Gass Band / The Fremonts - The Bunkhouse Saturday Jan 17, 2014

I've been a fan of the inanely goofy Tenancious D since i first found out about them via their debut album (yes, I wasn't cool enough to see them in LA before then - I do remember laughing at their silly name when seeing it in the LA Weekly) but have never seen them live, but seeing that TD's Kyle Gass was playing revived local hangout, the Bunkhouse, for an early show, we decided to see what he was doing on his own. Unfortunately, it was early enough that we missed Big Like Texas due to Saturday errands, but got there in time for Kyle.

The Kyle Gass Band features Kyle, in all of his Ten D slovenliness - singing, playing acoustic guitar and r'n'r recorder - along with two electric lead guitarists - both looking like 70's trucker/lumberjacks - a very normal-looking (but quite talented bassist) and a young, clean-cut drummer. The group opened with Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak" in all of its twin-guitar glory, giving a taste of what the set was to bring - tongue-in-cheek, 70's rock'n'roll played with lots of attitude and talent - everyone was top-of-the-line players and singers - plenty of 4 and 5 part harmonies, too. This was my first return to the Bunkhouse since it re-opened and I gotta say, the sound was pretty damn fine here.

It wasa bit odd to me that Kyle deferred a majority of the lead singing to the other members, especially the guitarist on our side of the stage (sorry - I didn't catch anyone's name - though it didn't help that Kyle would make obscure - to me - jokes about who they were, calling them by other musician's (?) names). He is a terrific vocalist, though, so it wasn't a problem, just surprising.

Quite a number of panties flew on stage during their set, as well - and Kyle would alternately wear them on his head, put them in his mouth or shoot them back into the audience. The drummer came out front to sing a Jackson 5/Michael Jackson medley (with the lead guitarist/singer taking his place on drums) and then Kyle sang Sugarloaf's "Green Eyed Lady" to the women in the crowd while walking among them, before returning to the stage for a guitar/recorder duel.

The guitarists donned druid robes for the final song of the set - a big production number - and then the encores were a mix of a number of songs, from "Walk on the Wild Side" to "I Wanna Kiss You All Over" to "Reeling in the Years" to Boston's "Rock'n'Roll Band" to a finale of "Vehicle"! Quite a show!

After the conclusion of the early show, the Bunkhouse hosted the Chicken Shack, this time featuring live music from The Fremonts, another one of Rob Ruckus' groups. This act is a mix of surf, 60's, country, Tom Waits and whatever else they feel like throwing in, with a preponderance of originals, though I believe that I recognized Tex Williams' "Smoke Smoke Smoke That Cigarette". All of the numbers were pretty slow-to-mid tempo, but each member is a strong player and kept it all entertaining. Unfortunately, their lead guitarist is moving, so this may be the last show of their career.

The Bunkhouse seems to be highlighting touring bands rather than local acts, overall, but this night was a good mix of both, so hope to see more of this type of show here.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

RIP Kim Fowley

Kim Fowley, Legendary Record Producer, Dead at 75
 ---

recommended gigs

Thursday Jan 15 - the Astaires with Same Sex Mary and more at the Bunkhouse

Friday Jan 16 - Swamp Pussy at Babe's Gentlemen's Club
Friday Jan 16 - the All Togethers at the Beauty Bar
Friday Jan 16 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Saturday Jan 17 - the Delta Bombers at the Beauty Bar
Saturday Jan 17 - Kyle Gass Band (Kyle from Tenancious D) and Big Like Texas at the Bunkhouse
Saturday Jan 17 - The Fremonts at the Chicken Shack (10:00PM) at the Bunkhouse
Saturday Jan 17 - The Pluralses and Frank and Deans at the House of Blues

Sunday Jan 18 - the Psyatics at the Double Down

Wednesday Jan 21 - the All Togethers at the Griffin

Thursday Jan 22 - Thee Swank Bastards with the Suicide Sirens - Brooklyn Bowl

Friday Jan 23 - the Unwieldies with Part Time Criminals and Sara Patterson at the Hard Hat
Friday Jan 23 - the New Waves at the Double Down

Saturday Jan 24 - the Delta Bombers at the Beauty Bar

Sunday Jan 25 - the Royal Hounds with Jeff Mix and the Biltmore Boys at the Beauty Bar

Wednesday Jan 28 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Thursday Jan 29 - the All Togethers at Velveteen Rabbit
Thursday Jan 29 - Doug C and the Blacklisted, Eddie Bear and the Cubs, Yosemite Slam at Triple B

Friday Jan 30 - the All Togethers at Boulder Dam Brewing

Saturday Jan 31 - the All Togethers with Whiskey Breath and Jackson Taylor at the Beauty Bar
Saturday Jan 31 - Jinxy Bear w/Hunter Beard and much more at Triple B
Saturday Jan 31 - the Delta Bombers, Whiskey Breath and Stagnetti's Cock at the Pioneer Saloon
Saturday Jan 31 - 3d6 with Lambs to Lion, GC&FB and Not For Sale at the Hard Hat

Wednesday Feb 4 - The Gentlemen of Four Outs at the Double Down

Thursday Feb 5 - the Blasters and the Yawpers at Triple B with the Delta Bombers and Eddie Bear and the Cubs

Friday Feb 6 - the Delta Bombers at Triple B
Friday Feb 6 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Bunkhouse
Friday Feb 6 - 3d6 at the Artistic Armory with lots more
Friday Feb 6 - The Toasters with the Scoundrels, Frank and Deans, Mustard Plug and Tiki Bandits at the Dive Bar

Saturday Feb 7 - the Swamp Gospel and Thee Swank Bastards at the Hard Hat

Saturday Feb 7 - the All Togethers at the Container Park
Saturday Feb 7 - Bow Wow Wow, Midnight Clover, Unwieldies, Water Landing - Adrenanline Sports Bar

Tuesday Feb 10 - Water Landing and Teach me Equals at Artifice

Friday Feb 13 - the Super Zeros at the Hard Hat
Friday Feb 13 - Paper TigersSilversage , Bravo DeltaBeau Hodges Band , Strange Mistress at House of Blues

Saturday Feb 14 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Tues Feb 17 - Piratefest at LV Country Saloon with the Time Crashers, Alestorm, Dreadcrew of Oddwood, Firewater Folklore, Caliban and the Witch

Friday Feb 20 - the All Togethers at Willow Creek Assisted Living

Wednesday Feb 25 - Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down

Thursday Feb 26 - the All Totgethers at Eye Candy Lounge at Mandalay Bay

Friday March 6 - the Delta Bombers at Triple B

Sunday Mar 15 - Anvil at Adrenaline Sports Bar

Sunday March 29 - Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band with the All Togethers and Ditch Diggers at the Beauty Bar

Thursday April 2 - the Delta Bombers at Viva Las Vegas

Sunday April 5 - the Sonics at Viva Las Vegas - Mardi Gras Ballroom

Saturday April 11 - Haunted Garage, Time Crashers and tons more at the Artistic Armory

What have I forgotten? Lemme know!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Salvation on Sand Mountain – Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia By Dennis Covington

While this is not actually a music book, as the lead prophet in the Swamp Gospel, I am fascinated by the snake-handling, strychnine-drinking, talking-in-tongues religious folks and this book is a first-hand account of a man who became intimately involved in one such church (Church of Jesus Christ With Signs Following). And, of course, much of modern r'n'r came from similar, southern backgrounds.

Covington is a Southerner and a (very good) writer and his connection to this particular snake-handling church initiated when he decided to write a news story on the preacher’s attempted murder of his wife. The wife’s account of the crime shows the man to be vile and disgusting, violent and at least a little crazy. But, what else would you expect from a leader of a snake-handling cult?

Dennis is a religious man, and he had experiences with wild'n'sweaty preachers in his youth (but not the talking-in-tongues, strychnine-drinking, serpent-handling variety) and he grew up catching snakes of all varieties as pets, so his immersion in this culture is not quite as strange as if he were, say, a city-dwelling Catholic.

Still, the journey is an odd one, to say the least, and Covington becomes close with many handlers and, in fact, becomes one himself. In his epilogue he even says that he left out parts, such as his talking in tongues and strychnine drinking, which is a shame, as he describes many of his other experiences in great detail, though he felt that those events were more spiritual than evidential.

The writing is descriptive, the characters are fascinating and the story draws you in immediately, and, although he goes off on a couple of tangents that are not as compelling as the story itself, the book is strong all the way through. Well worth it as an intimate look into a world that many have no experience with in any way.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Pirates - Out of Their Skulls

Johnny Kidd and the Pirates were, of course, the 60's band responsible for the huge hit "Shakin' All Over", and the group, especially the guitarist Mick Green, were incredibly influential on the early British r'n'b/r'n'r bands - the Who being an obvious example and Led Zep being another.

The group initially broke up after Kidd's untimely death, but the backing band - Green, Johnny Spence (bass, lead vocals), Frank Farley (drums) - reformed in the mid-70's, in time to latch onto the emerging pub rock and then punk rock scenes, making a name for themsevles yet again with their fantastic, stripped down sound.

Green was always known for making a big sound with just his single Telecaster and he continues to amaze here. Of course, the rhythm section makes quite an impression themselves, but Green's combination of rhythm and leads - sometimes simultaneously - makes the Pirates sound.

This was the first reunion LP and side one is a live show from the Nashville Rooms in April of '77 and is comprised mostly of reworkings of their old material, including "Please Don't Touch" (a number that Motorhead & Girlschool did together, giving it punk/metal cred, as if it needed it), "I Can Tell", "Peter Gunn" (when Farley's mic went out), a ferocious "Lonesome Train" (so good it gave me chills), their calling card number "Shakin' All Over" before ending with a frenzied and frenetic "Milk Cow Blues". Besides being a unbelievably powerful instrumental unit, Spence's voice, while a bit gruffer than Kidd's, fits right in and sounds terrific.

Side two is comprised of studio recordings, though this all sounds pretty damn live-in-the-studio to me, with everyone working together and Green absolutely on top of his game. "Drinkin' Wine Spo'De'O'D", gives Mick a couple of chances to show his stuff while Farley & Spence rock behind him. A take-off on "Walkin' the Dog" is "Do the Dog", a little less crazed, but solid and "Gibson Martin Fender" is a fine, fast-paced rocker. I assume that "Don't Munchen It" is about touring Germany, and it has a cool, chunky chord riff, though I could do without the overly effected guitar solo - kinda unnecessary for a talent like Green. A neat mixture of country and blues comes together for the mid-paced "That's the Way You Are" - well-written, interesting chord progressions and melodies. Of course, they can't quit on anything less than a fierce pounder, so "You Don't Own Me" comes out fighting, as one of their best, showing that they still have the spark needed to keep rockin'.

Great, great, rock'n'roll album! Glad that the punk scene gave some talent like this a new lease on life as people looked back to early, raw r'n'r for their influential touchstones.