Thursday, November 30, 2006

GWAR, the Aftermath

Even if I brought a camera to last night's GWAR show at the Culture Room, I wouldn't have had the elbow room to be able to use it. It was the most packed I've seen that place in years. And lo, it was a dudefest. I'd say 98 percent of the crowd was of the male persuasion. And of that 98 percent, most were teeming with an overabundance of testosterone and liquor; a couple of near-violent incidents kept popping up around me, even outside the club. But that shit happens anywhere. The faux violence of the onstage show, not so much. It isn't every day you see a guy dressed as a Jesus/Hitler hybrid jerking off a giant phallus onto a crowd of people -- those people being the same macho guys who'd be afraid to slam-dance if there was a gay dude in the pit. And when Oderus Urungus sodomized the pig-faced policeman two songs later, the audience went even more apeshit.

For someone who values stage performance above all else -- that's what we're there to see, right? -- I was happy that GWAR managed to draw such a huge crowd. This despite the fact that they've already been here a billion times. Now if someone had clued me into this earlier, I could have shown up in time to find a parking spot you don't need a shuttle bus to get to.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

GWAR -- What it's Good for

Years ago, I'm thinkin' '96 or '97 -- I'm going on memory here -- I accidentally tuned in to The Jerry Springer Show. Yes, accidentally. Anyway, as soon as I caught a glimpse of the guests -- GWAR, the Mentors' El Duce, and a few whiners who thought they were vulgar -- I hit the record button on my VCR. Classic stuff here. I'm talking quote city, though it's mostly from El Duce, who was there to defend his tongue-through-cheek songs about rape and sodomy. Thing is, he didn't defend himself, he only offended Jerry and the other guests. GWAR, on the other hand, gave one of the most articulate defenses of "offensive" rock since Dee Snyder took on the PMRC. Of course, I still like the El Duce part where he taunts a rape victim, telling her she "looks familiar." But that's just me. So where are they now? Well, Duce's dead and GWAR's still struggling for that elusive world domination. Their quest takes them by the Culture Room tonight.

Also, because it’s the last Wednesday of the month, the Art of Moving Butts is right on cue with another night of hip-hop Himmarshee. But the party’s no longer at the Poor House but next door at Revolution, where the Beatnuts, Diamond D, and Large Professor headline as part of the Down By Law Tour. The usual crew of locals is also on hand -- K-N-S, Doc Sus, UTI, Garcia, Mayday!, Jabrjaw, Dee Dubbs, Namebrand, and host Butta Verses.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Langerado: The Show That Keeps On Growing

Three weeks ago, when I interviewed Ethan Schwartz and Mark Brown -- the brains behind Langerado Music Festival -- they said they were hoping (but not hopeful) that My Morning Jacket would be one of the headliners. But when the final lineup was sent to me a few days later, MMJ wasn't on it. But oh how a few weeks can make a difference. This morning, I just received word that MMJ was added to the bill, along with the New Pornographers and Cat Power. This could be the festival to beat in '07. But it's definitely the festival to be at.

Monday, November 27, 2006

From San Francisco With Love (and Booze)

Over the weekend, I caught up with my former colleague and predecessor, Jonathan Zwickel, who moved out to San Fran in May. We spent Saturday night at Dada, bullshitting about life, love, and music (OK, maybe just music) while local indie faves Humbert rocked the floor-stage. Sure, JZ had downed a few before he said, but I’m gonna hold him to his words:

“Dude, Humbert is the best local band in America… and you can quote me on that.”

So there you have it. While I don’t agree with dubbing anyone best local band in America (without a little subcategorizing, at least), Zwickel’s sentiments prove that South Florida, though lacking in cultural quality, isn’t lacking in musical quality. It takes a lot for a hardcore music guy like Zwickel to get teary-eyed at the thought of going back to San Fran (though, I think it was more of an alcohol-induced glass-eyed effect than actual tears). But I guarantee he feels the same way sober.

[Humbert photo by Karen Keesler]

Friday, November 10, 2006

Lots of Stuff I Won't Be Around to Check Out

The Bang Music Festival. The Palm Beach Music Festival. Marky Ramone. The Gym Class Heroes. Hellogoodbye. Dashboard Confessional. All this stuff was mentioned in this week's New Times, so I won't be redundant (from this point on, at least). Here're some other shows you may not have heard about:

- The Mad Caddies/Love Equals Death show at Maguire's, Friday, November 10.

- The Hard Richards at Backbone Music, Saturday, November 11.

- The Ridicules and the Sleeparounds at South Shores Tavern, Saturday, November 11.

- A fundraiser party for Frank Loughrey, Jr., who's recently undergone treatment for liver cancer, 4 p.m. Saturday, November 18, at 4773 NW 58 Ter., Coral Springs (call 954-650-0712, 954-341-0543, or e-mail

Though, none of this matters to me 'cause I'm outta here for the week. See you when I get back. Don't drink and drive or do other bad stuff while I'm gone.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Open Your Mind (and Your Mic Will Follow)

Every time it looks like poet/open-mic promoter Renda Writer might stay put at one venue, he finds a new one to book nights at. Tonight, though, Writer’s back at a familiar locale -- Lake Worth’s South Shores Tavern, where it’s Open-Mic Night and Ladies Night.

Here’s Writer’s description of who’s invited to sign up: “poets, singers, bands, comedians, rappers, acoustic acts, improv actors, vocalists, magicians, jugglers, American Idol wannabes, beat boxers, yodelers, impersonators, crooners, beat poets, slam poets, reggae, blues, funk, ska…”

You get the point –- there’s really no limits, granted everything’s within the law. Personally, I think more performers should get into yodeling. Maybe try mixing yodeling and breakdancing, or juggling and death metal. Really, if you’re going to experiment, this is the place to do it. And if you’re going to do it, don’t do it half-assed -- go all the way. There are more than enough soporific singer-songwriter types to go around. But even that schtick can be amusing. Hell, I’m willing to offer this freebie, which I wrote a couple of years ago but have yet to perform. (Yes, it is pure satire.)

“Bomb Iran” (set to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Barbaranne”)
Bomb Iran/Take their land
Bomb Iran/It’s only made of sand
Bomb Iran
Assassinate Khamenei/replace him with Dick Cheney
Bomb Iran

See how easy that was? Now get to work.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Jazz, Sushi, and Cartoon Rappers

Sometimes a full-blown concert's too much for the middle of the week, even for a seasoned pro like Fats (professional what, I don't know). Last week, I spent Hump Day at Dada, which was surprisingly absent of music most of the night. Of course, there are plenty of places that aim for middle ground -- where you can hear live music AND the conversation you're trying to have (assuming the other party's interested in your bar babble). That's why there are places like the Lounge (517 Clematis St., West Palm Beach). Tonight and every Wednesday features some expertly experimental jazz, courtesy of PHLAT-9 (AKA, the Robert Goodman Band). If you haven't been to the Lounge in the past six months or so (or ever, for that matter), don't be surprised if you see a plate or three of sushi being consumed. It is, after all, a "sushi and sake bar" these days. And to think my band Billy Boloby used to play there. I guess you could say we were the wasabi that spiced things up (or made people gag, as it were).

True, Thursdays at the Lounge are a little more happenin', with regular sets by the People Upstairs, Aquaphonics, and Doorway 27. But that's a whole day away.

Then again, there's also the MC Chris show at the Culture Room tonight. For insight into the mind of this cartoony geek-hopper, check out this amusingly sharp interview he did with my colleague, Deirdra Funcheon. And while you're at it, check out the rest of her blog, Vitamin D. She knows what's going on around these parts -- and can give you a pretty accurate surf report too.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Group Nostalgia

Over the weekend, I got one of those "how ya been?" MySpace messages from a friend I haven't seen in years (one of the many Jasons I hung out with). Every time I think of the "old days" (AKA, the irresponsible days), certain images come to mind -- bands, people, and whatever clubs or hangout spots we frequented. One of our earliest hangout spot/clubs was the Foundation, the long defunct former staple of the Palm Beach County underground scene. Well, it looks like there’s a MySpace group for the Foundation, which closed 11 years ago. The entire building was demolished several years ago, so this is literally all that’s left of the club.

In its heyday, the Foundation was ground zero for all manner of rock-oriented music, from the punks ‘n’ skins crowd to the dark-wavers to ska kids and metalheads. It was where I saw many a band for the first time, be they local (the Crumbs, LOAD, the Livid Kittens, Cavity, the Leftovers) or national (the Queers, back when B-Face was in the group).

If you remember the Foundation, you’ve undoubtedly got many stories to tell. That’s if someone hasn’t already posted them on the message board. So check it out, and don’t forget to browse the photos page. Maybe you’re in there. I’m not, thankfully. I don’t think I need to be reminded of whatever weird-ass hairdo I was sporting back then.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Breakout the Vote

The midterm elections are a few days away, and with them come the usual fears about electronic voting. But before you touch your finger to the screen, might I suggest a different type of e-voting? Yes, it involves bands, and one of 'em is local -- Boca Raton's Fallen From the Sky. Right now, there's an online election taking place for the Dew Circuit Breakout, a six-band battle for some prime national exposure, hosted by MTV2 and Mountain Dew (you know, the rock 'n' roll supervisors of elections). Right now, the battles are split into three one-on-one battles, each housed in a different city. FFTS's battle is in Philadelphia, against I Am the Avalanche. The site has video clips of each band, in case you're one of those annoying "undecided" voters. Is there a paper receipt? Um, no. It's done in Flash, so we'll have to trust the powers that be that there'll be no tomfoolery -- and that Macromedia isn't the 'Net's version of Diebold.

Also, here's some more FFTS action you won't see in the battle video:

Experience the Queen

If you’re going to tonight’s Pete Yorn concert at Revolution, don’t be surprised if you see this woman on the outdoor stage.

According to an e-mail I got from Gemstone Management, Wendy Williams -- the New York City radio personality, VH1 star, and self-proclaimed “Queen of All Media” -- will be hosting an all-night party as part of a five-city tour. And she's not alone. Keyshia Cole and Bobby Valentino lay down the R&B, while comic T.K. Kirkland gets his joke on -- and everyone gets their drink on; Alizé liquor comes in many flavors, and they'll be there for you to imbibe.

Last night, I caught an episode of Williams show on VH1, Wendy Williams is On Fire. Her special guest was Andrew Dice Clay, and he wasted no time before verbally sparring with everyone (even dropping a "hickory dickory dock" joke). Too bad he won't be there tonight. It'd be fun to watch him and Kirkland go at it, nursery rhymes and all.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Paint It, Red

In the off chance you saw the 1998 cult film, Six-String Samurai, you’re familiar with the music of the Red Elvises. Oh, wait… it’s 2006. That means in addition to the film, you might’ve seen or at least heard of the group’s many visits to South Florida they’ve made in the past several years -- like last night’s show at Alligator Alley or tonight’s show at the Bamboo Room. So if that’s the case, you know what to expect from these California-by-way-of-Siberia hepcats: high-energy surf/rockabilly that balances the kitsch and the cool. The photo pretty much says it all. And what it doesn’t say, the band’s live show does. I’m talking about the f word here, and I don’t mean the four-letter one (read: fun). So get on this Russian rocket before it takes off, back to the Left Coast (where all the reds live, right?).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Roxanne's Gets Schooled

When I was finishing up this week's column about the Breaks, the weekly hip-hop night at Roxanne's on Main, I had to scratch mention of tonight's scheduled Edo G & Special Teams/Cali Agents/Sean Price show. It turns out the Florida leg of their tour got the ax. Imagine that, huh? Anyway, the show itself was never canceled; it was left to local boys like Unified Styles to pick up the slack. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the recent KRS-One concert at I/O -- the "Teacher" himself agreed to come down for a set. That means tonight. KRS-One. Roxanne's. Yeah. The show's held courtesy of Lexicon, Dialectic Records, UG Science, and the Basement State. Admission costs ten bucks for those of legal drinking age. The first 25 peeps get a free copy of DJ Unemployed's Will Scratch For Food.