Friday, April 09, 2004

I may have unravelled the mystery of the COC show. According to Todd, Peter said that "the original COC" was practicing in his living room right at that moment (keep in mind, I did not see the Monkeytime episode in question). When I mentioned this to Danny Hooley, he looked perplexed, then said that the Ugly Americans had been practicing in Peter's living room, and some COC folks were hanging around with them. I don't know where the disconnect came from, but I don't want anyone to go to the Guitartown shows thinking they're going to see some hardcore.

Last night was my first experience with Ugly Americans (yes, I know, kind of bad for someone who supposedly reviews North Carolina music). According to the old-timers, the show was awesome. And there were quite a few old-timers hanging around: You could have told the history of N.C. rock music just by pointing out people in the audience. The band seemed stiff for the first few songs, which is to be expected, but then really let loose. Danny Hooley's rock faces are almost on par with G.E. Smith -- though not quite as good as the Ghost of Rock's drummer, who truly looked like he was in agony throughout the show. Until last night, I had only seen bass player Chris Eubank in quirky Wifflefist projects (Polycarp, the Hee Haw/Lawrence Welk Show) and improv jams (too many to list). Mr. X made a point about "musical body memory," meaning that no matter how long you've been sitting on a chair to play, once you pick up an electric bass and get on stage in a rock club, the old moves come right back.

For a detailed review, I'm going to defer to Mr. X, who saw the band back in the day and can better assess their performance (though he has already said it was "awesome.")

Also, I invite comments on my list of favorite guitarists, as I'm sure everyone has a list of their own. I also meant to mention at the end of my Rolling Stone gripe in the last post that a former colleague, Eric Bates, is now a top editor at the magazine, and I can already see his positive influence. Not only has the magazine returned to harder-hitting political and investigative stories, there are a lot fewer scantily clad women on the cover. I'm not a prude, but it had begun to seem like the only way a woman was going to get on the cover was to be in a bathing suit, in her underwear, or naked. Eric probably had nothing to do with that, but it is nice to see better covers.

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