Thursday, July 14, 2005

Bob Moog, whose importance to music can hardly be summed up here, is suffering from an inoperable brain tumor and blogging about his experiences. Go HERE to send him your good wishes.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Check out this past weekend's movies from Kings. WARNING: These are all Quicktime movies, so they are HUGE. It will take you several minutes to download them, but they are worth it -- especially the Cherry Valence videos.

Black Taj from Mann's World on Vimeo.

the Dynamite Brothers from Mann's World on Vimeo.

the Cherry Valence - "Sunglasses and Headlights" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

(Erik from The Cherry Valence)

Sorry this is so brief -- I've been stressed like crazy over nothing in particular and just haven't had time to write. Cherry Valence put on an amazing show last night at Kings, and I managed to get a few good photos. It was proof that the garage show where I saw them about a month ago was an aberation. The band isn't as raw now that Erik and Charles are in the band, but it still has the old Cherry Valence energy. There's definitely more of a bluesy, boogie feel. I've been listening to the new CD all day, and so far I'm very impressed. I also managed to get a few good movies, which I'll upload on Monday.

(Nick from The Cherry Valence)

Also on the bill last night were The Dynamite Brothers, who I love more and more each time I see them, and Black Taj (featuring Steve Popson and Dave Brylawski from Polvo) who sound like a cross between Black Sabbath and The Allman Brothers.

(Dynamite Brothers)

(Black Taj)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I have to hand it to R. Kelly. I finally saw chapters 1-5 of "The Closet" last night, and the damn thing had both me and Danny TRANSFIXED. If you haven't heard about it, it's basically a soap opera set to a slow jam. R. Kelly wakes up in a strange bed and things go downhill from there. I correctly guessed that the cop was going to be the one his wife was sleeping around with, but I'm not sure how her brother is going to come into play. I think it's going to end up with him in jail somehow (that shot into the ceiling is going to come back and haunt him). Somehow, though, it reminds me of the Taster's Choice commercials from a few years back. And without the video, the song wouldn't be half as compelling. After R. Kelly, the less-than-subtle Ying Yang Twins' "Wait" came on, and despite my best efforts it got stuck in my head. I downloaded it this morning, but could only find the nasty version, which, as is often the case, wasn't nearly as entertaining as the clean version. Danny and I spent the holiday weekend at Atlantic Beach, where Appetite for Destruction was playing at a local dive called Playtime. I'd never seen them, but heard from everyone around here that they were a pretty dead-on tribute to Guns 'n' Roses. I've never seen Guns 'n' Roses, and Appetite is the only G'n'R tribute I've ever seen, so I can't compare them to anything else. They sounded and looked pretty accurate as far as I can tell. They are also blessed with a front man who sounds close to Axl Rose, and looks exactly like him (same build, same coloring, same facial features). I have to say, the evening was a real adventure. There was a fight in front of the stage (actually, I don't know if it was one big fight or a couple of little ones), a guy and his girlfriend tried to buy Danny a beer and got mad when he wouldn't accept, and a different guy grabbed me -- as I was walking with Danny -- and told me he loved me. Finally, an insanely drunk woman from Kinston, who had just had breast augmentation surgery and kept flashing her new goods at the band, latched on to Danny's friend. We ended up having to give her a ride home, at which point she told us she was about to pass out, and therefore there would be "no sexin' tonight." It's a good thing she was riding with a reputable crew. Some folks would have seen that as an invitation. Finally, a note about all the cool things happening this weekend at Kings. I missed Bettie Serveert last night (I've never been a huge fan of them), but I plan to go to most of these other shows/events: Wednesday, July 6: Dead Meadow Thursday, July 7: Gong Show! Friday, July 8: Cherry Valence CD-release party with The Dynamite Brothers and Black Taj -- This is definitely the show of the week, with three of the absolute best bands currently active in this area. Go see it! Saturday, July 9: Throwback night with Haulin' Oats, a tribute to you know who. Cool upcoming show alerts: Tuesday, July 26: Drunk Horse Friday, July 29: Widow with THOR

Friday, July 01, 2005

Valient Thorr

According to the liner notes on Valient Thorr's latest CD, Total Universe Man, "Rock 'n' roll can very well save your soul, and therein lies the key: If you believe in it, you can make it happen. Let us know if we can help."

One listen to the CD will tell you they aren't kidding around. They believe in rock; hairy, sweaty, sex-charged rock with a pounding backbeat, screaming dual guitar leads and a hilarious, over-the-top frontman who hollers and yelps like a tent revival preacher. They claim they're from Venus (though they now apparently reside in Greenville, N.C.), and they all have goofy names, including singer "Valient Himself," who spends a lot of time yelping about "the future."

But where these guys are really from is the past, specifically the wood-panelled rec basement room where a whole other generation searched for rock 'n' roll salvation between the grooves of records by Ted Nugent, Blue Oyster Cult, Alice Cooper, Heart, Thin Lizzy and Black Oak Arkansas. Valeint Himself's crazed, quasi-spiritual ramblings bear more than a passing resemblance to those of Jim Dandy Mangum.

You won't find a whole lot that's new on this CD, and you won't find much that Gluecifer didn't do on their last good CD, 1999's Tender is the Savage. But of the current crop of bands mining this particular '70s rock vein, Valeint Thorr is the most entertaining.