OUR EYES ON YOU: December 2007

 

RITA’S RANT

Rita: I’m mad as hell that our political system has been manipulated to serve those who are elected instead of serving the people. That’s complete bullshit. Taxpayers’ money is being funneled into a military machine that disrupts lives with torture and murder. We have to stand up. We’ve got to speak out. We have to be smarter than the assholes that try to trick us at every turn. Lolita: And then we’ve got the presidential candidates with all their rhetoric, propaganda, backstabbing, and flip-flopping—they might as well debate the merits of a good rock song. Rita: Let’s find out what our friends think. Lolita, put down your friggin’ “Writer on Strike” sign and go ask what the most important issue the presidential candidates should focus on. Hey, there’s Kier buying cowboy boots, go ask him…

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NUMBER ONE ISSUE

Lolita: Kier, can you hold my sign while I get my pen out? And then tell me the main issue the presidential candidates should address? I liked that photo of you on the cover of The Noise. Okay, I’ll take the sign back. Want me to hold your boots? Wow, I like these boots. Oh yeah, the number one issue? Not the issue with you on the cover…  KIER BYRNES (Three Day Threshold): We need to look into finding and developing alternative, renewable energy sources. We need to lessen our dependence on foreign oil and get the hell out of places we don’t belong (Iraq!). *** CHUCK U. ROSINA (WMFO/WMBR): It’s hard to just pick one issue for candidates to focus on.  The war is obvious, but our energy consumption and environment are equally important.  All three are interrelated.  It would be nice to hear candidates talk about the issues in these terms.  How our consumption habits effect the environment and are the real reason for our occupation in Iraq.  (Might it have something to do with oil?)  Actually one candidate, Dennis Kucinich, is addressing these issues in these terms. We are lied to when told it is a war on terror.  Howard Zinn says, “War IS terror.”  None of the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks came from Iraq.  Support our troops.  Bring them safely home to their families. *** WILLIE ALEXANDER (Fisheye Brothers): Getting us out of Iraq now.  We shouldn’t be there in the first place. We’ve been messing things up in the Middle East since the end of WWI. *** DANIEL CANTOR (Jim’s Big Ego/African Underground): Our capitalistic system has become so overwhelmed by the military complex, lobbyists, and cutthroat career-obsessed politicians that it has stopped representing the people. The current leadership is running amuck stopping scientific research, messing up the environment, and letting big business destroy the country and other countries for the sake of money, power, and a very intolerant version of God. Let’s get back to basics. Lets have our voting system be overhauled and verifiable. Democracy only works when all votes are counted and polling is freely accessible. *** RIK TINORY (Rik Tinory Productions): Bring the troops home from all alien countries and bring the oil home with them. *** DAVE CRESPO (Dave Crespo): The war in Iraq has to be the biggest issue in the next election. It is what has defined America socially and economically within the past eight years. The decision about how much longer we stay there will determine the kind of country that America is going to be for years to come. The decision of how soon we back out of Iraq is an issue of how this country is viewed to the rest of the world, an economic issue and a social issue since people fighting over seas effect so many families and friends in this country. *** NANCY NEON (The Noise): There are so many crucial issues—the environment, the Iraq war, health care, etc.  But I feel the most immediate is the necessity of restoring our constitutional rights that have eroded over the past six years. Habeas corpus and due process must be restored. The government must stop unwarranted spying on our citizens. Guantanamo Bay must be closed and those held there must be given access to justice. The government must stop extraordinary rendition—the secret kidnapping of our citizens and taking them to countries that allow torture. *** JASON BENNETT (Jason Bennett & the Resistance): The number one issue that the presidential candidates should focus on is how they plan to bring this country back together again with some kind of collective identity. We’ve had eight years of division and spite, but in the end we should all be on the same side. We’re going to have a big problem when we finally manage to end this war with the impact it has on our economy and culture. Of course it would also help if we had some candidates that had any courage or beliefs. *** SAM GILMAN (Otis Grove): I think the candidates should focus on how to change the global opinion of the U.S., ’cause right now it’s held somewhere between moldy cheese and garbage water. It’s important to show the world that we are trying to have a constructive influence and are not just some money-hungry war machine (which we currently are). *** MIKE DIPLOMAT (The Flashing Reds): Iraq, Iraq, Iraq.  It is time to get out of there already!  There are so many reasons why this war is bad news. I would go into it, but The Noise has basically stated them all—End War Now.  It is very frustrating that out of all the presidential candidates, only two give clear answers when asked if they would leave Iraq: Kucinich for the Democrats and Paul for the Republicans.  Unfortunately neither one has much of a chance of winning.  So alas, once again it comes down to the lesser of two evils, and that usually means quite a bit of evil.  Guess it is time for rock ’n’ roll to save the world, again. *** DAVE BALERNA (The Midway): My question for the candidates and my number one beef with all of the motherfuckers running is that all of their platforms have been voiced before, but nobody ever can solve them. The platforms ring hollow and redundant. Cut taxes for the middle class, no child left behind, cut funding for the pugnacious majority, blah, blah, blah. Why do we fall for the propaganda in the blind belief that salvation is on the horizon? The world’s ills are currently overwhelming and unsolvable. So buy a ticket and stay for the show that is hopefully in a bunker with an agreeable, amenable partner. Rita: I’ve gotta get this other thorn out of my system—I am tired of every millionaire candidate asking me to give them money to help run their campaign. These presidential candidates have been rolling their rallies for over a year now and there’s still almost another year to go. Imagine if we limited the amount of money a candidate could spend on their campaign or put a six-month limit on when advertising could run for any election? Lolita: It’s not a bad idea but it’s trivial when put up next to torture and murder. Let’s find out what’s relatively important in our rock scene—what’s up Rita?

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ROCK NEWS

Rita: I recently discovered what I believe is New England’s longest running showcase for unsigned bands on the radio. Homegrown on WPXC (PIXY 103fm, West Yarmouth, and pixy103.com) Sunday night 10-midnight, hosted by SUZANNE TONAIRE started airing in January ’87. Bands can mail their press kits to Suzanne at 278 South Sea Avenue, West Yarmouth, MA 02673, or send their electronic press kits to sonicbids.com. *** THE DRESDEN DOLLS have turned seven and have that seven-year itch. They’ll be doing a winter tour, maybe the last one for a long time. *** The Grey Hound Pub (Kelly Square, Worcester) is looking for original bands to play there. Check out their MySpace page at the greyhound_kelleysq. *** MARK DOHERTY (Nowhere USA) and RYAN PACKER (Jason Bennett & the Resistance) play the Deegan Brothers in MIKE O’DEA’s Townies—a local film being made that touts the claim of most realistic mob movie in the world. Watch for the release of Townies in the spring of ’08. *** YOLK SHIRE’s double CD The Witching Hour was mastered by Grammy award winning engineer ADAM AYA at Gateway Studios. *** Over 30 New Hampshire retail outlets, CD Baby, Amazon, and 62 digital outlets are now are participating in forwarding profits from THE EFFENGEES’ debut release to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. *** There is a ’zine based in Northeastern University that is doing a lot of local music coverage. Bands, send your press kits to Tastemakers, 434 Curry Student Center, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. *** MARTIN DOYLE has found another place for bands to play—J.J. Foley’s (21 Kingston Street, downtown Boston). Bands play on Sunday nights only from 7:30 to midnight. Contact Martin at mdbooking@gmail.com and listings can be found on his MySpace page mdbooking. *** TAYLOR BAREFOOT broke his thumb falling off his bicycle and still managed to play a gig with Casey Desmond’s band. *** This may not be rock news but many people are aware of the $1.7 million Arborway house in J.P. that is super decorated every year around Christmas. This year, owner Dominic Luberto has added a 10-foot-high, 650-pound gold-colored crown to the top of his three-story, Tudor-style castle. *** All Kindsa Girls, THE REAL KIDS documentary has been rocking Canadians with a showing in Winnipeg. *** CHRIS TRAPPER (The Push Stars) is featured in an online segment for the Warner Brothers film August Rush. Chris also has his song “This Time” in the film. *** The Providence Record Show and Rock & Roll Yard Sale returns on Sunday, 12/9, at 115 Empire St.—free admission. Lolita: Or head over to Looney Tunes on 1106 Boylston Street in Boston, or 1001 Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, for a similar experience—also free admission. Rita: Plus you get the added bonus of possibly meeting a local music star—take your pick—PETER PRESCOTT (Mission of Burma), JEFF CONOLLY (Lyres), DENNIS McCARTHY (The Prime Movers), PAT McGRATH (Wheelers & Dealers). Lolita: Face to face with local icons! That might be too scary for some people.

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THE SCARIEST THING

Rita: Scary? Those dudes aren’t scary. Okay, Jeff can be a little unpredictable, but they’re all very lovable. Let’s ask all the rockers we know what’s the scariest thing they have ever seen. Look, look, there’s Dana, another local icon, with his baritone sax—if you’re not too scared, Lolita, go ask him. DANA COLLEY (A.K.A.C.O.D./ Twinemen): The scariest thing I have ever seen was with out a doubt 9/11. My daughter had just celebrated her first month on earth on the Monday the 10th. Tuesday morning I was at my sister-in-law’s on the Vineyard and I had India on my lap and the TV was on.  At first I thought this had to be some new trailer for a movie but it just didn’t register what was happening. Then it became all too real with the following events and the aftermath. The most frightened I have ever been thinking this was the world our children were inheriting. She is six now and it still scares the shit out of me. *** KAREN DeBIASSE (Girl On Top): We were eating in the North End one evening when the waitress entered screaming, “There’s a dead lady out there!  There’s a dead lady out there!”  Of course we all went out look.  Parked in front of the restaurant was a fancy white Cadillac, engine running, doors locked, with a dead woman, mouth wide open, white as a ghost hunched over in the passenger seat dead.  The cops couldn’t get in because the doors were all locked.  Strange and eerie. *** DICK TATE (The Prime Movers/ Middle East): Ace Frehley up close without his makeup on—OUCH! *** TIM FARRELL (Miskatonic): Scariest thing I ever saw? Dick Cheney in a thong. Wait, I haven’t seen that. Thank God! *** MIKE LANGLIE (Twink): Watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on TV for the first time. Seeing the animated abominable snowman peer over the mountain sent me screaming and gave me nightmares for weeks. Pretty silly now but it blew my five-year-old mind. I really expected it to climb out of the TV like in The Ring. *** STIX SIGMA (The Allstonians/ The Hammond Group): The scariest thing I’ve ever seen was the sight of several Allstonians including yours truly drinking grappa with our Italian tour manager, Chico, until he got sick in the parking lot of a communist youth center in Modena, Italy. Pavarotti didn’t show up that night. *** RUBY BIRD (Bird Mancini): I have never seen more scary, red-necked, boneheaded people than when I played in a band in Omaha. We played a club called The Alibi every Sunday to a room full of Hell’s Angels… these are the original Hell’s Angels, not the second shifters out in L.A. Oddly enough, they weren’t as scary as the farmer townies who would hang around in gangs after our gigs and swing mic stands at us just for kicks. One night they split our friend’s head wide open. Glad those days are far behind me! *** JOSE DE LARA (Protokoll): Well, morbid curiosity once got the best of me and I saw one of the Iraqi jihadist beheading videos. It was one of the most frighteningly macabre things I have ever seen human beings do to an individual. We live in an age where information is mostly free and available to the masses online. We can see things that happen in the world that normally we would be ignorant to because of the availability of the Internet. I strangely find justification in viewing these videos however, because I think that it’s a heavy way of personally finding some sense of visual awareness of the sheer human brutality that is happening in that particular part of the world. *** MJ QUIRK (Hixx/ Last Ones): The scariest thing I’ve ever seen was the Screen Gems closing logo that they used to show after Bewitched. That music creeped me out big time when I was a kid. The flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz are a close second. *** TIM MUNGENAST (…& His Preexisting Conditions): The scariest thing I ever saw (besides the view from the back-seat window of my big brother’s car as it spun, slid off the road, and rolled down an embankment) was when I was driving behind an ambulance. Through the window I saw a pair of bare feet thrashing up and down. It really freaked me out as I tried to imagine what this fellow was going through. Twenty years later it still gives me the willies… I hope the EMTs were able to save him. Lolita: Tim, it sounds like you should avoid automobiles and not look through their evil windshields.

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MUSICAL CHAIRS

Rita: Maybe Tim could look through his evil windshield and tell us what band will break up next, or who’s leaving a band for greener pastures? WhenI looked through his windshield I found some confusion. Now that THE BOSTON AFROBEAT SOCIETY has changed its name to SUPERPOWERS, I’m afraid people might get it mixed up with DAVE TREE’s SUPERPOWER.  Time to call the music lawyers. *** And for those who haven’t figured it out yet—JADA and JADED are two very different all female bands in the area. JADA are singer performance divas signed to Motown, and JADED is a showy metal band. Both bands are very talented and are full of beautiful women. *** On the other hand, THE PUG UGLIES have called it quits, but they will bless us with two final shows filled with handsome guests at the Abbey on Friday, 1/11/08, and Saturday, 1/12/08. *** And like we always say, when one band breaks up, the freed members form new bands—like THE ALLSTON SWINGERS with JESSE VON KENMORE (x-Pug Uglies/ Marvels) on drums, CHAZ MATTHEWS (x-Dimestore Haloes) on guitars and vocals and ANDY EXCUSE (x-Dimestore Haloes/ Gimantis) on bass and vocals. *** CASEY DESMOND’s sister MARY LEE DESMOND has joined her band on backing vocals. *** NOELLE from Damone has a band called Goddess of My Religion. *** FUNF is an experimental music collective consisting of DR. VORHEES (Chris Barrett), PRIMECHUQ (Chuck Pukmel), ONLYONE (Joe Kowalski), M1 (Marco Beaulieu), and SILVA BULLET (Nick Balkin). Their debut full-length album Need is Now is due out January 2008. *** EMILY and STEPH of THE OPERATORS formed a band called TRICUNX, but then Tricunx changed its name to QUINCUNX. *** JAKE & THE JAKES were on their way—landing in our top 10 with both of their 2007 releases—but guess what? They broke up. Watch for their talented members invading other bands or starting new ones. *** And lastly, AMANDA ZW is now womaning the vocal helm of SAD MARVIN. Lolita: Womaning? Oh, I get it—she is breast-feeding the sad boy?

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ABCDEFG—WHAT WAS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT?

Rita: No Lolita, you’ve totally missed the point. Womaning, as in a woman manning the helm. Lolita: But how could she womanage that with a baby in her arms? Rita: Forget it. Let’s get to our ABCs. Ask your friends to tell you about the most memorable letter they’ve ever received. Lolita: Oh, you know they’re all very smart. They’ll all say “A-plus.” I got a C-plus once. Okay, I know, enough rambling, I’ll ask your question about important letters. NICHOLE CLARKE (Orange Nichole): When I was in elementary school I received a letter from a convicted murderer in San Quentin prison.  Some older kids found his address in the back of High Times magazine and thought it would be funny to send him a fake letter from a college girl and sign my name and address.  My father didn’t find it so funny.  He wrote back to the guy to apologize for the older kids’ behavior.  I think the kids got suspended from school. *** ROGER C MILLER (Mission of Burma): Randy Black sent me a dream in the mail once.  I thought that was quite curious. *** JOHN POWHIDA (John Powhida International Airport): A coupla summers ago I received a Madonna postcard from radical feminist author and social critic Camille Paglia who wrote that she loved The Rudds cover of the material girl’s “Burning Up.”  She said she would mention our version of the song publicly and she freakin’ did about a year later in salon.com. *** JOE KOWALSKI (Onlyone/ Larry Banilow): Without a doubt, the most memorable letters were all the Double-Ds.  Wonderful letters, those are. *** CORIN ASHLEY (The Pills): It wasn’t that much of a letter, but when I was seven I wrote a fan letter to Evel Knievel and he replied with a short note and an autographed Harley Davidson catalog which he signed “Happy Landings, Evel.” It was about the biggest thing that had happened to me since birth, I can assure you. *** KEN FIELD (Revolutionary Snake Ensemble/ Birdsongs of the Mesozoic): I got a postcard from John Zorn saying he liked my first solo CD Subterranea.  That was pretty memorable. *** SAMMY MIAMI (Shööt The Möön); Sammy, God gave rock ’n’ roll to you! If I can do it, so can you. Keep going, keep playing. Best of Luck!  ~Paul Stanley  *** STEVE (My Own Worst Enemy): In high school I wrote to DJ Carter Alan at WBCN and thanked him for turning me onto the new sounds of U2 and The Alarm, and to complain about how no other kids at school understood my weird taste in new and punk music. He wrote back, told me to ignore the masses, to remain true to being an individual, and to be on the lookout for his favorite new band, Big Country. *** DAVID KIRKDORFFER (UNDO): Back in the ’90s the band I was in at the time, Little A, recorded a version of the Massachusetts state song for a compilation CD.  We sent a copy of the song to William Weld, then governor of Massachusetts.  He wrote back: “Your group is as creative and witty as it is gallant and refreshing.”  We got a kick out of that. *** LISA CONNOLLY (Corolla DeVille): My rejection letter from Berklee College of Music.  It definitely changed my direction for music education. Ultimately I learned everything I needed to know right here from scratch. So many Boston bands have been my teachers.  It just took me 30 years to get my degree and a job in my field. *** JAY MARTORANO (The Time Beings): I received a letter from the late and great Greg Shaw of Bomp!/Voxx records. When we were still rehearsing in my bedroom back in ’81, we sent Greg a demo cassette saying, “Greg, you’re our only hope.” We flipped out when we got a letter back from him saying he really liked us and to keep sending him tapes—basement quality or whatever, a lot of bands got their start on Bomp that way. To us it was like a letter from Brian Epstein! We eventually made it onto Voxx’s Beast From the East compilation of East Coast garage revival bands. *** TODD HARRIS (18 Wheels Of Justice): The most memorable letter I’ve ever received? That’s an easy one to answer. The “you are approved for Massachusetts unemployment benefits” letter—it was cause for celebration. That goes for the rest of the members in 18 Wheels too. We’ve ALL received that letter! Lolita: I feel so stupid. I totally misunderstood what kind of letter you meant. But now that I’ve got it, one of my high school football boyfriends received a big letter that he asked me to sew on his sweater. It was very memorable. Rita: Why, was that TOM BRADY? Lolita: No, it was memorable because I told Jimmy Finklestein that I wasn’t his fuckin’ slave and that he should fuckin’ sew on his own fuckin’ letter!  We broke up and I started dating the ultra cool lead guitarist of the NEW ORIGINALS. If any of our readers can name this guitarist and the famous band he later played for, I’ll dig up a very special reward.

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CLUBLAND

Rita: While Lolita comes up with her new original award, I’ll fill you in on the best shows coming up before it’s time to hang a new calendar. The End War Now DVD release party rocks the Abbey Lounge on Saturday, 12/8, with THE LIZ BORDEN BAND leading the celebration. *** BROTHER CLEVE spins at Zuzu on Sunday, 12/9. *** On Wednesday, 12/12, ROADSAW comes out of hiding to play Great Scott. *** CHANDLER TRAVIS holds his 4th annual Boston Christmas Cavalcade For the Homeless at Johnny D’s on Thursday, 12/13—RAMONA SILVER and WILLIE ALEXANDER top the special guests. *** MR. LIF hip hops over to the Middle East Downstairs on Friday, 12/14. *** THE BOSTON BABYDOLLS return to the Coolidge Corner Theatre on Saturday, 12/15, at midnight with a winter-themed show entitled Brrrrlesque. *** THE PILLS are back with a show at T.T.’s, on Friday, 12/21. *** Same night TRISTAN DA CUNHA gathers at PA’s Lounge. *** The Noise holds its Holiday Occupation Party at the Cantab on Saturday, 12/22, with the ANDREA GILLIS BAND headlining. *** THE ALLSTONIANS bring the party to the Middle East on Friday, 12/28. *** Mardi Gras comes early next year—Our two favorite events are Club Bohemia’s at Ryles (212 Hampshire St. in Inman Square, Cambridge) on Friday, 2/1, and Shaun & Suzi’s on Saturday, 2/2, at T.T.’s. Rita: Enjoy the holidays! Lolita: We’ll be back in February.

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