OUR EYES ON YOU: April 2009


Rita: Ahh, I love this time of the year. Spring
is here and I can finally get back to my garden.
Lolita: And I can start working on my tan again—get
rid of the winter uglies.
Rita: Bands that have sharpened their skills all
winter long (read: drank too much) emerge from their basements, attics,
and garages with new material to create their best shows ever. Let’s
find out what our friends do that defines the beginning of spring for
them. There’s Justin crawling out of the Cantab very early on a Friday
morning. Quick, go ask him now.
Lolita: Alright already. Justin! Wait up. I have
the Question of the Month for you.

{mospagebreak title=WRITING SPRING}


Lolita: As soon as people hear Question of the Month
they all come running to answer. Now get in a straight line, keep your
hands to yourselves, and tell me what you do to define the beginning
of spring?
JUSTIN BERTHIAUME (the Chicken Slacks): On the first warm sunny
day I will awake, head to the park, lie back in the new grass, and watch
the clouds roll by… hey there’s a song there. ***
NAT FREEDBERG (Upper Crust/Satanics): Well, I get seasonal
affective disorder, so the first thing I do when spring arrives is I
gently, gently let the hammer down on the cocked Smith & Wesson
revolver I’ve been holding to my head for the past three months and
very, very slowly remove it from my temple. Then I get off the couch,
look out the window at the trees and flowers, and burst into long, wracking
sobs. Am I crying or laughing? Hard to tell. After that it’s all “Take
Me Out to the Ballpark” until around Thanksgiving.
Lolita: That’s “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”—but
the weirdest thing about that song is that people sing it when they’re
already at a game. Now can I look at your revolver? ***
(WBCN/ Rock ’n’ Roll Social): I’ll be getting inked. I
have a hankering for a new tattoo. In the meantime, you can find me clearing
dog crap from my yard that I lazily left to be covered by snow all winter.
MIKE MALONE (Orb Mellon): I’ll clean up the winter’s
crop of dog poop in my yard before my kids clean it up with the soles
of their shoes then probably write a song about it. ***
(Skull Hammer):
Spring is here when I finally get to put away all of my Eskimo coats
and break out my collection of old, worn (and comfortable) concert T-shirts
from the last few decades. ***
(Temper): Three things
for me define spring: (1) burning all my winter hats and gloves; (2)
going to the Harvard Square May Fair to guzzle beer in public; (3) listening
to XTC’s
Oranges and
. Lolita: Thanks, we broke out Oranges
and Lemons
late in the winter
and made believe there wasn’t snow on the ground. ***
(Angeline): I will honor the pagan gods and goddesses by celebrating
the spring equinox, dance around the fire, plant visionary seeds for
the new season and give thanks for the ever renewing LIFE FORCE! ***
(What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?): For me dandelions signify the end of winter
and the beginning of spring. I will stick dandelions behind my ears
and roar because I’m both a dandy and a lion. ***
Improper Bostonian
): Happily
head out to a show without a winter jacket. ***
(Sonic Disorder):
Every year when the weather gets warm, I like to take a walk around
Kenmore Square, breathe in the fresh air, listen to the birds chirp,
and try to remember the exact location of the Rat and all the other
cool places that were once located in that area. Then I find some new,
hip, yuppie bar to sit in, get drunk and tell everyone how much I hate
them. That’s how I know it’s springtime in Boston. ***
(Miskatonic): Well, I was gonna get blind drunk and run around naked
through Davis Square but I already did that in February!
We saw you! We thought a snowman had come to life. ***
(Birdwatchers of America):
It won’t be spring for me until our record is heard singing out of
stereos across the nation. Could be a long winter. ***
(Low Budget Records/
Urban Caravan): Playing outside. I love to sit out on the back porch
breath in that inviting spring air and pick at my ukulele. Seems to spark
up my creative stuff. I can almost feel it now. ***
(We’re All Gonna Die)
Dust off the grill, buy a metric shit ton of meat, and spend a day grilling.
CHRIS RUCKER (WBCN): You know spring is coming right around
the corner when you start to hear hockey playoff talk. Let’s hope
the Bruins can continue this year’s good fortune and bring Boston Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Another good sign is when you start to hear the chirping about the WBCN
Rock ’n’ Roll Rumble!
Lolita: Ahh! The Rumble returns—and I heard it’s
back at the Middle East.

{mospagebreak title=UNMEDIA NEWS}


Rita: That’s right, the WBCN Rock ’n’ Roll
Rumble moves back to the Middle East with the prelims on the week of
4/5 to 4/11 (but Wednesday is a day of rest), with the semis on 4/16/and
4/17, and the finals on 4/24. Contenders include (night 1) Angeline,
Logan 5 & the Runners, the Deal, the Luxury; (night 2) the Minus
Scale, Gravehaven, Apple Betty, Eksi Ekso; (night 3) the Fatal Flaw,
the Dirty Truckers, the Motion Sick, the Have Nots; (night 4) Anarchy
Club, Muy Cansado, Dead Cats Dead Rats, Sarah Rabdau & Self Employed
Assassins; (night 5) Thick as Theives, the Mystery Tramps, Gene Dante
& the Future Starlets, Destruct-a-thon; (night 6) Trucker Mouth,
the New Alibis, Gozu, the Lights Out. ***
(the Vital Might) is running
in the Boston Marathon (with his girlfriend Jen) on 4/20 and continues
to raise money for cancer research. *** The Milkyway Lounge will pretty
much cease to exist when Bella Luna (the attached restaurant) relocates
to the Brewery at 284 Amory Street in Jamaica Plain. Sunday brunch
may be the only time for entertainment. ***
has taken over booking
the Clear Conscience Café in Central Square, Cambridge. *** The band
BILL is looking for people who want to be in their movie on 4/16 at
the Lucky Dog. Get there at 8:00 pm to be in the crowd as a movie extra
for cheering, chanting, and singing along. *** WZBC’s local show,
Mass. Ave. & Beyond, has been suspended for the current semester.
TRACEY STARK will be back on this summer. *** Drummer BILL JARRY
(4” Stud) acted in an episode of the online hit series
High Heel Samurai. *** McALISTER DRIVE has sold out their last
four Boston dates—and we’re not talkin’ tiny rooms. ***
(Sad Marvin) was part of a group of music vets on Fox News that put
together a list of 10 songs that should be avoided by
contestants. Lolita:
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Help,” “Respect,” “Piano Man”
were included, but no songs by SAD MARVIN.

{mospagebreak title=WE'LL MAKE GREAT PETS}


Rita: Did you know that Lolita use to have a blind
pigeon as a pet? She rescued it off the street. That was just one of
the 56 birds she kept in her Cambridge apartment. She ended up having
to give them all away because she developed the life-threatening bird
lover’s lung.
Lolita: But what about other people’s pets? Rita:
Yeah, go ask people for stories about other people’s pets.
Sure, I’ll just text message some of my animal friends.
(x-WBCN): There is an adorable puppy at my Thai language school here
in Bangkok with an extra paw on his foreleg. His name is Ang Pao, named
after the red envelope of money given on Chinese holidays that symbolizes
good luck and wards off evil spirits. ***
(the Throwaways/ the Acrobrats):
My bandmate’s family’s dead cat is in the freezer in the basement.
I don’t know that qualifies as something interesting about that particular
pet, but it’s a real eye-opener when you’re drunkenly fishing around
for a late-night snack. ***
(Cleartheway/ Pete
deGraaf Audio): My girlfriend’s cat would always invade any food that
was on the table, which never made any sense to me because we eat vegan…
Thanks, Lucy for standing in our cheeseless pizza! But we got
some squirt guns and keep them next to the table. Every time Lucy
tries to sample the food, we squirt her. I guess that cats hate
being squirted with water more than they like vegan food. So nowadays
she checks out the food from the top of the refrigerator. Now
if we could just stop her from eating out of the garbage. ***
(The Scott
Bosley Philharmonic): My friend Tommy McGuirk had a dog named Grimes
who could say “Colorado.” ***
(the Noise): I have a friend with a three-legged pug
named Bandit. He’s a great li’l pooch! ***
(Monique Ortiz): Monique
Ortiz has a very sweet cat named Marlene (pronounced mer-leh-neh).
She gets very jealous when we practice and often will waltz into our
rehearsal demanding attention. We, of course, succumb to her jealousy,
stop EVERYTHING and give her the love she needs before resuming our
rehearsal. Hope that doesn’t destroy our hard-nosed rock rep
(after all, she is an all-black cat). ***
(Mercy James Gang): Our
keyboard player Nixie has a cat that I am terrified of. It even killed
a bat once. I don’t want to be next!
*** RICK
(Rick Berlin): I knew
this guy who had a cat named Harrison who could shit on command. He’d
be playing poker in his kitchen and he’d brag to his friends about
it. Nah. Bullshit, etc. So he’d get ’em to bet. Then he’d call
the cat onto the linoleum and say “okay, Harrison… shit.” Harrison
(a huge yellow tab) would stare at him cross-eyed, arch his big fat
back, tighten his thin black lips and do it. One slender licorice turd
onto the kitchen floor. Every time. My friend won every bet.
Wow. I’m speechless.

{mospagebreak title=MUSICAL CHAIRS}


Rita: Silence can make for a pretty lame column,
Lolita. Now let’s deliver the Musical Chairs information. Musical
Chairs is the dance that band members do when they jump from one band
to the other. Here’s what we’ve picked up lately. With the passing
of their lead singer,
, Memphis Rockibilly
has decided to continue with their drummer
switching to lead
singer/ guitarist/keyboard player.
has taken over on drums.
JEN D’ANGORA (Downbeat 5) has a new 8-piece side project
DAMIEN has added his vocals and death growls to the
theatrical ETERNAL EMBRACE. *** We’re not sure how long this strange
name band has been around, but (RA), an old school industrial 3-piece
ROBIN AMOS (x-the Girls/ Cul de Sac). *** Drummer KEVIN JENSEN
played his final gig with MELODEEGO. *** DRUNKS DON’T LIE added
“EL JEFE” JEFF DeBIASE (x-5lb Brown/ Gut/ Feces Pieces) on drums; STEVIE FARMER
x-The Medea Connection/ Feces Pieces) moved from bass to lead guitar;
SLIM moved from drums over to bass. Lolita:
Wow, that musical chairs within musical chairs. It’s like they are
building a new band.

{mospagebreak title=OTHER BUILDINGS}


Rita: Musicians build things other than bands.
And I’m gonna find out right now what they build. Amanda, what have
you built besides a coin operated boy?
(the Dresden Dolls):
I once built a love parlor in my basement. We used to have parties down
there when I was a teenager and I thought it would be awesome to create
a kind of tent where people could make out. I made a huge sign for it
and filled it with pillows. As far as I know, nobody ever went in there
except me, when it was first built, in celebration. Alone. ***
(Clatter Clatter):
Oh, okay… I get it. Ha ha guys. God, it seems
like we’ll never live this one down. ***
(Tim Mungenast &
His Preexisting Conditions): Back in the ’80s I built a guitar out
of teak. Dubbed the Teak Wonder (a.k.a. the Paul Klee Custom), the design
I came up with could be described as Hallucinogenic Swedish Modern.
Jim Mouradian and Wolf Ginandes did the machine-tool work, while I did
countless hours of shaping and sanding. One bonus was the sweet smell
of the teak sawdust: like cough syrup, only good, if that makes any
sense. ***
DAMIAN DAVID (4” Stud): I have finally finished building
that wood chipper out of common household parts and that’s great because
it has helped me with my “dead hooker problem.” ***
(Blackjacks/ Thrills): A massive media empire. ***
(Eric Bettencourt
Group/ Giraffe Attack): A Fender Stratocaster with Gibson electronics.
JON MACEY (Fox Pass/ Urban Caravan): I am remarkably
non-mechanical, so in literal terms, I have built very few things. However,
I did set up and wire my own recording studio. I have also built a complex
fantasy world that I visit often. ***
(Slow Century):
In sixth grade I entered my school’s “invention convention” with
a practical means of keeping my kid sister at a safe distance while
traveling with my family. I called the invention the “Sibling Separator”
and as its name implies was built to allow me the peace of mind and
personal space I required during those long trips to our relatives. Years
later Marya (my sister) and I still joke about it on stage. It figures
that now as adults we spend most of our time together writing songs
and playing music. Despite overcoming our differences, I still find
myself trying to invent new ways maintaining some freedom. ***
(the Cello Chix): I’ve built several miniature houses out of scrap
paper, cloth, and plastic packaging. ***
(Onebigmess): A car,
a 1974 MGB convertible, great car, only downside is I can’t fit my
guitar in the trunk! ***
(the Autumn Hollow
Band): Once I built a record shelf. It came out great until I stained
it. It’s now “buffalo tender orange.” The stain can did not designate
‘buffalo tender orange—for I would not have bought it. I hated it
at first. Now it looks spicy and delicious and functional. ***
Mungenast & his Pre-Existing Condition/ Sgt. Maxwell’s Peace Chorus):
I used to build my own speaker cabinets, bolting half-inch plywood onto
a substructure of 2x4s. They sounded okay, especially considering I
bought my drivers at Radio Shack. The experience served me well when
I rebuilt my rear deck, except I never quite finished it. ***
(Underground Control):
—the festival headlined
by our own Chris Ballew of Supa Group, Egg, and the Presidents of the
United States of America! And about 200 other local rock groups from
Underground Control and Martin Doyle. Hey, you just got the scoop.
JOHN HESS (the Vogon Poets): I build things for a living.
I've built racing motorcycles and restored vintage European sports cars
including a 1941 Indian Sport Scout, 1949 Vince Black Prince racing
sidecar outfit, 1953 Harley KR sidecar racer). My automotive work includes
a 1951 Ferrari 212 Export Vignale Spider, 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Speciale
Coupe, 1961 Ferrari TR-61 Testa Rossa, and a 1954-1956 Mercedes 300SL
Gullwings. Several of these cars were owned by Ralph Lauren and were
in the exhibit at the MFA a few years back. I'm a machinist by trade
and have also manufactured components for the international space station.
Wooo—the space station! I think that was a club I used to go to. I
must have been there a lot because I remember hearing “Earth to Lolita”

{mospagebreak title=ALL GOING OUT TOGETHER}


Rita: While Lolita delights us with her honesty,
I’ll enlighten you to shows that are worth your hard earned salary.
SAM REED & THE RIOT ACT do their CD release at Atwoods on Saturday,
4/4. *** Same night, THE MOLENES are at Club Bohemia (Cantab downstairs).
*** The ’BCN Rumble starts on the next night, Sunday 4/5, at the Middle
East. Flip back two pages to read the full lineup. *** In A Pig's Eye
ERINN BROWN on Wednesday, 4/8. *** Our own DJ MATTHEW GRIFFIN spins at Xmortis on Friday, 4/10, at T.T. the
Bear’s. *** Same night ENTRAIN brings their world boogie reggae to
Johnny D’s. *** On Saturday, 4/11,
celebrates her birthday
at Copperfields. *** On that same night there’s a
Party at Slainte in
Portland, ME. *** On Thursday, 4/16, PLANETOID invades Great Scott.
*** If you liked the British invasion, try MUCK & THE MIRES. They’re
Hypnotic at T.T. the Bear’s on Friday, 4/17. ***
Same night the soulful CHICKEN SLACKS get them dancin’ at Johnny D’s.***
SCAMPER reunites and HARRIS plays their last show at the Middle East
on Saturday, 4/18. *** That same night
(Apollo Sunshine)
is at P.A.’s Lounge. *** Hardcore fans will be at the Middle East
on Sunday, 4/19, for MOUTH SEWN SHUT. ***
are at C3 on Thursday,
4/23. *** THE GUNS OF NAVARONE headline Club Boho’s Ska Fest at the
Cantab on Saturday, 4/25. *** Same night
hooks up with SOUL-LE-LU-JAH
at Zuzu.
Lolita: Spring is here—so come on out! Rita:
And that means YOU! See you in the clubs!

PS—The Comm. Ave.
Guitar Center moved to the Fenway side of Boylston Street (1255) in

(bassist for Dr. Frog
and Glast) passed away on 1/4/09. He was 30 years old.

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