Our Eyes on You

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Rita: December is the month of America’s most loved holidays. Lolita: Unless you dislike the pressure of having to find an unwanted affordable gift for that uncertain relative. Rita: Well, it looks like someone needs a little encouragement to uplift her holiday spirit. Let’s start right here with this issue of the Noise. JULIE DOUGHERTY has been running a holiday spectacular on Christmas Eve at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem since the snowy holiday was invented. OLDJACK, we all know, is another pseudonym for Santa Claus—that directly (or very indirectly) ties into the old soul rock they perform. SAM REID & THE RIOT ACT’s bluegrass Americana exemplify the riotous spirit of early morning kids tearing into their presents. The Grammy award winning TOM HAMBRIDGE has been leading a wreckage of world-renowned musicians as if they were reindeer on a solemn mission. And GRACE ROTH gives her take on Occupy Boston—could this be a modern scene of the manger multiplied by the thousands? Lolita: Okay, I get the picture—play along with the crowd instead of weeping in me drearies. Rita: You know, I’ve got my own drearies. Lolita: Why? Rita: Well, I walked into Passim last week and picked up a beautiful promotional bookmarker for the book I’m reading (Revival, a folk novel by SCOTT ALARIK) that was written about me (without me knowing it) and my friend who experienced a brush with fame, and the marker never mentions me by name. So now I have to make believe my name is Kit and dream about Nathan. Lolita: Well, Kit, you can go on dreaming, but we have a column to write. I came up with a holiday-related question of the month. I know you’ll be pleased with me since I usually screw up this sort of thing.

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SIXTH SENCE BELLY BUTTON

Lolita: Shoppers! Can I get your attention?! Please form a line over here by customer service if you’d like to answer the question of the month for the December issue of the Noise. The question is: Our belly button used to be the receptor of a sixth sense. What was the sense and why did we lose it? DAVID HULL (Joe Perry Project/ David Hull Band/ Buddy Miles Band/ Aerosmith): The Belly Button was historically the receptor for our sense of cool. The sense of cool was formally defined first by Marlon Brando and Billie Holiday, but had its ancient origins in Africa. It was developed and refined by such exponents of coolness as Keith Richards, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix. Probably because of its proximity to the groin area, the belly button was also the vector for all groove-based music and emotion. As far as scientists can tell, the connection between these two areas of the anatomy does not exist in Europe or Japan, which explains why it’s primarily the Americans, Brits and Africans who are responsible for all cool grooving in the world. When I last checked, it wasn’t lost. *** JONATHAN WYNER (M-Works): Sixth sense: Our sense of Groove… We didn’t lose it, record labels did. *** BRIAN KING (What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?): The belly button was our direct link to the Egyptian goddess, Isis. We lost it because of our stubborn preference for the binary. I learned all about this in “The Golden Ass” by Apuleius. I was obviously drawn by the title. *** IAN ADAMS (Lucky Dragon): We Freemasons have known for time immemorial that our sixth sense isn’t lost but simply lies dormant within us, represented as the All Seeing Eye. The purpose of Masonic ritual is to awaken this sixth sense, which allows us to see beyond these three dimensions into the fourth: Time. Kurt Vonnegut, an avid Freemason, cryptically described this in his masterpiece Slaughterhouse- Five. Okay, not really, I just made all that up. I have no good answer. *** CARL BIANCUCCI (Classic Ruins / Shotglass Killers): It was common sense and Fox News killed it. *** MICHAEL J. EPSTEIN (the Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library/ Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling/ Darling Pet Munkee/ Space Balloons): My belly button had the ability to perform pyrokinesis, but after too many burn holes in my T-shirts, my parents made me get that ability surgically removed. *** ERIN HARPE (Lovewhip/ Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers): The booty receptor, it used to tell us how to move our bodies and dance. While many (white) people have lost this sixth sense, our ancestors must have had it, and while no one knows exactly why we lost it, I believe you can get it back simply by focusing on the feelings coming from your posterior while listening to live music, and letting the vibrations emanate to your extremities. Wake up the booty receptor! *** SIMON RITT (the Darlings): The sixth sense that our very ancient ancestors from the earliest times once took for granted, the one most, but not quite all modern people now lack, is of course common sense. *** LIZ FRAME (…& the Kickers): It’s obvious: the bellybutton once (and still does, for a lucky few) detect bullshit. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t lost it. *** SHAUN WOLF WORTIS (Wolf’s Annual Mardi Gras Ball): Our sense of direction. In pre-human days the belly button was widely used as a compass. We appear to have lost that ability sometime between the bronze age and the invention of plastics, although it is unclear why. Some scientists have speculated corn consumption was to blame, while others suggest it was a really stupid trait to begin with and thus lost its allure. Lolita: I heard about that compass thing too—if you had an outtie it could tell you the difference between north, south, east, and west. But if you had the more common innie—it would focus your inner direction. Rita: That was your idea of a holiday- related question?

NOISE NEWS

Rita: Who’s to say what news is important? We care about musicians and music-related businesses, so that who and what we report the news about. If you have news that you think we could use, please get in touch. Here now, the news: ROGER MILLER (Mission of Burma) recorded an album when he was 18, with his brothers LAURENCE and BENJAMIN who were 16, under the name Sproton Layer. The recordings were remastered and released by the German label World in Sound Records. Included is a 20 page full color booklet with the history of the band, photos, journal entries, drawings, etc. *** MELODEEGO took their bike powered Sustainable Sound system to perform at Occupy Wall St and Occupy DC. Visit kickstarter.com to help them raise the money trips for like this. *** After 40 years in business, late in October Daddy’s Junky Music closed the doors to all twelve of its stores in New England. Competition from the tax-free Internet contributed to the closing. *** Church and Great Scott have received notices from the City of Boston to cease and desist all 18+ shows. The clubs were informed that all 18+ shows must be approved in writing by the city. Hearings have been set. *** A.J. WACHTEL sent in a 60 second interview with SIOBHAN MAGNUS (from American Idol) so we decided to print it here… Noise: Who is your favorite local artist? Siobhan: Aimee Mann. She’s a big influence behind my debut CD. I love hearing stories about her from the early days when she worked at Newbury Comics. *** Ex-Middle East employee ALLISON FINNEY is now handling media chores at Showcase Live in Gillette Stadium. *** A new music competition for unsigned musicians has reared its head—get on your computer and look up Unsigned Only. *** RANDY BLACK (…& the Heathcroppers) is having one of his stories, Help Yourself, published in the classy publication Inman Review. It’s published under his pen name EDWIN M. STECKEVICZ. *** LOONEY TUNES is celebrating their 33 1/3 anniversary! Keep an eye out for special happenings and more importantly… balloons. *** The Noise is running its first QR code—find it in the FreQ ad on page 23. Yeah, we’re getting so hi-tech that Lolita is using the FreQ to measure the vibe she gets from her favorite musicians—her iBra has consistently raised their… frequencies.

TURNIN’ IT DOWN TO ZERO

Rita: Sound is wavelengths, just like light, radio waves, and microwaves. But they all vibrate at different speeds, which makes them all unique. What if the section of wavelength for sound didn’t exist? How would your life be different? LINDA VIENS (adam&eve/ Angeline): When I imagine my life without sound… I see an odd and lonely progression of events filled with beauty and trees and people still, but without the sound of leaves rustling, whispers of love, brilliant intimate conversations, or music. I feel an emptiness and unbridgeable sadness; life as a strange and poignant movie without a soundtrack. *** KEN FIELD (Revolutionary Snake Ensemble/Agachiko/Birdsongs of the Mesozoic): WHAT!!?? I CAN’T HEAR YOU! CAN YOU REPEAT THE QUESTION? *** JESSICA PROUTY (Jessica Prouty Band): If there was no sound, I would not be going to a music school, nor would audible music exist. However, I do believe that music would exist in color. Our eyes could see a greater range of colors. Paintings would express how we feel. Perhaps humans would sniff each other to get a sense of the other’s personality, or we’d lick a computer when it was acting funny. There would be no such thing as radio, and you wouldn’t be able to hear a baby cry, or your love’s laughter. I certainly wouldn’t want to live there! *** DAVE WESTNER (Woolly Mammoth Sound) Well, shit, I’d be out of a job, wouldn’t I? *** JOE COUGHLIN (the Noise): I’d have a lot less to complain about, causing fewer people to throw shitfits. *** TODD HARRIS (18 Wheels of Justice/ DB Studios): Well, I wouldn’t have a job, a career, or a band, and I’d have probably drank myself to death years ago, soooo yeah… doesn’t look good for me…. On the bright side I would never have to listen to Fleetwood Mac, the Black Eyed Peas, the Tea Party, or some moron from the Occupy Boston movement ever again! *** CHUCK U. ROSINA (WMBR/ WMFO): Are you serious with this question? If sound didn’t exist, how could we radio people do radio? How can all these bands that you cover in your mag play music? If sound didn’t exist, there would be no Noise! My heart-felt sympathies to the hearing-impaired amongst us. *** DAVE GUTTER (Paranoid Social Club): If sound didn’t exist, I think the effects of vibrations would be what music was made from. Part of the rush of music for me is the bass pumping against you and the feeling in your head when you sing. Vibrations would be the new expression and I think it would be cool. Lolita: That’s right—when Rita says sound, she should say sound in the human hearing range. My dog listens to MP3s that I can’t even hear.

MUSICAL CHAIRS

Lolita: The music we will use for Musical Chairs is “Silver Bells” by Bing Crosby. Are you humming it in your head? Okay then, let’s begin… MICHAEL BOUDREAU has left the Salem ethnotronic collective MACHINE 475 while maintaining his position as guitarist for ORANGE NICOLE. *** Connecticut’s MERCIES formed from members of THE DEAR HUNTER. *** RANDY BLACK & THE HEATHCROPPERS are LARRY DERSCH and MATT GRUENBERG joining RANDY BLACK. Yeah, we mentioned that last month, but felt it was worth mentioning again. *** Members of HI8US have formed THE DARRLY STRAWBERRIES. *** Members of the BIG DISAPPOINTMENTS have created ROYAL WEDDING.  Rita: I’m still crooning “Silver Bells” in my head, but it looks like you’re done. Lolita: Yeah, since the list was short, how ’bout we now check out all our advertisers and think of how we can make use of them for holiday gift-giving season. Really—look at the assortment of advertisers we have now. ***YOU’LL NEED THE PRINT ISSUE TO SEE ALL OF OUR ADVERTISERS—NEW AND OLD*** Lots of places to hear music. How ’bout a quality guitar strap? (Find the ad!) Or a salon to make you retro beautiful with a modern touch? Ahh—I said touch—when was the last time you had a full body massage? Or treated yourself to some vintage vinyl—we have the advertisers just right for you. Cafés with coffee to die for (“Gimme Some Coffee!”) or a maker of fine stringed instruments (find the ad!)—or maybe an instrument for a beginner (it’s never too early)—or lessons for them! Studios to record your favorite song—and don’t forget to have it mastered. T-shirts to decorate your already beautiful body. Photographers to capture you before the winter uglies set in. How ’bout supporting an organization that helps keep music in our schools? (Find the ad!) When was the last time you treated yourself to some cool duds? We even have an ad for the latest tech toy for a musician who’d like to have better stage sound (that one starts with the letters FreQ). Or maybe your musician friend would be astounded if you paid their rehearsal space rent (yeah, there’s an ad for that too!) or fix one of their instruments that they accidentally slammed onto the stage? Ahh, we got some great restaurants that now advertise in our pages—and we’ve tried them too! Yumalicious—really! Do you know a teenage gal who’d love a pair of guitar pick earrings? (Find the ad!) We even have a couple of stores that offer hard to find vintage thingamagigs, whatchamacallits, and ancient issues of the Noise. How ’bout the ad that is giving away free shoelaces! I kid you not! You can even subscribe to a magazine—or remember to frequent an online old school groupie-type website. Buy a local act’s CD (find the ad!) or try a writers’ workshop, maybe purchase a piece of local art or plan a party and find the advertiser that can help you. And if you just don’t want to buy something material—go to a venue of your choice and support local music. We do it all the time. Maybe you’ll run into us. Happy gift-giving!

OCCUPY THE 2012 ELECTION

Rita: Wow—while Lolita catches her breath, I’ll take us in a totally different direction. Please answer this question—how will the Occupy movement affect the presidential election of 2012? KIER BYRNES (Three Day Threshold): I think no matter who wins the presidential election we are (most likely) all going to lose. *** CHRIS COTE (Giant Kings/Upper Crust): We can hope that the Occupy movement will force the candidates to pay lip service to some new ideas, but will otherwise probably not affect the usual corporate funded freakshow very much. Enjoy. *** CHRIS DALTRY (the ’Mericans): At first, I thought it would be ignored, but it’s really hung on, and I hope it really shakes things up next November. It needs a candidate, actually. If the tea party can generate so much attention politically, then why not a more true movement? In fact, I wonder how the numbers compare: tea partiers vs. occupiers. *** BOBY BEAR (Boby Bear): Due to the global scope of the Occupy movement, any candidate will have no choice but to side with the movement. The sheer numbers on board, so greatly eclipse the wealth of the one percent, that only a suicidal fool would make the wrong move. No other candidate has ever faced a phenomenon such as the Occupy movement; no amount of implied or actual monetary reward will matter. The world that we’ll be in as little as one year will be operating on a wavelength never imagined, and our next President had better be ready for seriously big changes. *** TREVOR MACKENZIE (Flatout Jones): I think a lot of people are saving a lot of money on rent right now! I think tent sales have at least doubled. The election of 2012 will be affected in two ways. Effect: the first; people apparently love to camp, so if one of the candidates likes to camp and they mention it, they will have an edge! Effect: the second; I believe that people, because of the protests, will vote based upon multiple one-on-one games of guess who. Whoever the candidate looks most like in the end will receive a vote. Due to this fact, we may see strategical mustaches and other miscellaneous facial hair. *** TONY JONES (Tony Jones & the Cretin 3/ the Tony Jones Show): George Costanza for President! *** BRAD BYRD (Brad Byrd): The Occupy protests will hopefully open the eyes of more people in the White House, as it hopefully has already, that there needs to be a stop to the grandiose spending the top one percent incurs and the control they have on our economy. They’ve got to kick some of that money back into the marketplace and create more jobs and opportunities for the middle class. Not sure how much of an effect it will have on the election, but it will definitely have some. *** MAX BOWEN (Citywide Blackout): By getting more of the youth interested in who’s in the White House. I’m seeing the crowds just get bigger and bigger, and though the message sometimes gets muddled, people are showing a serious interest in effecting change. *** JEFF CHASSE (Old New England Weather): Obama will be forced to either embrace the protests or distance himself from them. Or somehow do both. *** MR. CURT (MC3): Not at all. These urban (and then some) protesters are just an itch in the political landscape, maybe worth a disinterested scratch from those major-party sycophants (sorry Obama!). If we could get a crack at those CEO-behemoths, then we could and would vote them out of office and position, then the urgent economic tides might change. We’d be really rockin’ the boat! But until that moment arises, Capitalism is in control and I haven’t seen anything to change or alter that. Have you? Lolita: I think politicians are very much paying attention to what is going on with the Occupy movement. When so many people start airing their grievances and joining together, it adds up to a lot of votes that corporation can’t buy.

ALL GOIN’ OUT TOGETHER

Rita: “It’s almost the end of the show!” If you can name where a song of that name comes from, write in and win a prize. Here’s what’s going on in January 2012… On Friday, 1/6, ROCK BOTTOM returns to Johnny D’s. *** Or you might prefer DEATH WALTZ ’76 at the Midway on that same night. *** On Sunday, 1/8, the NICKLE & DIME BAND opens the show at the Middle East upstairs. *** From Portland Maine, one time Noise cover-boys, PARANOID SOCIAL CLUB, play Church on Friday, 1/13. *** Same night some of Boston’s finest bands occupy the Middle East—the show includes JOHN POWHIDA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT and MUCK & THE MIRES and more. *** On Saturday, 1/14, catch SOUL SINGING EXPERIENCE at the Cantab. *** Same night the BRUCE MARSHALL BAND is at the Press Room in Portsmouth, NH. *** And also on that night GUMBO DIABLO plays the Pub at Cape Ann Brewing. *** KEVIN G. MOORE plays with the sensibility of Pete Seeger at the Walnut Street Cafe on Friday, 1/20. *** Same night JEFFREY FOUCAULT and JOHN FULLBRIGHT play the Me & Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehead. *** MISSION OF BURMA plays the Brighton Music Hall on Friday  1/20 and Saturday 1/21. *** On Friday 1/27 DOMINIC & THE LUCID are at the Big Easy in Portland, ME. *** Or hear FRETT BUZZ at the SkyBox in Tewksbury on that same night. *** KINGSLEY FLOOD crashes into the Rhumb Line on Saturday, 1/28. *** Same night REDDY TEDDY will lead you to believe it’s still 1980 at the Cantab. Lolita: I hope you are all healthy and happy in this new year of 2012. Rita: We’ll be looking for you in all the best venues in New England.

RIP: John Lincoln Wright (from the Sourmash Boys and vet of the Bosstown days in the late ’60s) died of a stroke on 12/4/11.
RIP: Saxophonist, David Sholl, passed away on Christmas Day, having quietly battled cancer for almost 10 years.

If you’d like to subscribe to the print issue, send $22 to T Maxwell, PO Box 353, Gloucester, MA 01931.

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