Our Eyes on You

Rita: Welcome to our once-a-year online-only March issue! In this issue (#319) we seek out a business that excels on the World Wide Web. Lolita: This year we’ve found Big Old Big One, a video-based website that created their niche by posting videos of musicians they record in nature—as opposed to in a venue. Noise writer MAX BOWEN tackles this feature story with Big Old Big One founders ERAN SHAYSH and DANIEL PERRY. Also in this issue you’ll find CD reviews, live reviews, Mr. Max’s Message, the Big Shot, and a special Rock School from CRISPIN WOOD. Rita: And let’s not forget this gossip column. You can learn more about New England musicians and music business people in one of our columns than you could if you read a years worth the Farmer’s Almanac, National Geographic, the Washington Post, and the dictionary, combined. Lolita: Wow, I never thought of it that way. But you’re right. To prove Rita’s point, let’s ask the question of the month to see what’s on the minds of many New England artists…



Rita: Nonpartisan politics is the best place to start to find out what people care about. So let’s ask, what concerns would you like to hear presidential candidates address? DAVE PINO (Andrew WK/ Powerman 5000/ Waltham): I’d like to hear the presidential candidates debate their views on Van Halen without Michael Anthony on bass. *** KEN FIELD (Revolutionary Snake Ensemble/ Birdsongs of the Mesozoic/ Agachiko/ Musaner/ WMBR): I’d like more discussion of the unproven assertion by many Republican candidates that the private sector can be relied upon to put people back to work vs. the common-sense approach of utilizing the hiring power of the federal government to accomplish that goal (while simultaneously repairing infrastructure, improving transportation, etc.). *** MICHAEL J. EPSTEIN (The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library/ Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling/ Darling Pet Munkee/ Space Balloons): I am really unclear as to why the candidates have not addressed the Mayan-predicted 2012 dolphin takeover of Earth. It’s a dolphinspiracy for sure! *** JOE COUGHLIN (the Noise): Extra-terrestrial intelligence. *** TIM MUNGENAST (Tim Mungenast & His Preexisting Conditions): I want the candidates to address the corporate takeover of our government and the dismantling of our constitution. *** SAMMY MIAMI (Sloppy Johnson): What if they don’t come in peace? What’s our government’s protocol for an extraterrestrial global assault? *** C. MOON MULLINS (Fenway Brats/ x-Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra/ x-Boston Rock Opera/ Damned Dirty Ape): I would like the following questions to be addressed by any presidential candidate: What freedoms and rights should our people expect? How does the country’s present security posture affect those freedoms and rights? What do we perceive as threats? What options are there for ceasing hostilities with those entities in conflict with the U.S.A.? What civil liberties do U.S. citizens presently retain, that upon being denied them, demonstrate failure of government? *** SATCH KERANS (the Satch Kerans Band/ the Catalinas): I would like to hear the presidential candidates address jobs, jobs, jobs and did I mention jobs? *** FRANCIS DiMENNO (the Noise/ Wrong Hero): I would like to hear a presidential candidate give the following speech: “If elected, I pledge to cut radically back on Pentagon spending, impose the same tax rates on the wealthy that they paid under Eisenhower, and eliminate the home mortgage interest deduction. I also pledge to use that income to provide universal health care, develop clean energy, bundle the price of auto insurance into the price of gasoline, and build up the infrastructure with a WPA-like program that would employ the jobless. I further promise to work to break through the tangled morass of special interest groups and favor instead those people who are working hardest to make this country healthy. Finally, I promise to place infrastructure and environmental groups to the forefront and political lobbyists and other pressure groups all the way to the back of the line. Let us stop building an empire and go back to building a Republic.” Lolita: Okay Francis, you are our pick to run for president. Rita: And to help you out, we have talked T Max into donating some advertising space in the Noise for you to kick off your candidacy. Francis: Actually, running for vice president would be more appropriate. And I’m thinking of using the ad space to promote a link to the Noise Board which would have the full text of my novel, Tyrant King. Lolita: Well, you heard it here first—FRANCIS DiMENNO is running for vice president.


Lolita: Musical chairs is where we tell you about new musical groups or about new members pushing old members out of the spotlight. And in that vein we should mention that Vice President JOE BIDEN reacted very nervously when I told him that FRANCIS DiMENNO was running for the vice presidency with the backing of a new corporate giant, the Noise. Rita: I think maybe he was nervous because you entered the White House through the bathroom window. Lolita: But I always enter that way ever since SIR PAUL McCARTNEY wrote that song about how I got into his house. Rita: Okay, enough fiction for this column—let’s enter the non-fiction section of musical chairs—CARL BIANCUCCI, JOHNNY BLACK, CHRIS COTE, and CHARLES HANSEN played with HUMBLE PIE drummer JERRY SHIRLEY at a show/book signing at Right Turn, celebrating Jerry’s memoirs, The Best Seat In The House. The band’s name is ARROGANT CASSEROLE (as opposed to Humble Pie). They’ll most likely continue on with JON COHAN (Tarbox Ramblers) drumming. *** SWITCHBLADE SUICIDE has switched bass players—out goes founding member JJ BAULZ, and in comes ALEX LINARDI. Fans wonder if cutting off Baulz may be an act of committing suicide with a switchblade. *** The guitarist, bassist, and sax player for ’80s Epic Records performers NEW MAN, MARK JONES (Up from Nashville), TIM ARCHIBALD (Ernie & the Automatics), and BOB GAY (Veveteen Playboys), played at Dick’s Last Resort in Fanueil Hall as THE BOOMERS which also included Mark’s wife and son and Tim’s son, too. STU KIRSH, ex-manager of Jonathan Swift’s in Harvard Square was seen in audience. New Man played the last set EVER at Jonathan Swift’s. File under fun facts. *** SLOPPY JOHNSON is a ’70s throwback band that plays swanky dives. The band includes SAMMY MIAMI (vocals/ guitar /washboard), MIKE LYONS (guitar), DAVE MALONE (bass), and DEREK MALONE (drums). Sammy Miami also plays drums in the Welch Boys, For The Worse, Dispute, and Britt Lightning Band. The guy gets around. *** ENGINE JUDY has picked up drummer DAVID ZIMMERMAN. *** ROXANNE MICHAUD is the new vocalist in TALL. Lolita: Roxanne replaced the band’s previous singer who wasn’t tall enough… she found it impossible to reach the high notes.


Rita: I will excuse your nonsense of humor and ask a very important question—what is your favorite fruit? BILL GOFFRIER (Big Dipper/ the Embarrassment): My favorite fruit is ever-so-near-perfect banana. I try to eat one daily, and usually succeed. By itself, on cereal or with peanut butter, it’s a winner and I am told you can purchase them everywhere fruit is sold! *** CORIN ASHLEY (…& His Witty Rejoinders): The cheap laugh is to name Ad Frank as my favorite fruit, but that would just be wrong. I have a long- time appreciation for the oft- neglected persimmon. There’s a small grove of persimmon trees in a field near where I grew up in Pennsylvania and the general wisdom was that you don’t want to eat them before the first frost. They have a bitter, mouth- puckering taste if you pick them too early. There was also a local tradition/superstition that if you split the seeds from a persimmon, the little white shape in the middle would predict the length of winter. If it looks like a spoon, it means a short winter but a knife- shaped imprint denotes a long, cold winter. I still buy them if I see them at the grocery store if I’m feeling a little homesick. *** LINDA VIENS (adam&eve): My favorite fruit is anything fresh and seasonal that one can get at farmer’s markets and farm stands the world over… fresh peach cobbler in September anyone? *** JOE CARDOZA (Bandit Kings): My favorite fruit is the lime, which I like to purchase by the wedge, within a Mai Tai, at Fortune Palace in Essex, MA. I do not recommend a second slice of lime, if you are driving. These babies are potent. *** AJDA THE TURKISH QUEEN (Black Fortress of Opium): I absolutely adore blood oranges. I only discovered them a few years back, but now, when they are in season, I take full advantage. I’ve developed a fair sense of when they’re perfectly ripe, too. Their smell, taste, and pulpy hues are like no other fruit, in my book. Blood oranges are understated, dark, and mysterious—just the way a winter fruit should be. I read that the “flesh develops its characteristic maroon color when the fruit experiences low temperatures during the night.” How sexy is that? I find the Harvest Co-op in Central Square usually has the best quality blood oranges. Lolita: Blood Oranges were on the cover of the Noise in 1989 and JIMMY RYAN is still playing his mandolin on the scene. *** TONY MELLOR (the Noise): My favorite fruit is whatever I use in the cocktails I make at home, but I suppose I’m partial to the lemon. Some of my favorite drinks require lemon juice: the sidecar, the crux cocktail, the delmarva cocktail no. 3, of course the fog cutter, the jockey club cocktail no. 2, and many more. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with squeezing that lemon slice over a nice trough of beer-battered fish and chips ’til the juice runs down my leg. I get my lemons at Market Basket. The crowds suck, but I’ll take a Market Basket crowd over a Trader Joe’s crowd, the people are just more… real, I guess is the word… *** KIMMY SOPHIA BROWN (significatojournal.com): My favorite fruit is fresh blueberries and the best place to buy them are the farmer’s market stands throughout Maine during the summer. *** KAREN DiBIASSE (Girl On Top): I swear by “real” oranges to stay healthy. Market Basket California oranges in the bag. Skip the Florida ones. *** DICK TATE (Middle East): Should not the question be WHO is your favorite fruit? Mine is the pineapple at the Market Basket in Somerville. Lolita: Looks like Market Basket is the place to shop, and it probably is now that Shaw’s stopped its Wish Big Win Big $15 Million Giveaway. I won a 6 oz. container of yogurt! If I would have hit the jackpot I could have donated my winnings to Francis DiMenno’s vice presidential campaign.


Rita: I guess the big news is FRANCIS DiMENNO‘s decision to run for vice president. And it looks like he’s a shoo-in with the Noise donating advertising space to his elaborate campaign. *** THE FLUTIE BROTHERS’ bassist SPENCER HARGIS‘s dad was the cop (on the motorcycle) closest to President John F. Kennedy when JFK was shot in Dallas, TX. *** DJ MATTHEW GRIFFIN is spinning Viking metal at T.T. the Bear’s on Xmortis night, Friday, 3/9. Lolita: I hope Matthew plans to spin ERIC THE RED‘s bloody red metal double-cover of “Red Rubber Ball & Chain” on red vinyl. *** CARMELITA, host of WAAF’s Bay State Rock, is now presenting live acoustic performers on the first Thursday of each month at the Armory Cafe in Somerville, MA, in a series called Bistro Busk. *** The novel The Story of Johnny Wylde by JOHN HOVORKA, JR. is now available as an ebook on Lulu.com. *** 27 has announced that their new 7″ will be available on Tuesday March 13, on Noise Appeal Records. It features remixes of two songs from their latest album Brittle Divinity, and includes a free download of a companion six song digital EP. *** WILLIE ALEXANDER is currently displaying his wall works (’til March 13) at Esopus Space in New York (64 West Third St., #210). *** KIER BYRNES (Three Day Threshold) and  his wife MANDY are running the Boston Marathon on April 15 to help support the Cystic Fibrosis Team. If you want to make a donation in their name go to https://give.massgeneral.org/drkierandmandybyrnes. *** Club Hell (previously Babyhead) closed their doors, making one less venue for local music in Providence, RI. *** GROWNUP NOISE tours the South in March that include four shows at SXSW. *** PLANET RECORDS is moving from one side of Harvard Square to the other. They’ll be at 144 Mt. Auburn Street sometime in March. Rita: I believe they do have a copy of ERIC THE RED‘s bleeding rare single. *** Allston’s Basement 247 Studios has moved to Waltham (32 Charles Street, second floor) and opened Watch City Studios. *** Berklee College of Music alumni and faculty were honored with nine Grammy Awards on for their outstanding contributions to some of last year’s top releases. Berklee alumni have now won a total of 214 Grammy Awards. This year’s winners included TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON, JEFF BHASKER, TREY PARKER, STEPHEN OREMUS, SUSAN TEDESCHI, MARK RIVERS, BYEONG-JOON HWANG, JESSE LEWIS, and BENNY FACCONE. Lolita: Research is ongoing to see if ERIC THE RED ever attended Berklee.


Rita: Wouldn’t you know it—FRANCIS DiMENNO decides to run for vice president and ERIC THE RED appears out of nowhere to steal the spotlight. Just shows you how things can go from good to bad within one paragraph. I’ve asked our beautiful friends to give us examples of good or bad things that have happened to them recently. RUBY BIRD (Bird Mancini): Something good—the Noise Valentine Show at the Dog Bar with Joe & Renee (from the Bandit Kings) and T Max! What a great time we had! Joe and Renee are great–both as people and as musicians. Gloucester has such a great music scene, and the Dog Bar is adding a lot to that scene in a very comfortable, congenial venue. The audience was friendly and responsive and alive to the very end of the show and beyond. The acoustics of the place were also great–like being in a recording studio. Definitely a recent high point! *** RICK BERLIN (the Nickel & Dime Band): Good and bad. The good: we played upstairs in a heated barn on Super Bowl Sunday. Awesome gig run by awesome people. Great sound, stage, performances by other people. Totally happy vibe. in braintree. Kids, teens, adults. Pizza ’n’ beer. Turns out one of my bands played their wedding years ago. Now they have grown kids. talented kids. They’d met at one of our gigs years back. to have us play years later was so cool—you don’t get any more loyal as a fan than that. The bad: the Pats lost. *** ANN MARIE SHIMANSKI (the Bandit Kings): Well, last month I headed out with the Bandit Kings for a bit of a tour. We stole the hearts of the West Coast folks in Los Angeles. Sunsets and a some R & R; rock ’n’ roll, that is. *** MR. CURT (Camaraderie Music Productions): Just got connected to a new art/music space in Cambridge called Gallery 263 [263 Pearl St.], wherein I’m able to produce a couple of shows. As well as performing, I love this aspect of the biz. It’s a gallery and an all-acoustic room, holds about 40 people, and it’s beneath the radar. My first show coming up: Saturday, March 24 at 8pm is an evening of jazz and poetry with Bright Moments, Dot SQ., and Ron Benham. Then on Saturday, May 19 at 8pm, The Camaraderie Show with MC3 and a variety of undetermined talent. On a downer: trying to do something similar in Hyde Park at Menino Art Center, but currently entangled in red tape concerning occupancy regulations. Stay tuned. *** CARL BIANCUCCI (Classic Ruin/ Arrogant Casserole): Went to Nice (France) in January and located Nellcote, the villa that the Stones recorded Exile On Main Street in back in ’71. Not a bad way to start off the year, oui? Lolita: I love it when Carl speaks French to me. *** SUSAN EMERSON (Gloucester Music): It was actually something that started out a tiny bit “bad” but concluded in the best “good” I could ask for. I was in the grocery store last week caught behind an old woman who was inadvertently holding up the line because something was amiss with her coupons. People were exaggerating sighs of annoyance behind me. I was in a bit of a hurry (aren’t we all, always?), but not so much. After a few minutes, the woman turned to me with an apologetic half smile and said, “I’m sorry, dear. You should never get behind me in a line; something always goes wrong when I’m in a line.” After another five minutes of the manager being called over twice, she finished her business. She turned again to me, and said, “I really am so sorry.” By then, she was practically my grandmother, and it was I who felt so sorry for her. I mustered up a great big smile and said, “That short wait was worth every minute, for the pleasure of your company!” She turned back, looking me full in the face, and tears rolled down her cheek. “That is the nicest thing any one has said to me in years—not since my husband died, I think. Thank you.” And she walked out into the dark evening. I was stunned. *** DJ MÄTTHEW GRIFFIN (the Noise): Recently I visited my friend Russ in New Haven, CT, for a long weekend. Russ has a sauna and a jacuzzi in his loft and both were new and interesting experiences for me. The sauna was great; I felt like I had a face lift after showering off afterwards. The jacuzzi got a little too weird when the bubbles wouldn’t stop growing! Turning on my side made it great though for a cheap colonic irrigation session! *** JOHN HESS (Vogon Poets): Just spent a few days in Prague celebrating my 50th birthday and sixth wedding anniversary. We had a nice cozy visit to winter, seeing as we don’t get one this year. It’s one of my favorite cities, and was happy that Robin agreed to make that our destination this year. *** JOEL SIMCHES (Watch City Studios): So far this year has been all good. I’ve been helping to put together and build the new control room at Watch City Studios in Waltham. The first two projects in the new room were Endation and Four Point Restraints, which I am producing. I am also mixing at Radio and developing a relationship with the club. Count Zero has a new video, Black Fortress of Opium has a new album and Joe Turner and The Seven Levels has a new drummer (Adam Goodwin) and new material. Life is good. *** STEVE GAETZ (Bedlam Productions): I had something bad and good happen. Eight days before Christmas and two days before my birthday, the engine in my car blew at 65 mph on Rt. 2 north of Gardner. The car totaled—I was devastated. Out of the blue, because I certainly don’t deserve such good friends, one guy lent me his car (a drummer no less) and my other friend who happens to be a mechanic GAVE me a car. Saved my life or at least my home. *** KIER BYRNES (Three Day Threshold): Last weekend, I was snowmobiling up north. The snowy path ahead curved sharply to my right through a grove of trees so I adjusted my speed way down, as I was blind to the trail ahead. The trail was just wide enough to hold two lanes of snowmobile traffic. I took the inside lane to make the turn, however two snowmobiles suddenly appeared driving side by side, barreling straight at me. With only moments to react, my choices were dim: a straight on collision or wrecking in the trees, both which could have fatal results. I cut off the trail to the right sharply to give enough room the other snowmobiles pass, then cut back hard to get back on the trail and avoid a tree. My sled caught a ski, driving me headfirst over the front of the machine. As I slid across the snow, I saw the massive shadow of my 500 pound snowmobile pass over head and I just prayed it didn’t land on me. Thankfully, the machine just barely missed me, landing track up with skis facing the opposite direction as I was originally driving. Other than a smashed helmet, a minor concussion, some scrapes and bruises and a cracked windshield, things were okay. It could have been a lot worse. The one snowmobiler in the far lane (who was getting passed) stopped and helped me out but the jerk that was in my lane passing on a curve just took off and kept driving. I tell this story to remind everyone not to drive into the other lane of traffic when you can’t see what’s on the road ahead! You could be the safest driver in the world, but it’s the jerks who ruin it for everyone. Lolita: That sounds similar to something I experienced this past weekend. I was outside Jackman, ME, and rented a snowmobile. These things can go really fast. But the guy ahead of me was going way too slow so I had to pass him. Just as I did, this snowmobiler coming from the other direction decided to show off by flipping his vehicle off the side of the path. He dented his helmet and cracked his windshield but overall he was pretty funny. He was probably trying to get my attention to ask me out on a date, but I didn’t bother to stop and chat. The lesson I learned is watch out for those crazy people who like a lot of excitement in their snowmobile driving. Kier, it’s funny how we experienced almost mirror images of the same thing!


Rita: Wow, it sounds like Lolita and Kier went to the same place this past weekend. I wonder if either one of them will be going to any of these great shows. On Saturday, 3/3, the Me & Thee Coffeehouse features a Saturday afternoon family show with JEREMY LYONS. *** Later that night at the Magic Room, BLACK FORTRESS OF OPIUM releases Stratospherical. *** HEATHER MALONEY brings her band to Johnny D’s on Friday, 3/9. *** ROGER CLARK MILLER (Mission of Burma) takes on the guise of a surrealist guide for surrealistic drawing games, word games, and the Dream Game (a board game created by his son, Chance). Experience it on Friday 3/9 at the Somerville Armory Cafe.  *** Also on 3/9 PARANOID SOCIAL CLUB plays Big Easy in Portland, ME. *** Next night Saturday, 3/10, TOM DEVANEY brings his ROTARY CLUB back to Boston on the heels of the release of their second album, Second Year In Swine, at PA’s. *** Same night, JEFF & JANE party like it’s 1982 at the Magic Room to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their old releases that are being re-released. They will perform as a synth duo with backing videos by New York artist Aurora Halal. *** On Friday, 3/16, SESSIONS AMERICAN play the Me & Thee Coffeehouse in Marblehead. *** Same night THE MOLENES are at the Magic Room. *** FOX PASS and CADILLAC HEART open Billy Connors’ St. Paddy’s Day Party at the Cantab on Saturday, 3/17.  *** That same night ERIN HARPE & THE DELTA SWINGERS invade the Midway. *** On Wednesday, 3/21, Club Bohemia returns to Somerville, this time at Somerville Grooves, with MICKEY BLISS (pictured at the beginning of this column) spinning discs by local artists and a couple of live bands (the Images and Hooker Clops) will perform and schmooze. *** PETER MULVEY plays a live concert at Lizard Lounge on Tuesday, 3/27. *** PATTY LARKIN is at Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, MA, on Saturday, 3/31. *** On Sunday afternoon 3:00-6:00, 4/1, THEA HOPKINS brings a group of her friends to play the Somerville Armory Cafe. Rita: We hope to see you at a live show soon. Next month we’re back in print with a woolly cover boy. Lolita: If you’re interested in finding out more about future Vice President FRANCIS DiMENNO, go to http://www.thenoiseboard.com/index.php?showtopic=218177

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