Lolita: If you want something other than corporate news, the Noise is a perfect place to start. Corporation don’t benefit when we promote the local folks who play in your neighborhood. But you do benefit—and so do the local musicians. In this special double summer issue so we’re going to focus on the two capes of Massachusetts—Cape Cod and Cape Ann. In this corner representing Cape Cod, the cool female quartet, PARKINGTON SISTERS. And to the north, representing Cape Ann—BRAD BYRD, the man who has captured the media market. You, as the readers, have to decide which direction to head. To spice up the issue’s theme we hooked THURSTON KELP from Cape Cod to do a summer preview of his native land. And from Cape Ann, PETER VAN NESS (Gimmesound.com) took on the all-encompassing look at the summer party land of northeastern Massachusetts. But we didn’t stop there. While Noise scribe A.J. WACHTEL was hanging out with RICO PETROCELLI (’67 Red Sox) and SETH JUSTMAN (J. Geils’ songwriter/keyboardist) he came up with the brilliant idea of interviewing KEITH LOCKHART of the Boston Pops. Read it—then read all the CD and live reviews. Okay, I’ll stop getting pushy now.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS WITH MUSIC
Rita: While Lolita calms down from her morning coffee, I will help everyone dig back in time, to when music first made an impression on you. What song did it for you? SARAH RABDAU (Foolish Ida/ Sarah RabDAU & Self-Employed Assassins): There are an endless amount of songs that I absolutely loved and would sing and dance around to as a kid. But the first song that squeezed my heart and changed my opinion of nearly every song I would hear afterward was “Kentucky Avenue” by Tom Waits. My dad listened to Tom Waits and sang his praises all the time as a kid, and I just hated it, and hated the music. But then one day when I was 11 or so, “Kentucky Avenue” came on and I think it was the line, “I’ll steal a hacksaw from my dad and cut the braces off your legs and bury them tonight in the cornfield,” that made me lose it and it was like a direct hit to my heart. I instantly became a huge Tom Waits fan and started paying attention to lyrics more than melody and rhythm. I still can’t hear that line without choking up. *** JON MACEY (Fox Pass/ adam&eve): Probably something my grandfather played. “Hey Good Looking” by Hank Williams. I would have been quite young, living in rural NY State. He was a Western dance band leader. “I got a hot rod Ford and a two dollar bill and I know a spot right over the hill.” Later on I went looking over that hill and never came back. *** BRAD BYRD (Brad Byrd): The first song I believe I ever absorbed was John Denver’s “Country Roads.” My parents played a lot of John Denver on the old record player when I was crawling around. JD and the Beatles mainly getting the most airplay. Somehow, I have these weird vintage memories of sunlight coming through the window and casting a beam on the record player speakers and dust particles floating effortlessly in mid-air as I drooled a bit… “Country Roads, take me home, to a place, I belong, West Virginia, mountain momma, take me home, country roads.” RIP. JD. *** OEDIPUS (Godfather of Punk Radio): “Red River Rock,” the instrumental by Johnny & the Hurricanes. Great songs need memorable melodies (plus some rippin’ musicians). *** DEB HARDY (Deb Hardy): The first time I heard “South Side of the Sky” by Yes, I was over my friend’s house and her older brother, who was a cool bass player, was playing this song on his stereo. I had never heard progressive rock before it changed my world. Not only did I become a big Yes fan, but it changed the way I played the guitar and wrote songs. *** WAYNE HUMPHREY (Diabolis In Musica): The song was “Don’t Go (Please Stay)” by the Drifters. It was 1961 and I was 4 yrs old. The very deep voice that sang the line, “Don’t go” scared the Dickens out of me for some reason. And just like a good horror movie, I’d keep going back for more, bugging my older sisters to play it again so I could get scared and wig out. *** MIKE LANGLIE (Twink, the toy piano band!): “Axel F” from the 1984 Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack was the first synth-trumental I heard on Top 40 radio. It’s just so cool and infectious, even today I want to breakdance when it comes on. That was the first song I learned to play on a Casio keyboard. Its bright-eyed angular melodies and squiggly little ornamentation are in the DNA of all my music. I finally paid tribute to it on my latest album (Itsy Bits & Bubbles) and even used the same Casio. *** 3RIAN KING (What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?): “It’s a Heartache” by Bonnie Tyler is the first rock song I remember making an impression. It must have resonated somehow because I would make my parents play it repeatedly on the jukebox at Papa Gino’s. Maybe it’s because I thought the second line of the chorus was “hits you like a toothache.” I also have a memory of my brother, Dan, recording me singing it onto a Certron cassette tape when I was around 6. I did my best to imitate Tyler’s sandpaper vocals. *** LINDA VIENS (adam&eve): The summer of 1967 I was 10 years old, and I would go to sleep with my little transistor radio by my ear under the covers in the dark (like so many other kids of that era). I remember hearing “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tommy James & the Shondells and thinking it was the most romantic, passionate song in the world. It captured young love so perfectly. Somehow I knew that many “tumbles to the ground” were in my future, and that made my little girlish heart beat very fast. *** MIKE LOCE (Studio 99 Nashua/ the Noise): Elvis Presley…“Hound Dog”…at 8 years old I knew I wanted to play the guitar, was pretending to with a cigar box fake I had made, and I think I had a 45 of this song culled from the old man’s record collection. There was something about Scotty Moore’s two guitar solos in that song that lit me up…the first solo just blasting up a pentatonic scale (didn’t know that then of course), and the second solo… just sounds mighty angry, man, he hit that guitar hard and was digging into it… listen to it now, still holds up! *** MR. CURT (MC3): “Kookie! Kookie! Lend Me Your Comb” by Edd “Kookie” Byrnes (co-sung with Connie Stevens) in 1959. He was one of the stars of the TV series 77 Sunset Strip. He played a beatnik-esque parking lot attendant working with the detective main characters. He was one of the hippest, coolest young dudes on TV, especially for a wide-eyed little kid. Also, the very first record my mother bought for me! Dig it, man! Lolita: Where did “dig it” come from? And, if you dig something a lot, is it deeper?
Rita: Since you’re reading this, you must have interest in local music—continue reading and you will have more information than any of your neighbors, family, or friends. Spread the information and you will help everyone involved with music. Good karma is headed your way. REEVES GABRELS, the local guitarist who played with the BENTMEN then slid into DAVID BOWIE’s band (not just as a player but a co-writer with Bowie), is playing festivals throughout Europe with THE CURE this summer. *** MIKE AROLAN (Elsewhere) was interviewed on a radio station in Holland. *** AGE OF END released two new tracks (from their upcoming CD Soul to Bleed) to benefit Scorch’s Paws for a Cause. The songs are posted on rock101fm.com. Donate what you can. *** LANSDOWN has sold 30,000 singles off their record Blue Collar Revolver. They believe that they may be the last independent band left competing with major-label acts. Let us know if your band wants to join in on the competition. *** Newbury Comics had a low-key release party for Fenway Park’s Greatest Hits that happens to include a ton of local artists. At the release RICO PETROCELLI (’67 Red Sox), who is now taking piano lessons, and J. GEILS BAND keyboardist SETH JUSTMAN were hanging out holding court. Employees CHRIS GUMB, ZAK KAHN, KRISTINA PROSNIEWSKI, and RACHEL BROOK kept the mayhem under control. *** DAN MILLEN has taken over the booking chores at Church of Boston. Former booker NICK BLAKEY is currently helping AMANDA NICOLES with the Crash Safely benefit for MS held the last weekend of September at the Davis Square Theatre. *** The new marriage between Looney Tunes record store and Store 54 (everything you didn’t know you were looking for) is drawing local celebrities like flies. Look for some cools shows coming up, like THE FLIES from this comfortable/exciting hang out. Lolita: Yeah, I’ll be there, probably makin’ out with a perfect male specimen in the back. So don’t interrupt me for an autograph. Rita: When you’re making out with the mannequin in the back room, it doesn’t count as making out.
Lolita: Hey guys, wanna make out with me? I mean, excuse me, I forgot where I was—can you come up with a trivia question for us? We get tired of always having to be the ones with the questions. WAYNE HUMPHREY (Diabolis In Musica): In the 1966 Batman episode, Hizzonner the Penguin, who played at the Penguin’s mayoral election campaign party? Rita: Oh, that’s too easy. It was a stunning performance by Paul Revere & the Raiders! Next… *** JOE MAZZARI (Joe Mazzari): Simon Ritt performs in a band from Boston called the Darlings, where did they get that name, and which item could Simon not live without, Coca Cola or bacon? Lolita: Ahh, a two-part question. I’ll answer the second part first—it has to be Coca Cola, because if Simon ate bacon all them time he would never be able to keep his rockstar figure. Rita: And as for the first darling part, it would be easy to say it’s because that sweet-singing KELLY KNAPP is such a press darling—but I believe it has more to do with some drunken hillbillies who raised hell on the Andy Griffin Show in the 1960s. Next question… KIER BYRNES (Three Day Threshold/ Kier Byrnes Freedom Runners): If active is defined as 30-plus gigs a year (most of which take place in the city), who are the top three longest running active local bands in Boston? Lolita: Well, that’s a mighty big “if” on the beginning of that trivia question, but I’ll say the top three have to be in this list someplace—Julie Doherty Band, Dropkick Murphys, Lovewhip/Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers, Mission of Burma, Lyres, the Beachcombovers (well, they used to be just the Beachcombers but then a windy surf blew their flaps over), the Stompers, Fox Pass, the Neighborhoods, Classic Ruins, the Cars, Barrence Whitfield, Liz Borden & the Axes, Bird Mancini, Mr. Curt (in one form or another), JJ Rassler (also in many different bands), and, oh yes, Three Day Threshold! Rita: Let us know if we got the top three. We’ll let the readers know when we come back in September with our next issue.
Lolita: Ahh, that time to dance around the chairs until two are left to fight over the one seat. No, not really—this musical chairs is about new members in bands and new bands forming. Electro-acoustic drummer FRANSSEN HAAS (x-Electric Mummy/ Last Second) and guitarist AZA-ZEL DIABOLOS have joined LUCRETIA’S DAGGERS. *** LOS CONDENADOS is ANDREA PENSADO on voice and laptop, JULES VASYLENKO on bamboozle and saxophone, and WALTER WRIGHT on electronics. *** THE JEFF THOMAS BAND is KEN HICKEY (O Positive) on drums, DAVID J. LIEB (the Rudds/ the Peasants) on bamboozle and sax, BEN FALKOFF (Kids on a Hill) on guitar, and JEFF THOMAS on bass and vocals. *** THE R&B ALLSTARS include VINNY SERINO on harp, JOHN CAGNINA on bass and vocals, ED DONDERO on guitar and vocals, and PETER GOUTZOS on drums. *** Horn player MICHAEL WINTER joins a little Boston group called the Boston Symphony Orchestra in September. He’s previously played in the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. Rita: I figured mentioning Michael in the Noise is acceptable now since AJ has buddied up with Boston Pops conductor KEITH LOCKHART.
IT’S ALL RELATIVE
Lolita: How ’bout another question? Let’s find out about our friends’ families. Sarah, tell us about your most interesting relative? SARAH BLACKER (Sarah Blacker): Steven isn’t my blood relative, but we call him Uncle Steven and he’s married to my father’s cousin. He served in Vietnam where he spent lots of time in helicopters, and his favorite song is “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly. He’s tall, always crass, boisterous, opinionated, and wildly expressive. He hates loud noises, and loves martinis. He’s got one of the best Boston accents I’ve ever heard, and if you’re able to earn his love and respect, he will unconditionally stand by your side. *** STEVE GAETZ (Bedlam Productions): I am related to Johnny Appleseed. You know the story. The only insight I have is that he did not wear the pot on his head, he smoked it in his pipe. *** JOEY AMMO (Spot Mary) My most interesting relative has to be my brother Paul—he lives this very Zen lifestyle of being a laborer, yet having a great deal of information to share, although he is quiet about it—you wouldn’t know how wise he is unless you initiated the conversation with him—when I’m in a jam it’s Paul I go to for advice. *** TIM MUNGENAST (Timworld): Aside from my dad, who had an engineering award named after him, my most interesting relative may be my uncle Dave, who was a Green Beret, a medal-winning ISTD off-road motorcycle racer well into his forties, and a Hollywood stuntman who was in just about all the Burt Reynolds movies, including a brief speaking part in Hooper. Thanks to him I am only two degrees of separation from Paul Newman, Burt Reynolds, Steve McQueen, the Unser family, and a whole boatload of cool people. He also left behind an enormous car and motorcycle empire in St. Louis. *** LIZ FRAME (Liz Frame & the Kickers): Without a doubt, my most interesting relative was my mother: sharp, funny, bold, outspoken, loving, hilarious, hippie, no-bullshit goddess who taught me everything I know. She died five years ago and I miss her and think of her every single day. Rita: Blood is thicker than mud.
ALL GOIN’ OUT TOGETHER
Lolita: The summer is a great time to catch live music at concerts, festivals, outdoor gigs and in the clubs, coffeehouses, and homes (home shows have really been getting hot lately—but you have to keep your ear out for them—or create a home show yourself). Here’s what we’ve found out about… On Wednesday, 8/1, the CHANDLER TRAVIS PHILHARMONIC plays the Juice in Wellfleet, MA. *** T MAX plays Nights on the Neck on Thursday, 8/2, at the Center, in Rocky Neck, Gloucester. *** On Friday, 8/3, EMPEROR NORTON’S STATIONARY MARCHING BAND release Disco Dischordia at Johnny D’s. *** That same night is FRANK STROM‘s Birthday Bash at the Cantab with THE SPRAINED ANKLES headlining. *** Also on that night, THE RATIONALES get it rockin’ at the Middle East upstairs. *** Over at the Spotlight Tavern in Beverly, NERVOUS EATERS get it rockin’ old school-style on Saturday, 8/4. *** LAURIE SARGENT (with wicked special guests) plays the Spotlight Cafe at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, NH, on Thursday 8/9. *** On Friday, 8/10, ST. HELENA plays the Middle East. *** Same night THE GROWNUP NOISE is at Passim. *** On Saturday, 8/11, MISSION OF BURMA lands at the Wellfleet Beachcomber. $25 gets you in the door. *** THEA HOPKINS is playing Maggie’s Farm (Bob Dylan will not be working there) in Middleton, MA, on Sunday, 8/12, at noon. *** Later that night KANGARALIEN hold their CD release show at Mad Maggie’s Ice Cream Parlor in North Andover, MA. Lolita: Wow, two different Maggie venues on the same day. *** Staying with that night, 8/12—it’s BOB COLBY‘s all-day birthday bash at T.T. the Bear’s with more local stars than we’ve seen together in a long time. *** THE BANDIT KINGS play the Minglewood Tavern in Gloucester on Friday, 8/17 at 2:00 pm. *** PETER MULVEY is playing a live concert at Club Passim on Tuesday, 8/21. *** On Friday, 8/24, FARREN BUTCHER INC is at the Blue Ocean Music Hall on Salisbury Beach, MA. *** Saturday, 8/25, has PSYCHO at the Cantab. Lolita: We hope to see you at these shows. Rita: We’ll be back with our next issue in September. See ya!