XXXII ROTATIONS OF NOISE
T Max: Excuse me, Rita and Lolita, but I’d like to thank everyone who has helped The Noise exist for 32 years. The support from our great advertisers is most appreciated. And the issues couldn’t be complete without the contributions from the writers, photographers, copy editors, website helper, and those who assist with distribution. Thanks to the readers for reading, and the musicians for giving us something to write about. Rita: As T Max said, The Noise has now been published 32 years. So it must be a lie that Lolita and I were in the first issue. Our girlish figures say we’re 29, and who are we to argue?
Lolita: In this 32nd anniversary issue we show the extent of coverage The Noise now offers to New England and it’s variety of music makers. Seven-time Grammy nominee, and Grammy winner, PAULA COLE, graces the cover. She’s a writer and producer, who records and performs heartfelt, meaningful, lasting music that defies categorization. We also have stories on the snappy advanced pop of PRETTY & NICE, the synthed-up, punked-out PETTY MORALS, and the post-punk snack-rock of SPEEDY ORTIZ from Northampton, MA.
Lolita: A good way to learn more about the history of the Boston music scene is to ask knowledgeable musicians about their favorite Boston-area act and favorite song by them. Here’s a good variety… KEN FIELD (Revolutionary Snake Ensemble/ Agachiko/ Lookie Lookie): Willie “Loco” Alexander always makes it new, and I love so many of his songs, but I have a special affection for “Too Bad.” *** AD BOC (AfterFab/ Crimson Spiral Records): The Neighborhoods are it for me, and I’ve seen them 40 times since 1982. Dave Minehan is the greatest local showman, in my opinion, and the ‘Hoods were a major influence on my songwriting and on my first real original band. I haven’t loved every bit of musical ground they’ve covered, but there’s a lot of it and I respect that a lot. Got to play “Innocence Lost” at a ’Hoods tribute show for them once. Nailed it, but they showed up late and missed it! *** KAREN DeBIASSE (Girl on Top): Lou Miami & the Kozmetix. My favorite song by Lou was on the Boston Get’s Stoned compilation. He covered the song “Play With Fire” and called himself Lucifer Miami! He sang it an octave lower to give it that devilish tone, and had Manuel Smith play lots of weird stringed instruments including sitar and also thermion. It is genius. Jack played lead guitar, I played rhythm and also sang back- up vocals and we recorded it in our studio on a huge one-piece eight-track Tascam. It was so cool. If you haven’t heard it yet it is a MUST to add to your collection. Manuel Smith, who was a member of Girl On Top, just passed away this week. I’m very, very, very sorry to see my dear and talented friend gone. RIP Manuel, Jack, and Lou. *** JIM TESTA (Jersey Beat/ The Noise): I’ll go old-school with this one and say Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers and “Roadrunner.” Jonathan, of course, still tours and records and delights his cadre of loyal fans, but “Roadrunner” is a rock ’n’ roll classic about a universal theme. I could write a book (I’m sure several people have) about rock ’n’ roll’s symbiotic relationship with the road, but this is still the best song ever about driving around late at night. *** KIER BYRNES (Three Day Threshold): Two of my favorite traditional holiday tunes, “Jingle Bells” (by Lord Pierpont) and “Over the River and Through the Woods” (by Lydia Maria Child) were both written in Medford. Isn’t that crazy cool? *** PREACHER JACK (Preacher Jack): Not really a Boston area act, but George Thorogood and his Delaware Destroyers played almost as many honky tonks and VFW Halls on the North Shore as I did back in the mid to late 1970s! George was signed by Rounder Records sometime in the mid-’70s, I followed at Rounder soon after with a good word from George about my playing. “Move It on Over” is my favorite of course: George and I both have a deep love for Hank Sr.! *** JON MACEY (Fox Pass): I was extremely fortunate to have close contact with the Modern Lovers. I was still in high school. I met Jonathan Richman when he was playing solo at the Cambridge Commons concerts. I saw the Modern Lovers many times and firmly believe they were the most influential band on the mid-’70s Boston local music scene that formed after them. I don’t really have one favorite song, but Richman singing “I’m Straight” at the Commons back then was quite provocative to say the least! He took points of views in his songs that were iconoclastic and never cared about what was cool or hip. “I’m Straight” exemplifies that. I wish there was a film of them. The greatest Boston band of all time. *** CARL BIANCUCCI (Classic Ruins): There are so many great Boston bands from (early) Aerosmith and J. Geils to the Upper Crust and Willie Alexander & the Boom Boom Band, but I’m going with Ultimate Spinach and their “Ballad of the Hip Death Goddess.” Got their first album for my 11th or 12th birthday; it knocked me on my prepubescent ass and still gets a few spins every year. *** SHONEY LAMAR (Shoney Lamar): Unfortunately, the best-kept secret of the local music scene is a band called Left Hand Does. Wildly talented, lyrically intimidating,perfectly strange, and exactly what you need when you can’t take any more ridiculous guitar solos. “Lusica” is my favorite song, but the crowd favorite is (deservedly) “Subcon.” Look this band up. They’re worth more than your soul. *** JJ RASSLER (Thee Cuban Heels/ The Downbeat 5): My have is Mickey Clean & the Mezz and their song “Bound for Pleasure.” *** NICK BLAKEY (Crash Safely/Midway Cafe): That’s a hard tie between The Girls, “Jeffrey I Hear You” and DMZ, “Don’t Jump Me Mother.” *** LARRY BANGOR (The Zulus/ Human Sexual Response): The Girls, without a doubt. I suppose “Jeffrey, I Hear You” is their best song, but I’ve always had a weakness for “(Let’s Have a) Staring Contest.” *** ANDERSON MAR (Sans Nomenclature): My favorite Boston-area band is Salem 66. And I loved their song “The Well.” They were the band that inspired me to pursue music. *** AURELIA NELSON (North Shore 104.9): My favorite local band is Entrain! Throughout the years their players have changed but their sound is so consistent! Their original songs are like a soundtrack to summer. Their amazing percussion just replaces your heartbeat! Anyone who can sit still at an Entrain concert simply has no pulse! My favorite song of theirs is Brian Alex’s “You’re Lucky Just to be Alive”—it’s an upbeat tune without being sappy, and anyone who has triumphed over adversity can appreciate the lyrics. I have forwarded the MP3 to many a friend! It’s like a little vacation in four minutes. *** JIM COUNTRYMAN (Lovewhip/ Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers): The Cars and their song “Since You’re Gone.” A video of it is on YouTube. Rita: The Internet is always a place you can research your favorite acts in the area—but seeing what musicians can do live is what I prefer.
NEW ENGLAND MUSIC NEWS
Lolita: Here’s some news and information that is worth passing on to you. While playing as Jittery Jack with Miss Amy at the Bop ’n’ Bowl Rockabilly Weekend in Toronto, KEVIN PATEY met a bunch of Libyan freedom fighters in the lobby of the hotel. They were all disabled in wheelchairs, each missing a limb. The Canadian government was paying for their treatment. Kevin arranged transportation and invited them to be his guest for a real American rock ’n’ roll show. *** Drum Center of Portsmouth in Portsmouth N.H. received a designation as one of the Top 100 music instrument and product retailers in the world by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). *** We got an email from GRAND THEFT AUDIO and just as I was about to let to know that their name has already been used in Boston, I noticed that the last word in their name was not Auto. *** TAB THE BAND has changed its name to DEAD BOOTS. And if you remember correctly—this band includes the offspring of JOE PERRY (Aerosmith)—ADRIAN and TONY PERRY. *** September 18th is the deadline for entries in the 2013 International Songwriting Competition. Go to songwriting competition.com for entry form and more info. Be one of the 68 winners to share over $150,000 in cash and prizes. *** Mike’s restaurant in Portland, ME, was forced to close because their location was next to a Planned Parenthood facility. The problem was that the protesters to that organization where holding their grotesque dead fetus posters in front of the restaurant. It killed the business. Mike Fink (owner of the restaurant and Guitar Grave) was striving for a 35 foot buffer zone around the clinic. *** JOHNNY ANGEL lead the Blackjacks and later the Swinging Erudites. There’s a Canadian outfit that calls themselves the Swingin’ Blackjacks. No relation to Johnny. *** On that same subject—we keep hearing about The Neighborhood. This is not THE NEIGHBORHOODS—and it feels like an infringement on an existing band name. *** Film maker/musician MATT FARLEY (Moes Haven) has a new movie about a small-time musician in New England. It’s called Local Legends and can be found on YouTube. *** ERIC BAYLIES (Eric Baylies Band/ The Noise) has written a book about life in the city of New Bedford, MA, and got it published by 75records or less. *** DUCK & COVER is a relatively new band consisting of DAMIEN PLANKA (The Throwaways, Coffin Lids, Vampire Lezbos) on drums, DANIEL SUSSMAN (The Acro-brats, the Grinds) on lead guitar, CHRIS BRAT (The Throwaways, The Acro-brats, Black Cheers) guitar/vox, and RICH HOSS (The Drags, Bang Camaro) on bass. *** Check out the ADAM EZRA GROUP’s “The Devil Came Up to Boston” on YouTube if you like the Red Sox. *** DIDATICS is a new group with DAVE YANOLIS (guitar), ETHAN HERSHMAN (drums), and JOEL SIMCHES (bass). *** TINA WEYMOUTH (Talking Heads) advised LOVEWHIP to freshen things up and transform into SWEDISH LOVEWHIP. The band took her advice… see photo in the print issue. *** The bands TALLAHASSEE and COYOTE KOLB shot a music video of the two bands in a game of basketball, shot in Jamaica Plain. *** MINDSET X from Manchester, NH, asked their fans to bring video recording devices to their show at the Hard Rock Cafe and to shoot anything they want. The band then gathered the videos via Dropbox and edited a full video. What s great way to get their fans more involved. *** Stingray Body Art (Allston, MA) celebrated its eighth anniversary with a party and an art show that featured its own tattoo artists. *** Readers of Scout Magazine voted THE DARLINGS the best local band. Lolita: Yes—I love the Darlings—they have mastered a nice blend of rock and country.
BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE
Rita: Let’s find out what’s beautiful out there—I mean besides me and Lolita. What’s the most beautiful non-human thing you’ve seen this past summer? *** LINDA VIENS (Kingdom of Love): The most beautiful creature I have seen this summer was a magnificent white and brown marked Bared owl, on Three Mile Island in Lake Winnipesaukee, deep in the woods, near a low swamp, at dusk whose beauty, presence, and regalness took my breath away. *** PETER RINNIG (QRST’s): We went boating down on the Cape by Monomoy and saw this really cool shipwreck that is now exposed on a sandbar. You could tell it was really old because instead of nails—you could see that wooden pegs were used to put the boat together. *** MICHAEL J. EPSTEIN (MJE Memorial Library/ Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling/ Darling Pet Munkee/ Space Balloons): I loved that amazing photo of a sunspot that the Big Bear Solar Observatory took! *** DAN KING (KBMG/ Bandit Kings): Besides all the double rainbows, super moons, and festival type celebrations that always keep me looking ’round I happened to go for a swim with a friend who joined me half way down Lanes Cove, Gloucester in the midst of that recent heat wave. The water was fine and we decided to go beyond the breakwater wall and took a left by chance and happened upon a baby seal sunning and taking a break on a seaweed-covered rock. We kept our distance, took the hint and followed suit. *** STU GINSBURG (Platorum): I enjoy seeing new and old music venues all over our New England market. The most beautiful non-human thing I saw was the Stone Church in Newmarket, NH, less than a hour from Boston. Regardless of its new appearance, the history and the musical experience was friggin’ beautiful—saw Gyro Lula and Popgun. *** ROGER MILLER (Sproton Layer/ Mission of Burma/ Alloy Orchestra): While camping in Vermont, how my field of vision divided, through the trees, the sky, the mountain, and the lake, all in equal parts. A serene view not unlike a Rothko painting. *** MÄTTHEW GRIFFIN (The Noise): It would be the flyer for the sold-out Death in June gig that is happening on September 19 at Old Town Hall in Salem, MA, with opening acts Thomas Nöla on grand piano and myself spinning mood music between sets. Though I started out as a disc jockey in 1987, the “DJ” moniker in my name only began going into use in early 2003 when I had a weekly DJ residency at a local music venue. I’m 40 years old now. And besides that, every kid with an iPod is a DJ nowadays. My DJ went hari kari. *** SARAH BLACKER (Sarah Blacker): The most beautiful non-human thing I’ve seen this summer came as a combination. My dad, double-bassist, Bryan Worley and I took a boat ride out into the Atlantic off the cost of Hull, MA. We were headed to check out the local light-house up for auction which was built in the early 1900s. It was flanked by giant boulders, beautiful metal-work up by its light, birds perched atop whitened rocks, and the head of a whiskered seal that kept poking up through the jet-black/ royal-blue waves. Another boat cruised by with an American flag on its bow, and I snapped about 100 photos of this picturesque moment in time! *** A.J. WACHTEL (The Noise/ The Blues Blog): One beautiful and very cool thing that I witnessed this summer is that I am friends with Harvey and Bonnie Behar Brooks who live in Jerusalem. Harvey is the legendary bassist on Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” the Doors’ “Touch Me,” and Miles’ “Bitches Brew”—the biggest selling jazz record ever. Bonnie is the author of the best-selling children’s book Gramps Has a Ponytail. I must have made some off-hand comment about a photo of theirs when Bonnie offered to send me some pastries from an Arab bakery in Jerusalem. Like I would ever see anything like that in Boston. When they arrived, I found them to be like shredded wheat with nuts and sweetened by different kinds of honey. Delicious and very natural without the normal frosting and added sugar on a Western dessert. An iconic couple sending me Arab pastries from their backyard in Israel really knocked me out this summer. *** LYNNE TAYLOR (Liz Frame & the Kickers): On a mid-Atlantic tour last week, my bandmates and I observed an epic struggle between two ants and a spider. It went like this: Antbo (named after Rambo) was valiantly struggling to carry a dead moth across the porch, and doing a fine job of it too, when out of nowhere an ant-intruder intercepted, attacking Antbo, trying to steal his booty! They became so engrossed in their struggle, they didn’t notice they were getting closer and closer to a spider web! The next thing you know, the dead moth got tangled up in the spider web, and Antbo and his opponent were both trying to cut it free without getting caught in the web themselves. Sadly for the interloper, he ended up ensnared. The spider, feeling the commotion, scurried out from a hole and zapped the helpless fellow with her venom. While he died a slow, agonizing, twitchy death, Antbo kept coming, dodging the spider, using his incisors to try to free the moth—refusing to give up! After about half an hour of this, we took pity on Antbo, and cut the moth free from the web, at which point Antbo became completely disinterested and crawled off into the sunset. Lolita: Well, I’ll be waiting for ANTBO: The Movie, and two more to complete the trilogy.
A MOMENT IN HISTORY
Rita: Now to expand everyone’s knowledge of what really matters in music, we asked musicians of New England to describe one of the most exciting moments in music history… ANDY PRATT (Andy Pratt): Exciting moment. Gene Pitney’s “Every Little Breath I Take” appears on AM radio. *** SUSAN SCOTTI (Berklee College of Music): 73 million people tuned in (!) and overnight Beatlemania truly began and took rock ’n’ roll to a new level. A week later, Newsweek published: “Musically, they are a near-disaster: guitars and drums slamming out a merciless beat that does away with secondary rhythms, harmony, and melody. Their lyrics (punctuated by nutty shouts of “yeah, yeah, yeah!”) are a catastrophe, a preposterous farrago of Valentine-card romantic sentiments.” The article ended with the following prediction, “…the odds are they will fade away, as most adults confidently predict.” HA. *** MR. CURT [MC4]: That’s a lot of history to wade through, but I can easily point to The Beatles’ American debut on Ed Sullivan’s TV show in February, 1964 as a big-bang moment… almost 50 years ago, I watched and believed—memorably galvanizing! *** HARRY ZARKADES (Pop Gun): I only know of it historically and I have seen film of it, but I would have to say that watching Jimi Hendrix playing the heavily distorted version of the “Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock in 1969 defined the disaffection, angst, hope, and power of a generation. Not MY Generation, but a generation that changed pop music and rock ’n’ roll and influenced me greatly as a young man even though I think hippies are full of crap. *** STEVE GILLIGAN (The Stompers/ Fox Pass/ Jon Macey & Steve Gilligan/ Jane Fallon/ Kenny Selcer Band): “Ladies and gentlemen…The Beatles!” That is exactly how Ed Sullivan introduced the Beatles to America on Feb. 9, 1964—everything changed after that moment. To me, that says it all. Look at the world around you. It would look very different if that event hadn’t taken place at that point in history. Actually it wasn’t just a musical event, it was a global altering event that they say 73 million people witnessed. My Gawd! I went to see Sir Paul at Fenway. Amazing. He really surpassed my expectations by leaps and bounds. One of my top 10 concerts. I’d seen him a number of times in the past but this was by far the best—and what a band! *** NIKI LUPARELLI (Niki Luparelli & the Gold Diggers/ the Steamy Bohemians): When David Bowie and Freddy Mercury got together to sing “Under Pressure.” Have you heard the isolated vocals version that’s floating round the interweb? Earth moving. Give yourself a little present today and go listen to that. The least exciting moment was when Vanilla Ice tried to deny he lifted the riff. Oh, right you did “dun dun dun dun dundun dun dun,” and they did “dun dun dun dundun dun dun.” Totally different. Vanilla Ice ended up buying the rights to “Under Pressure” rather than paying royalties on the song. Dick. *** PETER GOUTZOS (Gyro Lula): The most exciting moment in music history is when I first heard the Beatles. Until then, I was playing my drums to big band jazz. That changed the night they were on the Ed Sullivan Show. I remember sitting in front of my mom and dad’s black and white TV—holding onto The Beatles’ first album Meet the Beatles. My whole life changed right then and there. That’s when I turned into a rock ’n’ roll drummer and the rest is history. *** JACOB PARDEE (Mamadou): New Orleans, New Year’s Eve 1913. Eleven-year- old Louis Armstrong is arrested for firing a pistol into the air. He is sent to the New Orleans Colored Waif’s Home for Boys where he joins the band and learns to play the cornet. Tough choice! This has been my favorite story since I first read his biography in elementary school. *** DINI LAMOT (Human Sexual Response): The Beatles on Ed Sullivan—my sister Michelle went into hysterics kissing Paul on the TV. *** MACH BELL (Thundertrain): ’Twas here in Kenmore Square during the final week of September 1976. The Boize, The Infliktors, Sass, DMZ, Marc Thor, Third Rail, Susan, the Real Kids, Willie Alexander & the Boom Boom Band, and my band Thundertrain all pulling together with help and inspiration from Jim Harold. Jim recorded our statement. A double LP, released a few months later called Live at the Rat. Lolita: I happen to know that that same recording has recently been re-released on CD—it’s available at QRST’s online store.
WHAT IT’S WORTH
Lolita: My friend Billy who plays bass got a call from a guy asking for a six-piece band to play his wedding. Billy told the groom-to-be it would cost about $2,000. The guy freaked out, exclaiming, “For music?!” Billy responded, “Okay, call the plumbers’ union and ask for six plumbers to work from six to midnight on a Saturday night and what ever price they quote you, we’ll work for half.” Rita: Be kind, generous, and supportive of the musicians you see. Lolita: Now, go take the quiz on page 37. If you get them all right, you win a coffee (you buy). We’ll see you next in October with our spooky Halloween issue.
RIP: MANUEL SMITH (Lou Miami & the Kozmetix).
RIP: CHRIS FRIEDRICH (bassist for Caspian)