Program Notes

You people are too damn good to me. I mean, I spend about 30 hours per day seeking out the creamo music and ways to turn you on to it, and what do you do? You call me and thank me, tell me you actually went out and bought the albums I recommended, and were glad you did. You go to shows and write reviews of them for my personal edification. You tip me off to hot acts. That's what I call payback. Thanks.

Well, if you can go to that much trouble, the least I can do is offer some more suggestions. Greg Brown's next album, Dream Cafe, due out pretty soon from Red House Records, proves once and for all that Brown is the closest thing to a God this universe has to offer. How's that for a review? I'll say more later.

You are, I presume and hope, plenty familiar with David Byrne's Talking Heads oeuvre. And if you're a regular and veteran reader of this newspaper, you know all about his Rei Momo endeavor and the rest of his Latin excursion. In Uh-Oh, the ol' Byrne-out - working with about 3000 side musicians - effectively combines the two approaches, adding a dose of funk as seasoning. The rec sounds like a Talking Heads album probably would at this point, and that's a mighty wonderful thing. Roiling beneath Byrne's teasing, funny, unpredictable surfaces are a bunch of Latino touches. I love evolution.

Speaking of evolution, Dead Milkmen have come up with Soul Rotation, which, though still replete with weird jokes and sharp barbs, is the Philly freak show's most musical album by far. They should give the Milkmen a Grammy if for no other reason than to hear Rodney Anonymous - now known as HP Hovercraft - and company deliver an acceptance speech (dedicated to Bert Convy's memory, no doubt). Let's put it this way: the Uptown Horns jam on this record. Seriously. Joe Bob says check it out.

You, too? Believing in my heart that U2 booked a too-small venue due to the downtrend in concert attendance, and feeling that was a rip-off of their loyal fans, I sought to defend the masses from this crass exploitation. Boy, was I wrong. "First of all," says Mike de Zayas, "you could order two tickets for any two shows anywhere on the tour from their fanzine, Propaganda, which I did. I saw them here and in Lakeland. Satisfied? Definitely. It was a special thing they did for the fans. I also bought back-up tickets for $125 apiece, which is cheap for the experience. If they had played an hour's worth of uninspired songs, there would've been a riot. But they were great." And according to a review of the show written by Scott C. Galas and mailed to me, U2 was on, all right. After describing the concert in great and positive detail, Galas concludes, "The glow being emitted from the worn-out fans was one of the best feelings I have seen in a while. If U2 does decide to come back around or not, I feel satisfied (for the time being)."

What band does drummer Ingo Pohlitz play for? Call and let me know.
First Nancy did, wait, that's not right. Or is it? Anyway, now "The Hood does Sinatra." Hood, recently rehomed from lost years in New Yawk City, resonates the up vibe no matter what field he mines - writing for such stellar rags as Reflex, Paper, and New Times; recording several slabs that elevated "dance" music to new intellectual heights; gunning down lightweights on the hot streets (he's a hood, remember). Now he's turned to martinis. Beginning last night (March 17, whoops, we're late again), Hoodman has taken over Tuesday nights at Barocco Beach, where, with help from co-conspirators Rebecca Alexander, Monte Stilson, and Valda Drabla, he'll turn the place into the Martini Club by singing smokey Sinatra tunes as you suck your olives. Admission is free. Dial in at 538-7700.

The tuff stuff: The Cactus Cantina has begun serving both early and late crowds on Saturday. The band of the night now plays at 9:00, and then it's the "Saturday Night Special" beginning at 2:00 a.m. and featuring an all-star classics jam session. Ragamuffin Soldier plays their last show before heading north for a while at Island Club this Saturday. The Island also boasts Grateful Dead night March 27 with Estimated Eyes. Guitar Masters Night at Uncle Sam's takes place April 3 with slide whiz Alex Gomez, fusion specialist Daryll Dobson, and acoustic master Peter Betan. (I know we're getting ahead of ourselves, but this is the last "Program Notes" before I head north with Best of Miami.)

We're not going to let the Little Village album off easy. Listen hard to the track "Don't Bug Me When I'm Working" and you'll discover the origins of the band's name and the meaning of that song's title: buried in the mix is a sample of Sonny Boy Williamson from his Bummer Road album on Chess. While recording a song, Williamson is interrupted by a white-bread producer or engineer, and the following exchange occurs:

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