Remember that old Silos lyric that went "people will talk about/What's important to them"? Thanks for all your calls and letters. Don't stop now.
The great Art Grace (Thoroughbred writer, edge-music connoisseur, legend) wrote to recommend Lucy's Fur Coat, for both the music and the cover photo on Jaundice. "The last stray we adopted," he adds, knowing we know he's a cat lover, "was immediately named James Jewel Osterberg, but of course we always refer to him as Iggy. (I have seen his middle name as Newel, but Jewel is more apropos.) Iggy is pretty smart. He knew full well we had no vacancies in our small abode, already populated by four cats. But how could we say no when he shows up wearing a neck brace, limping badly, with several puncture wounds (self-inflicted?) and claiming he'd been run over by speeding dogs? There were dogs involved, and poor Iggy obviously had been abandoned A he was declawed and neutered. So is everybody else in this household." I'll borrow further from Grace's notes soon.
Dore Soul is back with a show at Squeeze tomorrow (Friday).
Former Cactus king John Soler will now be hosting open mikes at Blue Steel A already famous for its Cafe Bacala event (Diane Ward hosts and performs this Tuesday) A every Friday, from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
It's music you want? How do you think I spend the other twelve hours each day? So much good stuff, so little of it transcendent. I accept nothing less, you would too if you got about 100 CDs/tapes in the mail each week and had another few thousand at home. Hey, Frank at Restless Records A I'm sure Ovis is the biggest thing since Nirvana, but I doubt I'll ever get around to listening to it. Fat Tuesday? Heard it. Sorry. And Thee Hypnotics? If you love the Black Crowes and are an acidhead, maybe. I don't and I'm not.
What else? Lucy's Fur Coat. Grace is right -- it rocks, cool, and the cat on the cover looks exactly like a female stray that's been hanging out in our neighborhood. Except the cat on the CD is wearing a collar -- nice touch. And, uh, yeah, this is transcendent: The soon-out new CD from Cell 63, Once Upon a Drunk. I've got here a rough advance tape and a few beers upon which the following opinion is based: transcendent. You should know that I love(d) the early Eighties Minneapolis movement A Replacements (Let It Be and Tim especially), Husker Du (Speed Metal Circus and New Day Rising especially), and that other one, um, Soul something, Sold Asylum, something like that. Anyway, that's essentially what Cell 63 does, which, because no one else is doing it any more, makes it fresh. What makes it transcendent is that A while Rob Coe's songs, singing, guitaring are major -- the rest of this crew mixes in harder, tougher, meaner -- think Fuck Boys or Black Flag A stabs and bends. Plus snippets of found sound and spoken word. It's got gut, brains, and spirit. And so it transcends what it seems to be. And so I'll be listening to it for a while.
The next two Sundays at Squeeze's Wide Open Mike: This week it's foul-mouthed, strong-songed Phil T. Rich, and May 15 it's those crazy Baboons.
Those lovable kids known as Marilyn Manson shot the video for their first single, "Get Your Gun," this past weekend in Houston. They're currently touring with Nine Inch Nails. And the album, Portrait of an American Family, will be out in June, with distribution by...ta-da!...Interscope. Apparently the folks at Interscope, who balked initially and refused to carry the excellent Nothing Records slab, grew balls. "It's one big happy family," says MM manager John Tovar.
Miami Blues Authority lays it down at the Taurus this weekend.
Rich Ulloa dabbled in band management many, many years ago. He gave it up for retail until a band called the Mavericks came along. Ulloa felt so strongly about the Kendall cowpokes he helped that TCA group put out a CD, then cheered as they were signed by MCA and went on to stardom. He had similarly strong feelings about Mary Karlzen, became her (co-)manager, put out a couple of CDs, signed her to Atlantic. End of story, until he heard the CD Baypath Rd by Gainesville's For Squirrels. He checked 'em out live. And he signed them up. They're here Saturday to play the Talkhouse with FtN, who are working on a new release and, for this show, will bring up several special guests, including the great Ben Peeler.
Jim Johnson says that at some point this year the Chant might visit South Florida to play a live show A their last. He's working in two bands these days, and has a new single out, seven-inch vinyl. I recommend it, and I'll provide updates here.
You'll be hearing A uh, reading A plenty about this guy soon. Christopher Alvy is a former pro baseball player who rocks on his new CD, Beyond Salvation. Tonight (Thursday) he and his band play Brickell Tavern and Saturday they hit Churchill's.
Things are kicking at Kay's Starlite Ballroom (now that the tourists are gone). On Fridays it's oldies; Saturdays Steve Gryb leads a big band for dancing. On Wednesdays and Thursdays Gryb does what he does best, leading a jazz group.
The Goods's Kasmir Kujawa has changed his name to Elvis Presley. Better than Kurt Cobain.
Note to Ben Peeler: Thanks for the support, and that is what it is.
The other day, for no particular reason, I was trying to recount the ten best concerts I ever attended. One was an early Eighties show starring Charlie Pickett and the Bobs at 27 Birds. One of the Bobs members, Bob Rupe, played a critical role in so many great moments of Miami's Eighties rock scene, both as a player and a producer. Then he teamed with Walter Salas-Humara to form the Silos, who went on to record for RCA and receive glowing national press. Then Rupe, who had moved to New Yawk and then Virginia, was recruited for Gutterball, but things didn't work out. Maybe this will: Rupe has now signed on as touring bassist with Cracker, one of the hottest bands in the land. The tour began last week, but no Miami date has been scheduled.
Congrats to Bill Ashton in Atlanta, who we hear is going to get married.
Apples and Oranges's Flexx Martinez has, for the second time, been awarded a Certificate of Achievement. Of some 2500 entries in the Billboard's songwriting contest, only 100 receive that honor. Flexx won in 1990, and repeats with his L.A.-riots-inspired "City of Angels."
Itanna plays tomorrow (Friday) at the Zipper Head Room in Malone's (761-1115).
An amazing lineup this week at Rose's: R&B masters Gary King and the Dream tonight (Thursday), Stevo and the Strength of Unity (their new CD should be available there. Though short on hip-hop hooks, the words are fine, the grooves deep, and Magda Hiller's background vocals making the sampling of Aretha Franklin no longer necessary) play tomorrow (Friday). Saturday it's I Don't Know, and Sunday you get Natural Causes acoustic.
This Saturday bluesman Fleet Starbuck plays a solo-acoustic gig, with opener Linda Graham, at the Folk Club of South Florida's new venue, the Miami Institute of Expanding Light (8905 SW 87th Ave., 279-0052 or 382-1282).
This Monday at 3:00 in the afternoon the jazz group Bobby Ramirez and Full Power will play a show at Camillus House (726 NE First Ave.).
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One of the world's all-time great guitarists, Dick Dale, tears up the Talkhouse tomorrow (Friday). He invented the guitar style of surf rock A big reverb through two channels A and has a new album out. Reviews of live shows note that this is no nostalgic, early-Sixties beach party. Dale is said to rock harder than most of today's tough groups.
Butthorn of the week: Sawgrass Mills recently conducted a survey, asking folks to choose from a list of fifteen radio stations and tell which ones they listen to. Absent from the list of fifteen -- black-oriented WEDR-FM (99.1), by far the most popular radio station in South Florida according to rating services. Hmmm. And a bonus butthorn to lovely Tara Solomon. Hate to dis Tara, but then again, her name never gets me into Cool Whip anyway. (Tom Austin and I have this unspoken agreement: When he comes into Stephen Talkhouse, he doesn't act like he knows me, and when I go into Bash or The Spot or Velvet, I don't bother him. This works out fine, partly because I would never go into Bash or The Spot or Velvet.) Anyway, poor Tara wandered into rock and roll land last week, and this is always trouble. She cited a member of R.E.M. at some to-do or another. It was Mike Mills, judging by the photo. She called him Michael Stipes. Yes, with an s. That helped someone set a record A three errors in one headline: "REM" (it takes periods), "Michael Stipes," and "DeNiro" (takes a space).
The media circus: Downright eerie. I have here an advertisement from some newspaper or another. In big letters at the top: Chant. Not the Chant A this is an album/phenom featuring monks chanting. Then, at the bottom, appears "The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos." Silos and the Chant in the same ad. Metaphysical, man.
Pet corner: Ah, this explains it. April 24-30 was World Week for Lab Animals. May 1-7 is national Be Kind to Animals Week. First let's hear from Jennifer Winston: "Approximately 11 million animals are forced to consume products (detergent, drain cleaner, et cetera) that were never intended for human consumption. These tests are not required and are not valid. That are done so companies like Procter & Gamble and Gillette can cover themselves in liability cases." She also finds an interesting flaw in the argument for biomedical research on animals. Ask the torturers why their work is valid, she says, and they answer that "animals are like us." Ask about the moral issue, whether it's okay, and they say, "Yes, because animals are not like us." Boycott. Protest. Liberate by force. Now let's check in with ARFF: Put ID on your pet, preferably on a collar. Spay or neuter your pet (duh). (Oh, by the way, award-winning pal Kina Baker has been fixed by her owners. Way to go, folks.) Do not abandon your pet(s) when you move (double-duh, but you'd be surprised). Never, ever, for any reason, under any conditions, leave a pet in a parked car. Period. Do not let your dog ride in the open bed of a pickup truck A each year some 100,000 canines are injured via this dumb practice. Do not keep your dog chained up. My friend Zap just got a new dog, a big black shepherd-chow mix with purple tongue and glowing brown eyes. The guy he got it from was about to dump it at the shelter. Zap says the dog, nearly a year old, has no idea how to behave because of a lack of interaction with humans. He's trying to change that.