A whole new era for "Program Notes." Yes, kids, we've moved up to baby photos. Oh, stop crying.
In September 1989 Meat Loaf told me about his latest project, an album being written by Jim Steinman, who had authored the monster smash Bat out of Hell LP in 1977. It was a reunion of the team, but details were sketchy. "You thought the album would be out in the fall?" Meat Loaf asked. "Of what year?" He got that right. It would take nearly four years for the finished product to arrive: Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, the biggest hit of whatever season this is. I hear one reason was Steinman's demand for perfection in the studio. (The rec's gotten some lousy reviews, and the first time I listened through headphones on my stereo at home, I was less than impressed. But then it started to grow on me, for whatever that's worth.) The Loafer played some divey club in Broward back then, it was packed, he blew the roof off. Now he's back, bigger than ever, so to speak, and he's booked this week at Sunrise. Of course it's sold out.
Doesn't matter whether you're dialed in with WVUM-FM (90.5), this is a deal: a benefit for the radio station takes place on Friday at Coyote with Holy Terrors, Lyrics for Lunch, Cell 63, Second Son, and Baloney Sandwich. All that for six bucks, with the money going to VUM.
The vaunted 609 Concert Series is back, with the Steve Gryb History of Jazz Ensemble slated for this Sunday at the First Presbyterian Church. Call 371-3439.
I was chattin' with some industry toddler the other day, and we agreed that Natural Causes, and plenty of others, have the right idea: play any and every gig available. I appreciate the inverse -- that repetition depletes, that familiarity breeds contempt, or at least boredom. Even so, the word from the mount is that if you're a player, play. Yet another opportunity has arisen, at an unlikely spot: the Chili Pepper on South Beach's Poseur Row. Wednesday nights there are now given over to an open jam. Call 531-9661.
Something called Plug Productions is looking for bands to release on a CD and otherwise enjoin. Send your press kit and tapes to Plug, Marketing Department, 273 Chippewa Dr, Columbia, SC 2920-6508.
The Pathetic House (14837 NW Seventh Ave.) this Saturday hosts Timescape Zero, Subliminal Criminal, U.S. Decline, and the Left Overs. Call 947-8126.
I've been partying at Tobacco Road for what seems like 81 years, and I ain't had a bad time yet, except maybe that night with Sloppy Joe and company about ten years ago when the medication hit me wrong and I collapsed into the jukebox, longneck still in hand, and had to be carried out. Come to think of it, I guess that was a good time. I'd rattle off a list of great moments at the Road, but this issue of New Times would have to run about 600 pages. So happy 81st anniversary to the Roadsters. And when the Radiators and James Cotton and the Nighthawks and Nil and a resurrected Fat Chance Blues Band (who I first saw about 1979) and all the rest celebrate this Saturday, I promise not to fall down (too many times).
After the UM football team blows Rutgers off the field this Saturday, Jon Secada will perform live. I'll pass on the cheap shot about making sure you leave during the third quarter.
Why is Boy George -- who's not on tour, and who lives in England -- playing live shows this weekend at Warsaw? Because, when the Boy was hanging on South Beach a while back, he fell in love with the club and volunteered to jet over and gig.
So Primus was booked at Bayfront but couldn't sell enough tickets, so their show was moved to the Edge. Which worked out nice for Second Coming. "We were booked there anyway," says Coming's manager, "so now when Primus finishes, everybody can hit the patio for Second Coming's set." He's not going to say it, but I will: and hear some real rock and roll.
The Niki Taylors model at Rosebud's tomorrow (Thursday).
Where am I? Oh yeah, Earth. I can tell by all the stupidity and pain and death and ugliness. This Friday and Saturday at Mud House a bunch of cool bands and other entertainers will raise money for Greenpeace. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. Friday: Civic House, Warlords of Rhyme, Wood, Box, the Miles, Lacy Nob, Pogo Joe, 40 Below, Unseelie Court, and the Popskulls. Saturday: Be-Bob Grabowski Jazz Band, Three Piece Disco Ensemble, Midian, Apostrophe S, Sense, Vervian, Livid Kittens, Geekjoint, King's Unicycle, and Ivory Ghost. Plus comedy, poetry, speeches. All for five bucks. All for Earth. Call 433-8943 or 563-3321.
You know those cars with the purple neon under 'em? On the streets, they're called Barneys. But not by the kids who drive them.
This Saturday from noon to 8:00 p.m. at Hollywood North Beach Park the folks in Broward will get a taste of what Miami eats every day, or at least every weekend. It's a Latin Music Festival, with bands, a DJ, food. Llame al 927-6318.
You pay a little more at Stephen Talkhouse, but you get the intimacy and the stellar soundboard work by Drew, and a cool crowd almost every time, so there you go. Lately what the Talkhouse has been doing is stealing other venue's stars. Marcia Ball, down for the Riverwalk fest, ends up at 616 Collins Avenue this past Saturday. This week the 'House crashes the big Road party mentioned above by swiping the Radiators to do an acoustic gig this Friday. Of course, who wouldn't go see the Rads twice? Note that Arlan Feiles won't be opening for them (he's on the road with his band, the name of which I forget). Instead, you get Second Son.
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Tonight (Wednesday) Squeeze has a killer of a show: the Goods and I Don't Know. Players who play.
Butthorn of the week: Those clever wiseguys at the Miami Herald. In a front-page article veteran reporter Arnold Markowitz wrote this about an alleged killer: "The police knew him, but not well enough to get his first name right: Arrest and trial documents call him Wilber, Wilbert, Wilburt, Wilben, and Wilbur." Markowitz, of course, got the spelling right: Wilber. Turn to the inside page and there's a sidebar story about the same topic in which the suspect's name is spelled, by the Herald, Wilbur. Maybe the cops' spelling would improve if they quit reading the Herald.
The media circus: Cool. I was listening to the stereo at home and, while reaching for the volume knob, I almost hanged myself with the headphone cord. Heh-heh. Speaking of such concepts, the Dave Barry teevy show, the name of which I can't think of, had Dave Barry himself as a guest on a recent Monday. There was a gag about a three-prong plug in which the fictional Dave's wife simply breaks off the extra prong to plug it into a two-slot outlet. That's a lot more dangerous, if teevy can be dangerous, and more freshmonic I might add, than anything Beavis and Butt-Head have come up with, and not nearly as funny.
Pet corner: You might recall Ron and Susan's pal Max Superfly Orange Guy from a recent "Program Notes." The other day Max was brutally killed by a pack of stray dogs. Max will be missed. Sorry for my rare lack of emotionalism, but I'm trying to be grown up about this.