Program Notes 12

Parental Advisory: The following column contains ideas, notions, and thoughts that every single person might not agree with. Acts of violence will be visually represented. Read it at your own risk of not remaining exactly the same as you've always been. Turn on the teevy. Advertisers my ear. Cut their eyeballs open and watch the vitreous humor ooze down their cheeks -- you are the power, not them. You have the money they want. Hmmm. Wait a second. This isn't teevy after all. Never mind.

Not too many knock me on my ass without some cut back. But this -- to borrow from Mr. Warren Zevon, my face looked like something Death brought with him in his suitcase, and, for once, my face was my best feature. You know, when you're on your fourth or fifth roll of toilet paper and your nose is still as clogged as the Palmetto, you're retching to excess, that point where you feel like your head's been pumped full of chlorine. Well, lots of you know. It's sick time, summer, when a box of Kleenex and a couple of Robitussin menthols are all that really matter.

A benefit concert is planned for July 24 on behalf of Boise Bob. Expect a Boise and Moss reunion, Human Oddities, a "reincarnation" of Wetflower, One Eyed Kings (great tape), and a number of acoustic acts to perform at Churchill's Hideaway. "I'm making $75 a week. I'm out here pushing a shopping cart around," says Boise. "Anyone who'd like to participate or help can find me on the corner of Sunrise Boulevard and 95. I need money, and you can expect nothing in return."

Nothing, perhaps, but some great music, which is the tradeoff for another and more serious benefit. This one's an album, scheduled to be released yesterday (Tuesday). I've only heard the five-song advance of Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams, but that's plenty to recommend it strongly. Williams is a gifted songwriter who's been struck with multiple sclerosis. Her songs are performed on the album by Lucinda Williams, Pearl Jam, Matthew Sweet, Maria McKee, Lou Reed, the Waterboys, and others of equal musical stature. What's more, these are great songs. The first track is Soul Asylum's treatment of "Summer of Drugs" and it sucks the poison out of the late-Seventies teen ethos like few other songs ever have: Yeah, we were too young to be hippies -- acid, grass, downs, and speed aside A now we are just waking up. And no band could possibly inject it with more venom and beauty than the Asylum does. A true and certifiable masterpiece. Meanwhile, McKee's rendering of "Opelousas (Sweet Relief)" is more spirited than anything on the ex-Lone Justice singer's new album. And the Lemonheads' Evan Dando (an expert at covers -- you must track down his band's version of Suzanne Vega's "Luka") works acoustic wonders in "Frying Pan," a tune that can serve as a definition of masterful songwriting.

Members of bands who performed at the Washington Square benefit for A.J. Mazzetti (who I hear is back at home) tell me they raised a couple grand for him (to pay his bills with). Two grand on a Monday night. Rock and roll.

The Genitorturers, who played to a sold-out Square crowd last week, are rumored to be going out on the Danzig tour. Gen might be a sicko (or not), but the group's career just keeps getting healthier.

My pals at Cellar Door think I'm being sarcastic when I call them "my pals." So for once in my life let me be absolutely straight: Cellar Door brings more shows and more better shows to South Florida than any other promoter. I, for one, appreciate that. They also answer the questions I ask them on your behalf. You should appreciate that. They're also nice people to talk to. That's why I consider them pals. Period. It's been a rough summer so far for them. First Lollapalooza yanked its Miami date, then the Sundays pulled out, and then The The cancelled its show at Sunrise (skedded for July 5). It's not Cellar Door's fault. The The's drummer, Dave Palmer, left the group in the middle of the tour to take a gig with Rod Stewart. Matt Johnson, the band's main man, is auditioning stickmen in Atlanta as we speak. The The The date will be made up on October 2 when they open for Depeche Mode in a show promoted by Fantasma. (Tix go on sale Saturday.) By the way, me and Cellar Door's Andrea Kaufman have been carrying on a secret but nonetheless torrid love affair for the past three months.

Musical lightweight and mainstream champ Bobby Brown got on stage and jammed with George Clinton and the P-Funk posse when they came to town recently.

Show your nose: The ten-person amalgam that is Conehead Bop squeezes into Squeeze tonight (Wednesday). Very cool vets the Rockerfellas spend tonight and the following two Wednesdays at Stephen Talkhouse. Cuban guitar maestro Manuel Gonzalez can be found at Cilantro's, a restaurant in Coral Gables, on Friday and Saturday nights.

Don't forget Forget the Name. The boys are on the road, as you know, and Jose writes to say that the beer "is a lot better here." Huh? "They give one or two cases to the band!" Oh. The letter, penned on the road between Savannah, Georgia, and Greensboro, North Carolina, adds that the quartet should be back at the end of the month, and that they want to say hello to all their fans and friends down here. They were frightened by an "Oliver North for President" bumper sticker, and Derek has the flu. (I'll sell ya some Robitussin, bro.) The postscript: "Excuse my handwriting, but Rene is driving, and he sucks!!!"

The winner of that big PACE R&B showcase compo was femme quintet Mystique.
A couple of weeks ago I told you some Island Records A&R rats were headed our way to look at local talent. I suggested to bands they book cush gigs for July 10, 11, and 12. Well, without me knowing it, the A&R scouts hooked up with TCA mogul John "Rat Bastard" Tovar and arranged everything. No, all the bands are not TCA acts. Here's the rundown: On Saturday at Cactus Cantina it's Natural Causes, Rooster Head, Excessive, Marianne Flemming, and Paul Roub. Sunday at Washington Square, you have Holy Terrors, Black Janet, Basketcase, and the Bellefires. Monday, at Stephen Talkhouse, the line-up consists of Tommy Anthony, Le Coup, and Little Nicky and the Slicks.

Know your shows: Bobby Ramirez and his Full Power trio spend the weekend at Bacardi's on the Beach. Hot local weekend at Tobacco Road, with Nil Lara and Beluga Blue on Friday and the Roach Thompson Blues Band on Saturday. The Goods raise the curtain on their famous rock opera, 5 Steps to Getting Signed, on Saturday at the Square, with Natural Causes opening. The Hot Java Coffeehouse features an open-mike night Friday (call Dan at 563-3328). This Friday Rooster Head, I Don't Know, and Tampa terrorists Clang do the Square thing.

Butthorn of the week: A video and its makers. While I was sick the other days, I watched a video we rented from the library. It was called The Everglades. It was all about the Everglades. It showed incredible footage of kites (a rare bird indeed) nesting and eating plus amazing shots of alligators A all kinds of stuff you find in the Everglades. Not once did it show or mention snakes.

The media circus: So Miami Herald editor Jim Hampton and I were downing tequila shots at the Square the other night when he let slip that Leonard Pitts, Jr. (the man you first met in this very column) will soon give up lucubrating about music to become a full-time features writer at the daily. As with the transition (transition being corporatespeak) from Doug Adrianson to Leonard Pitts, you'll find out first about the new guy (bet it's a guy) here. Watch it you damn pot-smoking rock and rollers, you.

Warning -- Musical Advisory: The Broken Spectacles are coming back soon. I've heard it. Brace yourselves. We're all about to get well.

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Greg Baker