Program Notes 47

I'm sitting and sipping in an upscale boozery as an olderly couple is walking out. The old man says to his woman, "Do you realize it's three o'clock already?" Oh, God. Someone please smash me across the face with a tire iron. These people are from someplace I've never been. Vacationing, I'm sure, and eating at this joint will become a memory, if they have any time for memories, and I can't stand it one more minute. They probably get up at 7:00 every morning, and I'll bet a buck they eat cream-of-wheat for breakfast and they do things, and that it's three o'clock in the afternoon means something to them.

Now it's 3:00 a.m. or close to it, and John Camacho of the Goods is trying to make me fucked up, make me say fuck it to hell, it's just as well. Moments before the Goods have finished reinventing rock and roll for a dull crowd at Stephen Talkhouse, and now badly injured (broken hand, pinched spinal nerve causing numbness in his other hand) but unstoppable singer/keyboardist Camacho is being totally honest, just like he was the first time I met this band a lifetime ago and like when they came back from El Lay's biz and we were tossing a football around in a downtown park and trying to figure it all out. "We're going industry," Camacho says. "Nine Inch Nails, you know, that would really allow us to express ourselves, to get our frustrations out. From now on the Goods are an industrial band." John, my brother, can we talk? What about that heart-stopping acoustic number y'all just played? What about rock and roll, for God's sake? What about if I whip out this straight razor and slash your pretty face wide open? As I was excusing myself for the evening Camacho finally broke down and admitted he'd been jivin' me. Then he started trying to involve me in a deep discussion of Bruce Springsteen, how my review of the Floss's November 24 Arena concert needed some more explaining. Go ask your brother, bro, I explained it all to him, or go ask Alice for chrissakes.

The Goods opened with "Fucked Up" that night. Channel 6 News had a live-remote truck out front, and the Goods were asked to change their opening number to something broadcastable, according to drummer Kasmir Kujawa. The Goods said no thanks and then shocked and rocked and cold-cocked through much of 5 Steps to Getting Signed, which people tell me won a Jammy for best album of the year. (Channel 6 spokesmen say the Goods segment did not air live, natch. And I, for one, hope Channel 6 doesn't get frustrated in its efforts to publicize local music. They really deserve credit and kudos.) One highlight of the show wasn't off the album, it was a riveting "3-D." And the new acoustic number, "Larry and Vivien," about Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, was as powerful as anything I've heard in the Talkhouse, known for its acoustic vibe. But it was the rockers that kept me alive for one more minute.

Do go see the underpublicized but terrific trio Drive Choir tonight (Wednesday) at Plus 5. Get to the Spec's on Dixie Highway at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday to catch Mary Karlzen (with that amazing band you've heard so much about) playing live and releasing her new CD, which I've listened to and recommend strongly. Drive up to Route 66 in Boca on St. Patrick's Day for Slang and Sekret Oktober. Or, if you have no transpo, hitch to the Talkhouse for the Volunteers and other emerald festiveness. This Friday Halo and the Bellefires share the bill at Cactus Cantina. Jazz-rock electric violinist Hugo plays Penrod's tomorrow (Thursday). Head north for Kilmo & the Killers, tonight (Wednesday) at Calico Jack's in Plantation, Friday at Dirty Moe's in Boca Raton, and Saturday at the Inn-Field Pub in Sunrise. The Wanted, from Columbus, Ohio, visit Churchill's Hideaway on Saturday.

I must apologize twice for last week's story about the music at Miami Rocks. First, I'm sorry for all the foul language. I regret offending y'all's delicate sensibilities. It just pis A um, upsets me that the music always seems to come second. Second, I think I went overboard in my effusiveness for Natural Causes. I'm not qualified to be a critic, you know that, and I really laid it on thick, so much so that I had to go see the band play live again, last week at Talkhouse. Me and my pal Large promised ourselves that we'd bolt over to the Beach, catch an hour's worth of music, bolt back. Didn't happen. Couldn't leave. Stayed for the whole night.

There is no praise effusive enough for the Causes. Through two hourlong sets, the sextet reaffirmed the power of music, the way it can sustain and soothe and compel and inspire, the way it can turn that frown upside down. In concerts this big and good and right there are moments: Arlan Feiles blocking out a big-time piano solo on his Roland and megaguitarist Joel "Junior" Schantz reaching down and turning Feiles's volume knob all the way up, surprising the singer/keyboardist, who recovered quickly and turned it back down. Megaguitarist Sean Edelson breaking strings on both of his guitars during "You Would Too" at the end of the first set, forcing him to stand and watch as the others jammed and Schantz filled the "void" with the sort of licks Jimi Hendrix would've stayed alive to hear. Megabassist Matt Coogan refusing to "march" along with Schantz during the finale, "Bomb in the Shelter." Jim Wall's blinding and exhausting extended drum solo, which John Bonham would've stayed alive to hear. Karen Friedman's elegant and perfectly placed colorings throughout. Feiles gently and melodically crooning, "I never found the time/And I never found the tools/And I never found the means/To satisfy you" bolstered by truly monstrous riffs from his cohorts, including a guitar hook I'm glad I stayed alive to hear, the momentum building back up, all six instruments blending together and bouncing off each other, then Feiles tearing into "you can let the leeches suck up to you" and the bottom dropping out again. What incredible musical precision, what a way with peaks and valleys, what irony there is in the repeated lyric, "I can't satisfy you." Satisfied? Try blown away.

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Greg Baker