Get Your Squawk On--So the inaugural Rocksquawk.com Music Showcase kicks off this weekend with some great local bands at eight locations Downtown. It's our hope that this Saturday's shindig will resonate with local musicians and music supporters alike—you know, turning up the dialogue within our scene and generally rocking all-around. On that note, if you've got something you'd like to say about this event, your band's next gig or anything that's music-related at all, hit up rocksquawk.com and get it out there. Log on, freak out and get your Squawk on!
Wednesday, August 31; Atomic Cantina (21-and-older), free: Those of you that have ever been in a large-scale school band should be at least somewhat familiar with who I will refer to here as "solo hogs." These are the kids that take every opportunity to jam-out on their instrument; leaving the rest of the band members to wallow in four-note-melody hell. Oregon's own The Sweater Club is composed of six fresh-faced solo hogs that, fortunately for us, are happy to take turns wailing away on their various instruments, just so long as everybody gets a chance to strut their stuff. I'm not sure how the band's songs stay cohesive, but they do so without wasting a drop of any member's skill. Not since Reel Big Fish's Why Do They Rock So Hard? have skyrocketing brass and alt.rock guitar gotten along so well as on The Sweater Club's debut EP, The Exposition. The "Club" sounds a lot like ska/punk/reggae outfit RX Bandits (which makes sense, considering almost every band member cites the Bandits as an influence). The Sweater Club is wise enough, however, to stay away from the pretentious ambient noise that the Bandits seem to have become recently infatuated with. The boys in TSC, by contrast, are only interested in good, clean, new-school-ska fun. That's exactly what they'll bring to the Atomic Cantina this Wednesday when they'll play with Wide Awake and SPOT. Who the hell knows, maybe some fast-paced skanking will even make an appearance.
After a four-year hiatus filled with masters degrees and other bands, Scenester, comprised of Leonard Apodaca on guitar, Roger Apodaca on bass (both formerly of GoMotorCar) and Luke Cordova (Blunt Society) on drums, is releasing their second album, Formula Rock EP. Leonard Apodaca (who you might remember from the Socyermom Records piece in this week's feature) tells all.
Saturday, August 27; The Zone parking lot (2501 San Mateo), 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (all-ages): Sure, Ozzfest is not without its overcommercialized charm, but it seems to me that the festival may not exactly cater to the most devout of rock fans. I mean, lets be honest—how hardcore can you be if you're willing to pay $78.50 plus a service charge for a reserved seat? Not very hardcore, would appear to be the answer. It is with this in mind that I present metal fanatics and rock enthusiasts with an alternative. ZoneFest could easily be considered the "anti-Ozzfest." The free event will feature a heaping helping of hard-rocking local ensembles, including the schizophrenically supercharged sounds of Caustic Lye, the punkish, blues-influenced metal of Wisdom of the Leech and an ass-load more. Plus, who needs $6 Journal Pavilion hot dogs when you can have made-to-order barbecue? Finally, there will be merch tents, ticket giveaways, free hookah rentals and piercing specials all day long. So tell your uppity pal who won't let you forget you missed Ozzfest, that you hope he enjoyed paying almost 80 bucks to see In Flames. Screw him! You're going to a real rock show. Hell, you might even get some sort of body part pierced while you're at it. Rock on!
The Dirty Novels are at it again.
No, I don't mean this CD release show (with the usual suspects: raucous Romeo Goes To Hell, lovely Unit 7 Drain, and stomp 'n' roll the Gracchi, plus Cellophane Typewriters—a new one on me, but I hear they're psych/garage).
And no, not the handful of new tunes on the 11-song Stealing Kisses.
Let's face it, it's been a while since good rock music came out of Australia. But the glory days, like those of Men At Work, INXS and most importantly, The Church (yes, they are from Australia), can be relived with Youth Group, honestly one of my favorite new bands. Like its predecessors, Youth Group has cultivated a complex, shimmery, pulsating pop rock sound, reinterpreted to create something that sounds very new and evokes a strong sense of place. The songs, though, are still mostly about relationships, which makes the record good for diffusing fullness of heart.
Watch with rapt disbelief as Sean McCullough, fabled sweetheart of the Albuquerque scene, plays in two different bands at the same show! Sean will open up tonight's set with Weapons of Mass Destruction, take a quick Tecate break and then return to headline with the Oktober People. Things Fall Apart from Chicago will play somewhere in the middle. That's Tuesday, August 30, at Sol Arts. Cost is $5 and this one's all-ages! Hoot!