Music to Your Ears
For those of you who don't know, especially club owners and talent buyers, our calendars editor of the past two-and-a-half years, Rachel Heisler, has moved on to the hellish desert shithole that is Las Vegas, Nev., where she hopes to land a job with the Las Vegas Weekly and pursue musical endeavors. Luckily, though, we won't have to 86 our calendars, because the more-than-capable and immensely talented and friendly Laura Marrich (pronounced Merrick, like the Elephant Man) has come on board as our new calendars editor. All calendar rules remain the same, but you'll need to contact email@example.com (or firstname.lastname@example.org for those of you bad with names) to continue to get your listings published for free. Good luck, Rachel, and welcome Laura! ... Whatever you do, don't miss Alabama Thunderpussy with Rwake and our own Fivehundred on Friday, June 11, at the Launchpad. ... On Friday, June 18, the Mountainside YMCA will host “Band Together,” a showcase of local bands at the Mountainside branch (12500 Comanche NE, 292-2298) from 7 p.m. to midnight. The event will be headlined by Unit 7 Drain at 11:15 p.m. and is sponsored by the fine folks at Music Go Round, so that's where you should spend your money. Look for details right here in next week's issue.
On his first album for Heart & Soul Records, Bay Area bluesman Tommy Castro makes it abundantly clear that there's no room in his soul for blues-lite. Gratitude is marked by its staunch refusal to shove anything but pure, expressively crafted jump blues across the table, all of which, in this case, was written by one of Castro's influences. Backed by a phenomenal band, including saxophonist Keith Crossan, Castro steps his best Albert Collins up to the plate—a fiery guitar style not, thankfully, mired in cliché ridden Texas blues, the West Coast rut or the safety of the Chicago sound. Instead, Castro infuses hints of classic R&B and blues rock into this collection, affording himself songs that virtually stand alone among contemporary blues.
Patton Oswalt Feelin' Kinda Patton (United Musicians)
Comedian Patton Oswalt has appeared in plenty of movies and on television shows from “Late Night” to “The Man Show,” but his first full-length recording contains material more akin to his HBO specials. Feelin' Kinda Patton runs the rather broad comedic gamut between dick jokes and high-brow analyses of the impending apocalypse. Oswalt handles all of his material with the same verve and panache as comedy's current Golden Boy, David Cross, but he's got his own brand of edginess. This one's a screamer by any standard, and specifically geared toward Bill Hicks' fans.
Rock 'n' Roll Over and Over and Over ...
My Last KISS Interview Ever (with apologies to Brett Baker)
Farewell, my ass. Count KISS among the many bands who've hoopla'ed their farewell tours only to quietly hit the road again shortly thereafter in search of more money, acceptance and, as KISS founding member Paul Stanley puts it, the "high." So they changed their minds. So what? Michael Jordan did it. Dennis Rodman is threatening to do it and the number of rock bands that have done it—many of them multiple times—is nearly inconceivable.