Music to Your Ears
By Michael Henningsen
Time this week for another installment of Gen'esis for the Arts. On Saturday, Jan. 22, the celebration will take place at El Rey Theater and Pucinni's Golden West Saloon, and it'll include live music by sometimes Dave Matthews sideman and virtuoso guitarist Tim Reynolds, Jenny Gamble, Twenty 5 South, Feels Like Sunday, Rage Against Martin Sheen, The Blue Room, Buddha Betties, Shiva, Mike G, Scarlett's Playdo and so many others I simply don't have space to mention. Call 242-2353 for more information and advance tickets. ... While Alibi Spring Crawl still seems pretty far off, the calls and e-mails are already starting to come in seeking information on how to “apply for” or get booked into the event. So once again, here's the standard, honest answer: There is no application process. We do not require demo tapes or take into consideration that you once opened for Quiet Riot at the Bennigan's St. Patrick's Day Bash. So forget all that. Each participating venue provides us with a “wish list” of bands they want to play in their respective rooms. From those lists, we book 95 percent of the Crawl slots. So you'd better get out and play some gigs Downtown, share bills with better-known bands and endear yourselves to venue owners and talent buyers so they'll ask for you by name. After all, if the Crawls don't work for the venues, they don't work at all. So book, promote, play and make your band as visible on Central and Gold between First and Seventh streets as possible.
By Michael Henningsen
Sweet Honey in the Rock sing hope the future
Not a single manmade musical instrument exists that can be as colorful, inspiring and versatile as the human voice. Granted, such a voice is rare and must be capable of conveying intense emotion coupled with pristine melodies, harmonies and the subtle nuances that amount to the difference between fine singers and enormously gifted artists. Multiply that formula by six and you've got Sweet Honey in the Rock. Simply put, they sound like a miracle—a cappella angels who adorn their songs with brilliantly colored wings, giving them flight and then sending them soaring overhead in a rush of fantastic harmony and reverent soul.
By Michael Henningsen
Harry Manx West Eats Meet (Dog My Cat)
Canadian-born Harry Manx sounds as if he grew up simultaneously on the Mississippi Delta and the banks of the Ganges, which is actually pretty close to the truth. After spending five years in India becoming a master of the mohan veena, a 20-stringed cross between a sitar and a guitar, Manx returned to Vancouver and set about the business of melting the blues of the South and traditional Indian music in the same pot. The result on his latest disc is a lazy afternoon blues sound that's colored with the vivid hues and spirituality of world music. Subtle, but amazing.
Courtesy of the Artist
Franks & Deans • punk rock, rock 'n' roll • Shrewd • Punctured Muffler • Silent Crush • metal
By August March
At some point during the progression of meta-ultra-postmodernism, it was only natural that a band covering Rat Pack tunes revisioned as rambling ska paeans or blisteringly buoyant punk anthems based on the imbibing and love-making habits of dudes like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin would rise from the rocanrol cauldron. Well it's 2017 and such has indeed come to pass. The name of the band is Franks & Deans. They've succeeded by inflecting the sweepingly romantic, sometimes melancholy and nearly always self-referential ditties of these post-war, pre-rock vocal heroes with good-natured rhythms and danceable guitar leads—as well as an updated fashion sense that seems to borrow more from ZZ Top's summer style guide than from Robin and the 7 Hoods—that adds affable nuance to legendary, mid-century American popular music. Band members Rob DeTie, Mike "Pip" Ullemeyer, Hoss and Sampson await your indulgence at Low Spirits on Thursday, Feb. 23, and the admission price of $5 sure as heck beats dropping “Three Coins in the Fountain.”
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