Potpourri Gene Loves Jezebel and Shana Morrison at Doc's; Shelly Cullin is a Sophisticated Lady.
Thursday, December 3, 1998
Seeing as author Anne Rice considered one of their songs to be the theme for the movie version of her novel Interview With The Vampire, I can''t be too far off in describing Gene Loves Jezebel''s music as a bit dark and mercurial. The press material''s usage of the word violent in a multitude of contexts also adds to the murky mystique surrounding the band that originated in London in the early ''80s. Fronted by the heavily made-up and elaborately coifed identical twin brothers, Jay and Michael Aston, the band''s early glam-pop incarnation might be considered one that gained modest success and a cult following instead of widespread popular appeal. They existed in a scene where goth and punk styles were the fashion of the day, so with a style described as violently colorful, experimental, confusing and unnerving, they may have been an anomaly within an anomaly. My impression is, if you know and love this band, you will be at the show. If you don''t, then it will be purely out of curiosity that you wander down to Doc''s Nightclub this Friday.
Turmoil seemed to be a constant companion to the band''s journey through the ''80s and into the ''90s with personnel changes at every turn and sporadic live appearances. Even so, they managed to gain a following in the U.K. and the U.S. and had several minor hits. Perhaps you remember "Motion of Love" in 1988? It wasn''t long after this that brother Michael left the band, with Jay taking on sole duties as vocalist. That may have been a good thing since Michael''s voice has been described as willfully off-key. The band''s current lineup consists of Jay Aston, guitar/vocals; James Stevenson, guitar (ex-guitarist for the band Generation X, out of which sprung the personality boy himself Billy Idol); Peter Rizzo, bass; and Joel Patterson, drums. The band''s latest recording is titled You Love It and is available in a limited edition format to fans via the internet at http://www.genelovesjezebel.com. They are now working on new material for an upcoming release and the Beggars Banquet label has decided to issue a greatest hits compilation in early 1999. At this concert, you will hear classic GLJ songs which include "Jealous," "Kick," "Break The Chain," "The Kiss of Life" and "The Sweetest Thing." Gordon, an alternative rock band just signed to the Epic label for their debut album scheduled for release in early 1999, opens the show.
Gene Loves Jezebel and Gordon, Friday, 9:30pm. Doc''s Nightclub, $10, 649-4241.
After graduating from college in 1993 with a business administration degree, Shana Morrison thought she might find work as a teacher. But her famous father Van offered her something a little more attractive: a job singing with his band. After all, she had sung in the choir, in musicals and talent shows all her life, it''s just that with all the studying she had to do in school, the singing got put on the back-burner. After being introduced to the world through a variety of high-profile appearances with Van the Man, Shana is now burning up the stages with her own Mill Valley-based outfit, Caledonia, with Robert Powell (electric and pedal steel guitars); Chris Collins (guitars and keyboards); Scoop McGuire (bass); and Mark McCartney (drums). With a pure, soulful voice that sometimes hints at Natalie Merchant''s sweet delivery (on the cut "I Spy") then traverses to a San Francisco funky rock style reminiscent of Joy of Cooking (on "Yes, Yes, Yes"), the young Morrison is a versatile singer and songwriter, incorporating blues and country soul to the songs on her self-titled debut CD released on her own label, Belfast Violet Records. She has been gigging regularly around the Bay Area, garnering positive reviews from the likes of jazz critic Phil Elwood and the late sage of "The City," Herb Caen.
Shana Morrison, Saturday, 9:30pm. Doc''s Nightclub, $7, 649-4241.
The four-concert Sophisticated Ladies series is coming to a close this Saturday with a performance by the producer herself, Shelly Cullin. Under the umbrella of her Forty Karat Productions, Cullin has put together a successful jazz cabaret series with talented women from the four corners of the U.S. She reports that audiences have eaten up the great performances by Martha Lorin, Shanna Carlson and Spider Saloff, as well as received pleasure in attending the glamorous receptions where everyone dressed to the hilt and hobnobbed with each other over cocktails and cuisine from the kitchen at the prestigious Quail Lodge. Cullin''s night will be a little different, only in that it is a holiday extravaganza with a four-course dinner served before the performance, where she will sing an all new jazz/cabaret program with a few favorites from her CD, I Only Have Eyes For You. Accompanying her will be Bob Phillips, piano; Tom Bockhold, acoustic bass and Andy Weis, drums.
Cullin is a Carmel resident who has worked with some of the best in the business. Her career includes stints with The Twentieth Century Fox Players in Hollywood, Paramount Studios as a contract player, a tour with the national company of Kiss Me, Kate, and as a featured singer and dancer in the musical revue "Lend An Ear" which also featured Carole Channing and Gene Nelson. She sang with Xavier Cugat''s orchestra and has appeared at Ciro''s in Hollywood, and most recently was part of the Anita O''Day Tribute held at The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles. All this and more to come for the vivacious Ms. Cullin.
Sophisticated Ladies with Shelly Cullin, Saturday, starting with no-host cocktails at 5pm, followed by dinner, 6pm, and performance at 8pm in the Valley Room, next to The Covey at Quail Lodge, Carmel Valley. 649-3830 for reservations.
I''ll make a quick mention here of Thursday''s Jazz Trax Christmas Show at the Mission Ranch Barn. Smooth jazz guitarist Marc Antoine headlines the concert that also includes Wayman Tisdale, Brian Culbertson and Marion Meadows. Antoine has recently released Madrid on GRP/NYC Records. He worked with co-producer Rick Braun and also included the trumpeter on a number of cuts on the album that showcases the style most audiences relate with the smooth jazz format, the light and airy arrangements of melodic music over programmed drum tracks.
Jazz Trax Christmas Show, Thursday, two shows 6:30pm and 8:30pm, Mission Ranch Barn, Carmel. Front row tickets $53.50, others $28.50. (888) 330-5252.
Hey everyone, it''s time for me to go. I''ve been hired as publicity agent for Eric Clapton. I thought someday I would follow in his footsteps, but not as a writer, as a guitarist. Oh well. The truth is, I''m not really doing that, but I am moving on, and I want to say thank you to everyone who made my job as easy as possible here at Coast Weekly. See ya in the clubs.
(B>Editor''s Note: Thanks for all your hard work, Beth. Good luck.)