Rock, Roll, Rumble--Eve 6 makes debut at Doc's, Rankin does Jazz Store, Sun Child says happy b'day, rock fests go separate ways.
Thursday, March 26, 1998
"Here, check this out," he said. "Alan Miller, manager for The Uninvited, sent me this band''s CD and asked me to fit them in somewhere. I haven''t had the chance to listen to it, but I trust Alan. I booked them to open for Trial By Fire. Tell me what you think."
Okay, Dino. At first listen, I liked them. As simple as that. They have a good sound; not too rough, but with a punk/hard rock intensity. The songs are catchy enough, definitely marketable. The lead vocalist has a good voice, and uses it. The songs are well-crafted, the lyrics image-laden and creative. Without any press release to work with, I called Miller at his LA office and he had the band''s publicist with RCA Records, Michael Taub, give me a call.
"Eve 6''s album is coming out April 28," he says, "and they''re doing a series of shows to preview the songs. The single ''Inside Out'' is being serviced to modern rock stations and being played nationwide. They just shot their video this week, and it will be sent to MTV next month."
That''s the business side of the coin. The young LA band itself is another blue moon story, you might even call it a Cinderella story. Nineteen-year-old singer and bass player Max Collins, who also writes the lyrics, and 18-year-old guitarist Jon Siebels have been collaborating together since 1993. They were discovered by an A&R representative of RCA while playing clubs in the LA area two years ago, while still in high school. The label decided to wait until they graduated before recording their record. Taub says that "it''s worked out really well, when (Tony Fagenson) the drummer joined a year ago, it really pulled the sound together. They started out being much more punk. They were able to mature and focus more on melody and grooves, as opposed to sheer punk energy. The lead singer is just great, and an insightful songwriter at such an early age."
Some people have all the luck. Music industry trade magazine Billboard had this to say about the single in the "New & Noteworthy" section of their March 14 issue; "For all its sonic crunch, ''Inside Out'' is about as simple and infectious as it gets." Go get ''em boys. Go see ''em rock ''n'' roll people. They aren''t coming back.
Eve 6, opening for Trial By Fire, Friday, 9:30pm, Doc''s Nightclub, no cover, 649-4241.
I''d like to think clubs (and people) in this area will continue to support up-and-coming rock bands, like the one just mentioned. One person who has been doing so with regularity over the past year is Jeff White at Whitey''s Place. Thanks Jeff for keeping your eyes and ears open to what is new, even though you''re getting so old. Har har. I''m only saying this on account of it''s his birthday Saturday, (and his wife Carla''s, too) and to celebrate, he''s brought back Sunchild, the sun-drenched surfer band that recalls the sound of the ''60s and ''70s with soulful vocal harmonies and guitar solos in the vein of CSN&Y and The Allman Brothers. They''re a fun band to hear and see; last month''s visit brought people out in droves and there was a party in the house. To celebrate and honor the Whites'' birthdays with your presence, be there Saturday between 7 and 9pm for cake and Jack Daniels, followed by music. Sunday, there''s another party being thrown by Ross Blankenship which includes Sunchild as well.
Sunchild, Saturday ($2) & Sunday ($3), 9:30pm, Whitey''s Place, 646-8383.
Kenny Rankin is becoming a regular around these here parts. Alan and Gil, those madcap jazz cats at The Jazz Store and KRML Jazz Radio, have booked the illustrious song bird with the vocal chords of an angel into their intimate venue in The Crossroads for two shows. The Saturday concert with a jazz quartet sold out quickly, with stand-by reservations still being taken, but they also worked it out for Rankin to perform solo on Friday night, singing "the stuff that I used to do by myself," says the artist himself from his home in Studio City. With a career that started in earnest in 1967 when he released his first album, Mind Dusters, Rankin has built a reputation based on his ability to interpret songs in a way that elevates the lyrics beyond their place in the melody. He is quoted as saying, "I sing the story, and tell the song."
Originally, his career was based on the singer/songwriter tradition, which at that time included other artists like James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. But his style recently has been centered around the jazz idiom, performing with other musicians while he sings classy ballads (Professional Dreamer, 1995) and Brazilian songs (Here In My Heart, 1997). On the latter, he composed two songs, one in collaboration with famed songwriter Paul Williams. Currently, he is working on returning to his roots, composing music of his own.
"The new songs that I''m working on," he says, "I''ll probably play a few up there. I''m a hopeless romantic. God will take care of me as he has all my life. I sing songs, and write songs with subjects that mean something to me. Musically and personally, my life has never been better. I''m having a great time, if only my golf game could improve."
Maybe he''ll get the chance to work on his game between gigs.
Kenny Rankin, Friday & Saturday, 7:30pm, The Jazz Store, $30, two sets, 624-6432.
In our "As the Festivals Turn" segment, there is news on two fronts. First, The Big Sur Jazz Festival has made the decision to keep the momentum going, despite the missing sections of Highway 1 that prevent them from presenting jazz in Big Sur itself. On Sunday, April 19, 7pm, at the Doubletree Hotel/Monterey Conference Center''s Sierra Ballroom, there will be a concert to benefit Big Sur''s nonprofit community services. And what a show: The Roy Hargrove Sextet, featuring his Cuban band; Jack Perla Quintet; Dave Ellis Quartet; and the Claudia Gomez Quartet. These are shining lights in the emergent young generation of jazz greats. Get your tickets as early as possible. For the money, you can''t go wrong. Here''s the scoop. Advance tickets, $25, available at Bay West Music, 398 Lighthouse Ave, Monterey, 375-9430, or with credit card on the Internet at www.ticketweb.com or call (510)601-8932. There is a preferred seating arrangement, "up front in-your-face jazz show" as Festival President Bob Cosgrove describes it, available for $40. Reserve by calling the festival office at 667-2654.
I have talked to numerous people about the Monterey Rock Festival Saga--too many to quote here. And enough information has emerged to confidently say, what the hell is going on here?
At this time, three spirits art center and the people at Modern Rock Festival headquarters have come to the conclusion they cannot work together on a unified front. Because of this development, the three spirits art center board will not meet until April 1 to officially hash out their plans for a second festival. Founder and co-spirit Susan Collins did say, "It''s my personal will to have the Monterey Rock & Art Festival this year on June 20. I''m looking forward to talking with the board. The festival last year was definitely Brad''s (Mallory) and my vision. It''s about community and non-censorship."
While the folks at three spirits work out the details, Dan Miller from the Modern Rock Festival says, "There wasn''t anything the art center could do for us that we couldn''t do ourselves. We plan to move forward. If, down the road, things change, that''s fine and we could join forces in some shape or form." You heard it here. Stay tuned.