World Of Choice
Rock picks are slim this week, but there''s reggae and pop to get you dancing
Thursday, March 11, 1999
For the rock ''n'' roll fanatic, this weekend''s line-up will be like a walk along a deserted beach in search for that one perfect find among a bunch of stuff. After all, there is a bunch of stuff out there come Friday and Saturday nights; the blues and reggae connoisseurs will have their field day...but for the rockin'' crowd, pickings are slim.
If you are open to broadening your horizons, you might want to check out Peter Tork (formerly of the Monkees) with his band Shoe Suede Blues at Doc''s. Along with Tadg Galleran (who played harp and keyboard with King Brothers Blues Band) and Michael Sunday (who played bass with Blues Underground), Tork will get your dance shoes going by playing covers of songs from artists such as The Coasters, Little Richard and Chuck Berry to name a few, as well as some originals to spice things up. The trio describes their music as high-energy blues and R&B, promising a splendid time whether you come to dance or just to sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
Opening for Peter Tork is the Los Angeles-based band The Tories. For this rock ''n'' roll quartet it''s been a wonderful life as of late and they are happy to admit it.
Says vocalist/guitarist Steve Bertrand, "We prefer to view things in both an optimistic and satirical light." Their straightforward, positive attitude has been met with a pleasing resonance from critics and audiences alike. The band, which also includes James Guffe (bass/vocals), J.J. Farris (guitar/vocals) and Brent Klopp (drums/vocals), was born in 1995 and with its live shows, soon acquired a strong following. Since then, The Tories have been on the rise. Their debut album, Wonderful Life, earned raves, being called irresistible, catchy and "pure pop heaven." They have toured with the likes of Dishwalla, Sister Hazel and Tonic, among others, and they''ve headlined VH1 Rock Across America with Cheap Trick. Their song, "Time for You," is the theme to NBC''s comedy, "Jesse," and is heard by 30 million people every single week. Says Guffee, "A lot of people find it easier to write about how miserable life is. We''re willing to admit that life is pretty good." I think this attitude just might catch on.
Peter Tork & Shoe Suede Blues with The Tories opening, Friday, 9:30pm, $10, Doc''s Nightclub, 649-4241
Reggae is another option.
Hailing from San Francisco are the Reggae Angels. Although this band formed in 1992, its members have been around the music block plenty of times. Front man Fenton Wardle (vocals) began his musical career at age eight, singing hymns at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. In 1986, he formed his first band, The Chosen Few. In 1989, the band was re-arranged and became The Elevations. Wardle produced two albums, Jah Guide (with Sister I Live on lead vocals) and Good Judgement (with himself singing the lead). A third album, Guard of Honor followed in 1993, featuring the talents of artists such as Benbow Creary, Chinna Smith and Danny Thompson. Guard the Honor won immediate recognition, reaching the Top-10 charts in the 1993 Reggae Report out of Miami. Fenton''s sixth album, Truth and Conviction, was also the debut album for Reggae Angels.
Since its founding, the band has toured all over the Western United States and British Columbia, sometimes with reggae legends such as Augustus Pablo, Toots and The Maytals, Eek-a-Mouse and Wailing Souls. Their most recent release, Which Road Will You Choose, marks the band''s 10th album but the message of wisdom and harmony remains the same as always.
Reggae Angels, Thursday, 9:30pm, $5, Doc''s Nightclub, 649-4241.
While we''re talking about reggae, you should know that Jonah & the Whalewatchers have a new home-base. Formerly a fixture at Doc''s, the popular local band has moved to Blue Fin Billiards and you can check them out there. They''re well-known, they''re reggae and they''re good.
Jonah & The Whalewatchers, Saturday, 9pm, Blue Fin Cafe, 375-7000
Furthermore, I can offer some instrumental surf sound. Voodoo Court is coming at you full power with songs from their album Electric Beach. The trio, which consists of Mark Kuhn (songwriter/guitarist), Bill Feller (drums) and Ryan Lewis (bass) vows to give you a sound that''ll put you in the dancing mood. Judging by the song titles ("Fun Love in a Thong Bikini," "Backwash and Sex Whacks"), I''m thinking you just can''t go wrong.
And, in case you didn''t know this is good-time party music, Voodoo Court travels with their very own Go-Go girls, who promise to keep the energy flowing.
Voodoo Court, Friday & Saturday, 9pm, Viva Monterey, 646-1415 cw