Weird, Wild And Woolly
There are many strange things afoot in MoCo--and enough music to take your mind off of them.
Thursday, January 18, 2001
There are strange happenings in the usually frozen, live-music scene too.
First off, neo-pop/rock group Abbot Finney returns to Ocean Thunder this Saturday. The last show the group played was unexpectedly moved from the Long Bar to OT a few months ago, and people have been talking ever since. Finney plays such a textured arsenal of different songs that it is hard to tack them down to any one style of music. Overall what they play is arguably pop/rock--but with a conscious effort to stick to roots of jazz, soul, and folk. That is mainly due to the band members'' variable playing abilities. Singer/songwriter Jeffrey Alan contributes a lot to the heavy word-orientation. The bassist Philip Georgas is obviously a power-pop junky with a mind to get funky about it, and the other two members, Keith Wright (guitar) and Scott King (drums), fill in the holes with great efficiency.
The nationally successful (and touring) group out of the great Northwest just popped into Monterey for a gig and apparently found a place they are addicted to--let''s hope this is the beginning of a pop-star tidal wave. It could sure take your mind off of things. Oh yes, and as if all of this wasn''t enough--it''s free to locals (and maybe tourists if they are really nice.)
Abbot Finney, Saturday, 9pm. Ocean Thunder, no cover. 643-9169.
If you hung out around the Santa Cruz music scene five or six years ago, you would definitely have seen the band Pele Juju: The world-beat, all-woman band was hot, hot, hot, and lead singer Kaye Bohler was no small part of the band''s success. If that''s the last you heard of Pele Juju and Bohler, there''s bad news and good. Although PJ disbanded, Bohler''s resurfaced in the last couple years as a sultry, swingin'' blues singer. She released her first full-length album, Men and Music, late last year, and her gig this weekend at Sly''s is her local CD-release party. It''s good party time blues, with a little bit of soul and a whole lot of sin.
Kaye Bohler, Saturday, 9pm. Sly McFly''s, 649-8050.
It''s buried in our musical consciousness like a switchblade in the gut. Rockabilly, that early form of punk-country-swing, gets popular every few years, and then fades again until the next time, but it''s always there, being played by some mysterious band in some small venue, somewhere. This weekend, the DelRoyals, a Salinas band that''s been gigging between here and San Francisco for the last year, opens for SF band Rockin'' Lloyd Tripp and the Zip Guns at the Harvest Queen in the Salinas Valley Bowl. DelRoyal''s bass-man Jeremy Gullotto called to let us know about this gig, and he says they usually pack the Harvest Queen, so you probably want to get there early.
DelRoyals/Rockin'' Lloyd Tripp, Saturday, 9pm. Salinas Valley Bowl, free, 751-6256.
High Energy at the ''Fin
Next up: Blue Fin, where The Love Dogs will play the open Friday night slot for live music. The Love Dogs, from all accounts, is a great and energetic rock band. If anything, it will be a taste of the group that some people are hoping to relish. If cutting live music down to one night a week did nothing else for Blue Fin, at least it helped them refine their selection of entertainment. I also hear whispers of a band coming soon that will rock this town into full swing--we''ll let ya know.
The Love Dogs, Friday, 9pm. Blue Fin Cafe & Billiards, no cover. 375-7000
Would anyone like another show? Oh yes baby, there is a lot more going on this week than you can shake a BB gun at. (Maybe even an otter.)
Fist Full of Punk
Viva gets back into the scene with a punk show this Sunday. The group Retox will hammer into the small adobe with an energy and a force that must be reckoned with. The group has always performed with a sense of style that borders on psychological hysteria. The last time I caught them it was no trouble to get enwrapped in the empowering licks of punk. That old Johnny Cash spirit that makes one want to lift a full fisted finger at the entire establishment at large. No doubt it will be enjoyable to anyone in attendance. Playing with them will be the, as yet unheard, Bad Samaritans. This festival of real freedom is free as well. (Now say that 10 times, fast, class.)
Retox and The Bad Samaritans, Sunday, 9pm. Viva, no cover. 646-1415
A Dump on The Doors
Someone dropped off a copy of the new Doors tribute record (on Elektra) called Stoned Immaculate. I am a fanatical Doors--or more to the point, Jim Morrison--fan who thinks the Doors layered a great soundscape behind Beat literature''s answer to the rock star. So I pop this thing in for listen and come dangerously close to throwing the entire stereo out the passenger window of my car.
As one fan wrote on Amazon.com, "The last thing I need to hear is Train hack up ''Light My Fire.'' Smoke a few cigarettes and indulge in some Wild Turkey before attempting a Morrison classic."
On top of that, the track by Train has no trace of Ray Manzarek''s trademark organ sound. There''s an original composition with Morrison vocals pasted over the top of it. Same thing with the duet between Jim Morrison and John Lee Hooker on a version of "Roadhouse Blues," which leaves a bad taste in the mouth. The extent of Hooker''s vocabulary seems to consist of grunts, groans, and "heh heh hems" mixed over the original Elektra master.
The entire thing is a sham, and I''m running out of patience for these "tribute" albums that feature popular acts of our day ruining memorable songs from the past. If anyone knows someone who owns the album here''s some advice: There is a sea otter out in the bay who is very lonely and he needs something smelly and wet to hump.