Dead Men Rocking bolsters two days of music at Castroville Artichoke Festival.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Like an artichoke, Dead Men Rocking can seem a little tough and prickly as they blow through blistering sounds of thrashing guitars and songs about deceased legends. But, through the delicious fog of fried, sautéed, pickled, grilled, and marinated artichokes on the Artichoke Festival’s Sunday morning, they’ll reveal a tasty and dark-humored heart, and serve as a nice addition to a robust lineup of familiar favorites like Red Beans & Rice and Trusting Lucy.
The Santa Cruz outfit’s strange dead rock star concept has been drawing a lot of recent interest, as has its theme song, “Dead Men Rocking.” As the San Jose Metro opined: “Every band should have a theme song and every theme song should be as good as Dead Men Rocking’s.”
The rowdy bar tune fuses elements of classic rock and southern rock blues a la Lynyrd Skynyrd and Foghat. But DMR’s real juice flows from lyrics that pay tribute to rockers that have kicked the bucket: “Didn’t matter what they played, didn’t matter where, just give them a stage, a light and a beer/ They were dead men rocking.”
“It’s not like it’s a goth thing that’s all about death and destruction,” says guitarist/singer Cliff Feldman. “It’s got a lot of humor and lightness.”
Along with their roster of originals focusing on dead rockers, DMR also plays a catalog of covers. But the covers aren’t from the ordinary pool that includes “Taking Care of Business” and Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”: DMR tackles stuff that leans more towards the dark side, like Arc Angels’ “Shape I’m In” and Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Live and Die Rock and Roll.”
The quartet also has Elvis and John Lennon tribute songs and is currently working on a Buddy Holly tribute.
DMR recently released its debut EP and has plans for a full-length album. Expect every song on the album to reflect the band’s deliciously twisted concept.
DEAD MEN ROCKING play 11am Sunday, May 22 at the Artichoke Festival, Castroville. $10 adults; $5 children. 633-2465.