Everybody loves morning wood
Last month, the annual winter car shows pumped a few Dr. Porkenheimer’s Boner Pills into the sagging fortunes of the auto industry. The big tumescence inducer for 2006 came from General Motors, which unveiled a newly redesigned Chevy Camaro show car—probably hoping that the bowtie division might knock Ford’s smash-hit Mustang redesign into the weeds and keep Dodge from going into production with its retro Challenger pony car.
Now, historically speaking, the Camaro wasn’t just a kick-ass piece of Detroit iron; it also was responsible for an entire genre of music. Camaro rock ruled the 1970s, with enough bong-packing tape-deck noise to frighten mustache-cultivating mellow-rock weenies and nascent punk rockers alike with the serious goods: AC/DC, Sabbath, Montrose, Zeppelin, BOC. You know: rock ’n’ roll.
All right, already. Please forgive me for jabbering like a toasted chimpanzee about this thoroughly mind-roasting backyard beer-bust buttrock band (yep, alliteration blows, so pass the bongos, Bunky) I saw in the middle of, like, 11 combos at Old Ironsides. The occasion was a Wednesday-night release party for The Roundup, a fine 19-song compilation on SN&R contributor Eddie Jorgensen’s The Americans Are Coming label, which likely will go into hiatus for the rest of this calendar year.
The lineup was impressive, with lots of texture-driven post-folk (Sean Hayashi and Spider Silk Dress), unabashed prog (Scene Index and Swims) and 4AD-style architectural Anglophilia (Throckmorton and the Evening Episode). Plus Th’ Losin Streaks tore it up, Anton Barbeau sang sweet duets with Allyson Seconds, and I am told Didley Squat and the great Pets played, too. But I couldn’t hold out, it being a weeknight and all.
A little short of midway through the evening, this quartet of scruffs who looked like they’d stepped out of a circa-1973 Robert Crumb comic about disaffected stoner youths took the stage and proceeded to tear into a short set of the best Bic-flickin’ buttrock this scribe’s heard in several moons, or at least since Magnolia Thunderfinger broke up. They had attitude, they sounded reasonably baked, and they were a total crackup to watch. And, oh yeah, the band’s name is Hot Pistol. You really should check it out. The band’s next gig is Saturday, March 4, at the Owl Club in Roseville, and its Web address is www.hotpistol.com.
Speaking of mustache cultivation, former resident and singer-songwriter Bob Cheevers exerted a huge influence on the local music scene in the 1980s and early 1990s, before he left Sacramento for Nashville. Cheevers’ singer-songwriter showcases at various venues around town—Malarkey’s, the Fox & Goose and Café Montreal—were instrumental in pointing a number of area players away from Paul Westerberg-style punk expressionism toward a more traditionally narrative Townes Van Zandt approach to putting songs together. Occasionally, Cheevers visits town, and he’ll be at Marilyn’s on K for the Americana Ramble with Richard March next Wednesday night, March 1, with Sal Valentino, David Houston and a few other fine pickers along for the ride. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., the address is 908 K Street, it’s a 21-and-over venue, and $8 will get you in.