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Iron Maiden : Verizon Wireless : August 15, 2003

There had been rumors of free passes to the Iron Maiden show floating about for months amongst the Rank & Revue staff. I was eager to go see IM as I had been listening to my cassette copy of "Live After Death" on my trucks’ tape deck for a good four months.

The day of the show, Mr. Holt had called me and left a message about going to the concert. I called him back. He knew nothing about free passes, but he said I was welcome to ride with him and his friends. I agreed to meet him at his place at about five. Isaac called me shortly afterward and said he wanted to go as well and there were two free tickets and a photo pass waiting for us. None of the usual photographers were available, so Chad got his friend Will, to agree to take photos for us. I ended up meeting Isaac at his place at around five and we waited for Holt and company to hook up with us. We finally got on the road about 6:30ish. We made it just in time to hear the last half of Dios’ set, which included the classics "The Last In Line" and "Holy Diver."

We all met in the parking lot and took a leisurely stroll up to the ticket counters. After squaring away the photog details, Isaac, Will and I met up with the rest of our group. After obtaining beers at the thievery stands, we made our way to our seats.

Iron Maiden took the stage around 9 pm and kicked into "The Number of the Beast". A giant "666" picked out in lights graced the back of center stage, winking on and off in time to the crowd chanted chorus "six, six, six, the number of the beast!" I raised my arms in praise of Rock, Iron Maiden being the clergy for the next hour and a half. "The Trooper" was next, another Maiden Classic. Lead singer Bruce Dickinson waved a giant British flag about on a raised platform above the band. Their third number was "Die With Your Boots On," Mr. Holt got upset for some reason and declared "I can’t believe they’re playing this song!" or something to that effect. Next up was another of my faves, "Revelations." The phasey guitars in the pre-chorus sounded right off of "Live After Death."

The band took a break and Dickinson launched into a tirade about the commercial-ness of the music world in general and fans who, like me, were only there for their older material. "No, NO NO!" Mr. Holt exclaimed, voicing his displeasure at what we all knew was coming, new material. Mr. Holt put his middle finger over my note book and said "Here, put that in your goddam notes!" I traced his middle finger over my notes, an event the was repeated frequently as IM played newer material, including "Wildest Dreams" from their upcoming album "Dance Of Death." And "Wickerman" off of "Brave New World," and "The Clansman" from "Virtual XI." The stage backdrop for "Clansman" was Eddie the IM album cover boy, rendered as a Scottish warrior complete with red and blue face paint. By this time Mr. Holt had commented on the proceedings with 10 middle fingers. "Afraid of the Dark" from the album of the same name came next and then they went into their self-titled song "Iron Maiden." Iron Maiden left the stage for a few minutes before reappearing after the crowd had started beating on the seats in front of them. Playing the encore game perfectly, IM came back out on stage and played an incendiary version of "Two Minutes to Midnite" and ended the show with "Run to the Hills."

I had a great time at the show was thankful for the opportunity to see Iron Maiden before they start scaling back on their tour schedules, they may not come back to our neck of the woods for a while. I certainly hope they do! Up the Irons!

-James E

Wayne 'The Train' Hancock : Continental Club : August 8, 2003

I only go to the Continental Club for specific reasons: One, I go to sit in the back of the club with Bob Ray while he wrangles hippies and the other is to argue and throw punches at my surly friend Rob at the front door. Friday night I went to see Wayne the Train Hancock and it appears that this might be a new reason to go. I want to make it clear that I love the Continental Club, but can never afford to actually get all tore up there. Like I said, I hang out in the back of the club. Outside.

Wayne sings and plays with a Texas swing band that is incomparable. The main thing about going to see him though, is his channeling of Hank Williams Sr. an obvious plus in anyone’s book. I had seen him before during SXSW at an after hours party at a friends house while he was playing in a closet and was impressed then, but seeing him perform with a band is something that is not to be missed.

Besides being an extremely interesting person to talk to, Wayne is a total bad ass. If not for the fact that I cannot afford to go see him all the time, I would be there front and center. If any of you have jobs and want to see a great musician, I would highly suggest going to see Wayne.

-Corri Mava


PUNK ROCK BBQ & watermelon seed spitting contest at EGO'S Sat, August 16,2003
Benefits the injured skaters of Texas Rollergirls
rock by Natchet Taylor, Amplified Heat, Lost Luggage, and The Prickies

Gary Clark, Jr. : Continental Club : August 13, 2003

There are a handful of reasons to venture outside the ravenous gates of Red River hell to check out someone play. Gary Clark Jr. rips through the most soulful, amiable-sounding blues every Wednesday evening during happy hour at the Continental Club. Seriously folks, for those of us who live hectic lives of consumption and corruption, these sounds can be therapeutic.

The 19-year-old south Austin prodigy sings like a sparrow, plucking and strumming the likes of seasoned blues legends Jimmy Reed, Lightin’ Hopkins, Albert King and other vintage notables. The modest Clark is respectfully shy and often speaks inaudibly to the crowd in between tunes. During a song however, his towering, black figure beams with a genuine, unmatched sincerity. As his fingers dance up and down the neck of his ’53 Gibson electric-acoustic, the pure emotion of the gifted young man is captured for one still second, as the entire crowd stands paralyzed with admiration.

This particular Wednesday was soppy and wet—perfect for the dark and gloomy throwback-venue that is the historical Continental. Clark, with a harmonica around his neck and a mic-ed wooden box for his boot to tap upon, began wisping through numbers by Albert Collins, Howlin’ Wolf and Leadbelly as if he used to run around with the noted blues heroes. As the crowd grew larger, on cue seemingly, Clark began to passionately sing louder with triumph and integrity. Newbies were taken by surprise, whispering to one another in amazement, while those us in-the-know just smiled and enjoyed the two-hour serenade.

The bluesman has already released his own record of eleven original songs nearly two years ago, played the Austin City Limits music festival last year, and is scheduled again for the bill this year. He recently toured for a brief stint with Jimmie Vaughan and for larger shows Clark plays with local legend Bill Campbell and drummer Jason Moeller. Ladies and gentlemen the show at Continental is free every Wednesday—so don’t be a square. This kid will move you.

-Smitty


OUR MOST DEVIOUS WRITER TELLS US ALL ABOUT LA LA LAND....KEVIN WANTS TO KNOW, HAVE YOU BLOWN YOUR STACK TODAY?

83 in a 75, pulled over in Junction, Texas.
After mumbling to me that he was giving me a warning for speeding he got into the drug business.
"Put out your hands. Let me smell your thumbs."
"Do you smoke?"
"No."
"Smoked anything today?"
"No."
"Ever do any stimulants? Meth?"
"Hold your hand out. Why is it shaking so much?"
"I’m nervous. I don’t know if I’m getting a ticket or not. I’ve been drinking caffeine and haven’t eaten much."
"How old are you?"
"Twenty-nine."
"Twenty-nine? I’m twenty years older than you and probably have more problems and my hand isn’t shaking nearly as bad."
"Do you have any drugs in the car?"
Pause.
"No."
We went back and forth, Officer Friendly and I. He knew I was a teacher. He knew I was sober, going on two years. (That became probable cause later.)
His brother was an 8th grade art teacher. His wife a speech pathologist. He called me "noble" for doing what I did. He told me he could take my career out for possession.
I told him where the weed was. While searching he came across cookies, those cookies.
I watched in horror as he checked them out and returned them to their bag.
This cop was good. He knew I had more. As for weed there was none. But between him, and myself sitting atop the hood of his cruiser sat the third bag.
"I have a feeling there’s a third bag, Kevin."
"There’s not."
I was sending him the holding vibe. He could read it like Braille.
I’d like to thank Officer Payne. He’s the reason I’m doing anything in Los Angeles right now. My 2.5 grams of "dick in the dirt" bud turned into a simple possession of paraphernalia ticket. But I made it to LA-stoned out of my mind in the cookies he failed to confiscate.

The Sunset Strip: 6th St with Ferrari’s and BMWs. The music history is thick on this street. The Roxy, The Whisky, The Rainbow, The Troubadour, the Viper Room. There’s Louis Voutton and Gucci, strip bars, hookers, movie stars and crackheads.
I headed in to check out Texas Terri minus the Stiff Ones. The sound in the Viper is very crispy, balanced, like a CD. Terri and her band were helping though. She had a real tight band which helped anchor her floating jibes of "C’mon. What are you, dead? Ahhhhh. I don’t care what you do!" I was psyched to see a good band make the simple 3-chord stuff interesting. The guitarist colored basic power chords by picking them out, throwing in grace notes to texture the same ole’ structure.
Surely she’s been called the female Iggy. Why not?
She covered two Iggy tunes: " I’ve Got a Right" and " I Wanna Be Your Dog". "Right" sounded perfect. As for the "Dog", I can barely make it through Slayer’s rendition. The show made me feel as if the "punk rock" facet of the tourist industry was Texas Terri; mastheading the whole cruise. Yet another piece of the puzzle that proves there’s a little something for everyone in the Land of Dreams.

Right outside the Viper Room you can stand where Phoenix flopped. Down the strip some blocks is the Chateau Marmont, where everyone from Belushi to Cuntney Love has stayed to pop skin, get fucked, and dance with Death en Blanco. Take a look to the hills and the Hollywood sign towers overhead like a human moth light for the droves who work to live the dream of working in the moving pictures. One part inspiring, one part depressing, when you walk into a coffee shop and see four laptops all with screenplays on them donkey-carrot dreams and cold reality clash like plaid and stripes.

Hollywood was originally Hollywoodland, a cryptic 13-letter magnet for the death of the dream. Celebrating its 80th year of never existing, Hollywoodland was the original word up on the hill. Jaded starlet Peg Entwistle hiked to the top of the big "D", the 13th letter, and flung herself to her death: a role only to be photographed by the coroner to get the scene "in the can". Apparently Peg started a jumping trend which eventually caused the last four letters, L-A-N-D to be taken down. And without the "13" to launch your career from, the stars to be or never be hit the streets to exhaust the dragon they chase.

Where Santa Monica Blvd. and Sunset meet is called the "Junction". Sunset Junction is an annual event; a 10,000 person, 3 stages x 10 bands block party ensues. Herculean in its beer supply alone, this massive street carnival showcases the bands the come from the outlying area: the Muffs, the Icarus Line, Guided by Voices, Isaac Hayes and the Circle Jerks.

This Jerks show was the largest "punk" show I have been to, ever. In the middle of Sunset Blvd., perched atop a deluxe outdoor stage, were Keith Morris, Greg Hetson, and Vander Schloss. Keith (undoubtedly one of the lucky few who fronted two seminal punk bands) screamed in vibrant attack. "Trap Door" was jaw dropping. The Jerks played 22 songs, a setlist which runneth over the requisite 40 minute drop pants, drop wad, and jet set of other revived acts.

They played "Coup D’ Etat", and a distorted and sluggo arrangement of "When the Shit Hits the Fan"; "Red Tape" too. The pit was a giant cyclical display of the classic form; complete with pushers sending the mohawks round and fast pick-ups for those who hit pavement. They played "Wild in the Streets" with Andrew WK singing the choruses with them. Keith took some time to explain some of the LA punk history with musical citations in all. The played "Solitary Confinement" by the Weirdos and "I and I and I"—a never recorded song which showed up in the set of Tito Lareve’s the Plugz.
The crowd was almost entirely in the know and when these gems popped up the pit exploded like a Raided wasp’s nest. And speaking of bug spray, the Jerks also did a blazing double time rendition of "Wasted" and closed with "Nervous Breakdown". Then everything went black.
As a testimony to the living, original plowmen of the of punk crop, the Circle Jerks were a reminder that when it’s time to harvest, some of the yield feeds people and some is just pigfeed. And what fine wheat it was.

-Kevin Stack

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