Maiden : Verizon Wireless : August 15, 2003
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.
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
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
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."
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."
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!
'The Train' Hancock : Continental Club : August
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.
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.
ROCK BBQ & watermelon seed spitting contest
at EGO'S Sat, August 16,2003
Benefits the injured skaters of Texas
rock by Natchet Taylor, Amplified Heat, Lost
Luggage, and The Prickies
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.
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.
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
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.
MOST DEVIOUS WRITER TELLS US ALL ABOUT LA LA LAND....KEVIN
WANTS TO KNOW, HAVE YOU BLOWN YOUR STACK TODAY?
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?"
"Smoked anything today?"
"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? 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?"
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."
I was sending him the holding vibe. He could read it like
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
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’
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.
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
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
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 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.