Great Scott

Tragedy brings out the best in Valley musicians, as top bands unite for a benefit concert

Satellite: In response to the reunion of this popular Tempe juggernaut, we can say but one thing: "Oooh yeeeaahh!" Singer Stephen Ashbrook has brought his combo out of mothballs less than a year after the group disappointed its rabid fans by disbanding. Satellite -- whose current version features Ashbrook, Paul Cardone, Mike Kellums and Freddy Gildersleeve -- played a series of high-profile shows late last year, and the group plans to continue after its appearance at Scotti-Stock. Word is the band will be heading overseas in the spring to play Europe's outdoor-festival circuit. Before that, though, bassist Cardone will be pulling double duty, filling in for Moore during the Piersons' nightcapping tribute to their injured bandmate. Joining Satellite onstage for its set will be former Sledville and current Ghetto Cowgirl singer Marc Norman, who will likely trade exhortations with Ashbrook on the Doors' "Soul Kitchen" or Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower."

Truckers on Speed: Coming off a busy 2000, the Valley alt-country combo is readying its sophomore effort with producer Clarke Rigsby. TOS expects to include a version of the Piersons' "Lightnin' Speed" on the disc, due out in mid-2001. The group frequently includes a blistering cover of the 12-bar burner in its sets and may be joined for the song at Scotti-Stock by Piersons front man Patrick Sedillo. The pop mavens of Haggis and the honky-tonk heroes of the Rustic Records collective are rumored to be prospective onstage collaborators for the Truckers' benefit showcase, as is Dead Hot Workshop/Peacemakers guitarist Steve Larson for a rough 'n' tumble reading of AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)."

Gloritone: The alt-rock power trio, which recently parted ways with its RCA-affiliated label Kneeling Elephant, has become one of the more talked-about developments on the Valley scene. The group reintroduced itself to audiences over the last six months, manning a hectic performing schedule which saw the band playing an average of three nights a week -- something of a surprise for a group that's rarely appeared locally since 1998. More than two years after releasing its debut, Cup Runneth Over, Gloritone quietly surfaced on the recording front with a limited-edition release of the nine-song Before the Paint Had Dried, a stop-gap collection of demos. Buoyed by the overwhelmingly positive response to the disc, the band is completing work on a second mini-album of home-studio tracks for release this spring. As a special treat, local legend Damon Doiron (Jetzons, Jennys) is tentatively slated to appear onstage with the group for a run-through of the Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer," or perhaps a Roy Orbison chestnut.

Truckers on Speed expect to share their Scotti-Stock stage with a gang of Valley talents, including members of Haggis and the Rustic Records collective.
Paolo Vescia
Truckers on Speed expect to share their Scotti-Stock stage with a gang of Valley talents, including members of Haggis and the Rustic Records collective.
The Gas Giants will be lighting up the proceedings with an array of all-star guests.
Paolo Vescia
The Gas Giants will be lighting up the proceedings with an array of all-star guests.

Pistoleros: Despite the clouds that appear on the cover of the Pistoleros' newly released album (and first since the band's 1997 Hollywood Records debut Hang Onto Nothing), it's been nothing but sunny skies for the group, as its eponymously titled disc has enjoyed a good critical and commercial response. The band soldiers on, playing a regular slate of club dates, even as the Zubia brothers maintain separate identities with a couple of side projects; singer Lawrence with the big-name studio collective Storyline, and guitarist Mark with the roots-rock combo Los Guys. Word is that the Pistoleros' Scotti-Stock set will include some interesting wrinkles. The band is reportedly dusting off some old Doug Hopkins-penned tracks from its days as the Chimeras. The group's set may include the anthemic "Southbound Train" and "Long Last Lonely Mile" -- neither of which have seen the light of day in close to a decade.

Grave Danger: The outlandish psychobilly trio has been a favorite of Valley audiences since debuting in earnest last year. The band's wild antics and surf-tinged rock have also earned it a growing national reputation; the group's West Coast trip in November drew a legion of California converts. There's been no early indication on exactly what audiences can expect from Grave Danger's Scotti-Stock bow (except for a confirmed appearance from Nitpicker Dave Insley). Regardless, it's likely to be unusual. To wit, the group's New Year's Eve show at the Arizona Roadhouse, which saw Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman strap on a guitar and jam along with the band. Whether audiences will witness another high-profile turn remains to be seen, but rest assured, Grave Danger's bound to do something memorable and -- as its notorious reputation might lead you to believe -- destructive.

Gas Giants: Singer Robin Wilson is no stranger to onstage collaborations, as those who saw the November release party for his animated concept album The Poppin' Wheelies -- featuring a cast of local luminaries -- can confirm. The Gas Giants have been busy as of late working at their Mayberry Studios to record a follow-up to '99's From Beyond the Backburner.

For the upcoming Nita's show, Wilson confirms that Beat Angel Brian Smith will join the band for a version of Cheap Trick's "Surrender," and possibly Alice Cooper's "Clones," while other Valley bigwigs (including members of the Peacemakers and Dead Hot) may also take turns sharing the stage. Wilson's former bandmate Scott Johnson will likely appear for run-throughs of a couple of old Gin Blossoms favorites also.

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