Great Scott

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

Beat Angels: There will be plenty of punk 'n' pop on tap when the Valley's arbiters of trash rawk, the Beat Angels, hit the boards. The group was preparing to record its third disc (and first since 1997's Red Badge of Discourage) when bassist Moore met with his tragic accident; the band did finish a recording of "Terminal Love" with Moore for a tribute album dedicated to U.K. punkers the Boys. At Scotti-Stock, former Beat Angel bassist Kevin Pate will fill in for Moore, who joined the group in 1998, replacing Eric Stevens. Those expected to appear with the band include Sonic Thrills shouter Jim Monarch -- joining the Angels for the Heartbreakers anthem "Chinese Rocks" -- among other Phoenix punk notables.

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers: The Peacemakers have kept a relatively low profile since late last fall. The band, which spent much of the past 18 months on the road, has settled back into its Valley home base, as singer-songwriter Roger Clyne has been busy working on material for the eagerly anticipated follow-up to the group's 1999 debut Honky Tonk Union. Meanwhile, guitarist Steve Larson has been busy with the Dead Hot Workshop reunion and his own solo acoustic endeavors, while Scott Johnson has been an in-demand sideman, recently laying down tracks for honky-tonker Mark Insley's new album. Bassist Danny White has been working on a more technical front, setting up high-end recording equipment in his north Phoenix home (featuring a console from London's famed Trident Studios). Clyne reports that the Peacemakers will enter White's home studio in late spring to begin work on the new album. In the meantime, rumor is the band will pull out one or two rarely heard numbers from the old Refreshments catalogue for its Scotti-Stock appearance. And just as Clyne may turn up at various points in the show with other acts (including Dead Hot Workshop and the Gas Giants), expect members of those groups to do the same during the Peacemakers set.

Dead Hot Workshop: Having won raves for a quartet of winter shows featuring its classic lineup, Dead Hot is expected to go back on an indefinite hiatus after participating in this charity event. But those who've missed the shows may have some hope yet, as the band has been recording all its "comeback" concerts for a possible live release. As for its Scotti-Stock set, Dead Hot will continue with its reunion tour m.o. and mine a rich vein of classics from its songbook, such as "Crackerbox" and "Cadillac Rhythms." And though it's a slim chance, former One chanteuse (and soon to be solo recording artist) Shamsi Ruhe may make it into town from her NYC home to guest with Dead Hot on the group's much-beloved duet of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams."

Local faves Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers plan to pull out all the stops during their Scotti-Stock set.
Michael Lustig
Local faves Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers plan to pull out all the stops during their Scotti-Stock set.
The Beat Angels, seen here with Moore (second from left), will be offering up some of their patented punk 'n' pop.
Paolo Vescia
The Beat Angels, seen here with Moore (second from left), will be offering up some of their patented punk 'n' pop.

The Piersons: In what will surely be the most poignant hour of the evening, an augmented version of the Piersons will take the stage for a special Scotti-Stock tribute set. Bassist Paul Cardone, Beat Angels guitarist Michael Brooks, drummer Tony Chadwick and singer Patti Sedillo will work through a special set of originals and covers dedicated to Moore. Offering help will be Sonic Thrills axman and former Pierson Michael "Johnny" Walker, who will break out his silver sparkle Gretsch for workouts of "Wasted" and "Pink Dress."

Original Piersons guitarist Doug Nichols, late of San Francisco alt-poppers Vegas De Milo, will be there to take fans back to the band's early days of Replacements-inspired noise. Nichols returned to the Valley in November for the Piersons release party for Last Train Down, briefly joining Sedillo to sing "Here Comes a Regular." Expect Nichols to take the stage again on the Mats classic or to grab the microphone to perform the band's old-school crowd pleaser "Candy Girl."

Scotti-Stock, featuring performances from Dead Hot Workshop, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, Pistoleros, Gas Giants, Gloritone, Grave Danger, the Piersons, Beat Angels, Satellite, Zen Lunatics, Truckers on Speed, Jamal Ruhe, and special guests, is scheduled for Saturday, January 20, at Nita's Hideaway in Tempe. Showtime is 6 p.m.

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