After a two-week trip out of state -- that's right, Bash & Pop has ho's in different area codes -- we returned to New Times' offices greeted by an avalanche of packages and e-mails. While sorting through the mess of corrugated envelopes and eye-glazing correspondence, we happened upon a couple of items that managed to generate some genuine interest, as well as a few chuckles.
The first of these is a split CD from Trois Pistoles and After Any Accident. The six-song effort -- available at afteranyaccident.com -- also marks the debut of a new local record label, the 98th Percentile imprint.
Pooling financial and musical resources, the bands laid down tracks for the CD at Trois Pistoles' home studio this past March, and the results make for fairly interesting listening. Trois Pistoles -- who, in an ill-timed move, are about to change their name to the New Skinny -- offers up a fairly heavy clutch of tunes like the talking punk-metal blues of "Quinela" and "Pocket Pancreas."
Later, After Any Accident kicks off its portion of the CD with a cut that earns Song Title of the Year honors. The track, "Dying on the Toilet Is Only Glamorous If You're the King of Rock 'n' Roll," is a comical screed against Elvis, Michael Jackson and a number of other pop icons, which the band delivers in a jagged musical style not entirely unreminiscent of Nada Surf -- remember the mid-'90s alt-rock novelty "Popular"? The band also earns its prog-rock stripes with the instrumental oddity "Two Week Paycheck."
The two groups will be playing the obligatory CD release show this Saturday, August 25, at Modified, with the Mini-Bosses opening. Showtime is 9 p.m.
Meanwhile, another bit of info we received during our respite concerns eccentric Valley twangers the Cartwheels. They unveiled their new home page (http://geocities.com/cartwheelsaz) earlier this week, and the page is the front-runner for Bash's Web site of the year.
While all the members bear a striking resemblance to Moon Valley's long-running power-pop ensemble the Zen Lunatics, the site assures us that in fact the Cartwheels are very real and very different people.
In fact, the URL offers up biographical information on all the members, who, it notes, still reside in the Bluebell Trailer Court in Sunnyslope.
For example, we're told that lead singer/guitarist Larry LeRoy Lowell "Cotton" Slocum is the Cartwheels' main songwriter "because he is the only 'Wheel who can actually write." We learn that bassist Clovis Herval is a huge fan of Mozart but also enjoys the music of Leo Sayer and Red Sovine -- and tends to go berserk whenever he hears the song "We Built This City" by the Jefferson Starship. Clovis, it adds, also recently invested in a chain of cheeseless pizza restaurants. Meanwhile, his brother and keyboardist Raoul Herval offers up that "his favorite color is orange and he likes his beer 'colder than a witch's bosom.'" And, not surprisingly, we find out that trapsman DeWard Cooley started drumming "because he liked to hit things with pointed sticks."
The site offers bits of even more disturbing band trivia like the nugget that a Cartwheels CD was reportedly among the late Bert Convy's music collection, discovered after the untimely passing of the Win, Lose or Draw host.
Before a tentatively scheduled performance at a mid-month Women Against Beef rally, the Cartwheels will take the stage at Long Wong's on September 1 opening up a three-way package for the Zen Lunatics and Dead Brains.
Method of Mayhem: Aside from being a music video channel that actually shows music videos (an increasingly novel idea), MTV's sister station MTV2 has been responsible for one of the summer's better package tours. MTV2's "Handpicked" bill, featuring singer-songwriter Pete Yorn and rockers Ours, has been doing brisk business and winning raves as it makes its way across the country. (The tour would've been even better had Creeper Lagoon, the band originally tapped for Ours' slot, elected to play.) The Yorn/Ours trek will end with a stop at Tempe's Nita's Hideaway on September 1. Meanwhile, Mama MTV is responsible for the much larger Carson Daly-approved TRL tour -- which hits the Valley's Cricket Pavilion on September 3.
Now after several weeks of rumors as to where the show would take place, it's been confirmed that MTV2's electronic music excursion -- dubbed the "Seven Day Weekend" Tour and featuring the Crystal Method, Uber Zone, and DJ Adam Freeland -- has been penciled, also at Nita's, for September 27. The show will be an outdoor affair. DJ MK Ultra -- not to be confused with the John Vanderslice-led pop combo -- takes the stage inside the club, while local turntablists Lego, Jas and Ian Frost are also slated for indoor bows.
Headliner, the Crystal Method -- led by the duo of Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland -- is out in support of its latest disc, the oh-so-subtly titled Tweekend, while Uber Zone -- the alias of Cali electronica whirlwind Timothy "Q" Wiles -- has just unveiled its first full-length, Faith in the Future, on the Astralwerks label.
Tickets for the concert are available from Ticketmaster. Showtime is set for 7:30 p.m.
Gross Out: Local troubadour David Grossman is touting the debut of his umpteenth disc this week. The prolific singer-songwriter unveils his latest, titled Bars, with an album release celebration on Sunday.
The cleverly conceptualized collection is broken down into two categories: "In Bars" and "Behind Bars." The first batch of tracks are live tunes recorded at various locations in the Valley -- including Grossman's unofficial home base Joe's Grotto -- while the second half of the disc consists of cheeky prison fare like "The Warden Is a Woman" and "Guitar String Tattoo." Grossman and his band The Limit take the stage at Alice Cooper'stown along with One Foot in the Grave and Hamlet's Mill on August 26. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is free.
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Slims Style: Tempe's Slims, who released one CD during their lifetime -- 1995's Slow Road to Hell -- before fading into local music memory, have decided to re-form somewhat unexpectedly this weekend for a one-off performance at Long Wong's in Tempe.
Participating in the gig are guitarist Greg Simmons, who's remained the most active local presence, leading his own pop-flavored quartet the Royal Normans, as well as playing in the roots-rock outfit Los Guys.
Slims singer Connie Maverick once memorably described in these very pages as "a little bit Rickie Lee Jones, a little bit Eddie Vedder on estrogen-replacement therapy" who moved to California in the late '90s, will be out front leading the group through a nostalgic set of crowd favorites. The Slims are scheduled to perform on Saturday, August 25, at Long Wongs, with the Nitpickers. Showtime is 9 p.m.