Music News


You may not believe this, but I went to church on Sunday. The Electric Church, that is, to worship at the altar of Jimi Hendrix. Actually, I was at Tower Records to check out the latest batch of releases from Loompanics Press--slim, fascinating volumes on stuff like lock-picking, surviving in jail, how to be a private dick and a really intriguing thing titled How to Read Your Genitals--when I saw the enormous, traveling Jimi Hendrix museum. Museum? It was a semi filled with photos of Jim. But it was free, and at the end of the van was the Church. This consisted of a platform and five or six waist-high tubes with sensor lights at the ends. When you put your hand over a light, it would play part of a Hendrix tune; by moving your hands over the tops of these tubes, you could "recompose Jimi's music." Or ruin it. I managed to create what sounded like a really bad dance track of strangled guitar licks and sputtering vocals.

If that doesn't sound interesting, try this on for size. Nancy Sinatra may have had boots made for walking, but you can bet no daughter of Frank's is going to be hoofing it much. Yes, I saw Nancy Sinatra's car. Well, at least it used to be her car. I went from the Electric Church to the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Show, and there it was: Nance's black, 1970 Ferrari. I bought a Polish sausage and stood there looking at the car. The Polish sausage was good, and the car was quite nice, as well. Uh, let's see. Well, they also had Barbra Streisand's 1957 Thunderbird, though I had finished the Polish sausage by the time I saw that. Stalin's microbus was there, too, but I never found it.

If You Love Something, Set It Free: Everybody's favorite person with a local cover band named after him is now a free agent. That's right, David Swafford has parted ways with Mother May I to continue life as--what? "Tell 'em I'm going to start my own transglobal import/export business," quipped the Swaff from his small apartment in Seattle. But what's the real story? You've probably never heard a tale quite like this one, so brace yourself. Apparently, Swafford and the other men of May I were having "musical differences," but the parting was "amicable." I hope things "work out" for Dave, and, of course, "good luck" to the band.

Model Prisoner: Christmas may be over, but that's no reason to stop thinking about gift-giving. Even if it's to yourself. And what better way to honor that special someone (particularly if it's yourself) than with a Charlie Manson scale model. The nutty Sixties icon is molded into a rather menacing pose, one arm in the air and the other holding a great big knife. According to the fax I got on this thing, it's not only "Fun! Educational! Creepy!", but the "Easy to build 1:6 scale resin kit base features Beatles White Album full color art box." Whatever that means. By the way, I'm only assuming that this is for real; if you want to play along with that assumption, send a check or money order for $85 (plus $5 for shipping and handling) to Jodi Maas, P.O. Box 762, Tempe, AZ 85280. And for the extra rush that makes Manson model-building that much more fun, just take a few huffs of glue as you draw the swastika on Charlie's forehead!

Those Who Ignore the Past Are Condemned to Repeat It: But sometimes that's not such a bad thing, at least when it comes to music. Okay, I'll get to the point--Johnny D. and Bob Corritore will be offering local-history tidbits and plenty of music in their annual salute to the Arizona blues, soul and R&B scenes of years gone by. Groups like the Mandells, the Tads, Eddie and Ernie, the Vice-Roys and, of course, the fabulous LaChords will be featured in a two-hour extravaganza on KJZZ-FM 91.5 on Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Death in Surgery: I hate to say that Surgery's Sean McDonnell passed away on January 11 in Brooklyn after slipping into an asthma-related coma.

Go See: Local R&B musician Gene Williams passed away on January 10 because of a kidney condition; a benefit show to help cover Williams' medical bills is set for Sunday at the Rhythm Room. The show is to run from 2 p.m. until closing time, and will feature folks like Ike Cole, George Bowman and Spectrum, Margo Reed, Gaynel Hodge, Chico Chism, and Roscoe Taylor, to name but a few. Call 265-4842.

Spleen-venting and plenty of Pistols-thick guitars are what the Grabbers are all about, and the band is coming all the way from the punk-rock fatherland that is Orange County, California, to spew both at the people of the Valley. That's at Nile Theater on Friday. Call 649-2766.

The Cows will be in town on February 4 at Boston's, but to give you plenty of advance notice, you may want to pick up local artist and 'zine maker Brian Marsland's illustrated take on the bovine fellows' song "In the Mouth." It's funny and it's art. Look for it at local record stores and other places where you can find free stuff.

Correction: My apologies to Zia Record Exchange's very own Mr. Dave Parker, who is, in fact, named "Dave Parker" and not "Dave Walker." Through gross human error, "Parker" was somehow turned to "Walker" in Serene Dominic's "Big Wax Buildup" story in the last issue. Once again, sorry, Dan. It won't happen again.--

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Peter Gilstrap
Contact: Peter Gilstrap