A North Carolina fat-boy like me has no business talking about what other people look like, but let's just say I remember when veteran Valley journo Dennis Welch, formerly of the East Valley Tribune and the Arizona Guardian, stalked the state Capitol with long hair and Howard Hughes-esque fingernails, looking like he could play Raskolnikov in a stage adaptation of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.
These days, as Channel 3's political editor and co-host of Politics Unplugged, he more resembles Steve Buscemi, a.k.a. Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs.
Clean-shaven in a suit with short black hair, he sometimes gets to sit beside breathtaking news anchor Carey Peña and interview high-cotton muck-a-mucks, just like he was Brahm Resnik or Morgan Loew or somethin'.
Oh Death, where is thy sting?!
I kid, of course. Welch ain't your normal fourth-estater, in that, he still likes to do as H.L. Mencken once said a good reporter should and play leg-lifting hound to those fire hydrants that happen to resemble politicians.
Additionally, he was and still is some kind of local rocker, which means his first career choice was one of the few that actually paid less than journalist.
Erstwhile New Times music scribe Brendan Joel Kelley even once wrote up his band The Revenge, with plaudits and everything.
If you've seen The Revenge -- five guys in their mid-20s to mid-30s -- play at the Yucca Tap Room or at the Palo Verde Lounge, you know what I'm talking about. The band plays raw, three-chord, balls-out punk rock that inspires crowd surfing and hanging from the ceiling. At the birthday party at the Yucca for Casket Life frontman Ben Barnes, the Revenge nailed both: Its singer was swinging from the amps mounted to the ceiling above the stage, while one of the guitarists was passed around by the crowd as he wailed on his strings. And if you've been to the Yucca, you know that it's quite a feat to throw down that rowdy a show in that small a space.
I've wondered if it's just an anomaly that after years of listening intently to music and critiquing it, I just want some simple high-energy punk rock to enjoy. But as it turns out, that's exactly what the guys in the Revenge are out to provide.
Such praise from the onetime Brendan Behan of P-town's music scene should give you reason to head down to Tempe's Yucca Tap Room this Saturday, January 18 for a no cover show, featuring The Revenge, Parkway Wretch, Swap Meat and Dead Canyon(Doors open at 8 p.m.)
Welch further informs me that part of the alcohol sales from the show will go to benefit local 14-year-old Jenna Naylor, who is recovering from a brain aneurysm she suffered last year, and still has bills to pay.
"The bands get a cut of the bar sales," Welch tells me of the event. "But [they] are donating it to charity -- the more people drink the more charitable they are."
Sounds like a win-win to me. And if you're lucky you may even get to see Welch crowd surf.
Brahm Resnik, eat your heart out.
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