SAVE THE DATE: Eclipse Glasses, 3/13 March 2, 2009Posted by glenhooks in Upcoming Shows.
Tags: eclipse glasses banda
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Regular readers may know that I’ve become enamored of ECLIPSE GLASSES BANDA over the last year, an extremely funky project of Andrew Morgan, Lorenza Harrington, Collin Miles, Kyle Carpenter, and Zach Reeves. Think afro-beat, bank heist, smooth mo-fo, fly hustler, soundtrack to the coolest version of you on the coolest day of your life. Horns, keys, drums, guitar, bass, no vocals. Love me some Eclipse Glasses.
If you’ve seen them before, then you’ll be excited to know that they play a benefit for Dreamland Ballroom on Friday March 13th, 9 p.m., $5. If you HAVEN’T seen them before, then it’s high time you did. Trust CheckOneTwo on this. You should be here. Unlike any other Lotta Rock band. Makes even the cool kids try out a new move besides the subtle head bob.
Get out there for this one. I’ll be seeing you there.
BONNAROO ’09 LINEUP: WHOA!! February 3, 2009Posted by glenhooks in Upcoming Shows.
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|Nice!! Ticket info at www.bonnaroo.com
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
CHECKONETWO MUSICIAN SURVEY: BRYAN FRAZIER January 30, 2009Posted by glenhooks in Musician Profiles.
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Pick up Bryan’s new album LOVE IN THE MODERN WORLD from Last Chance Records by clicking here. Album also available on iTunes.
NAME: Bryan Frazier
BAND(S) YOU ARE IN: Bryan Frazier, Flash Larue, Snazz Gripperton, Sao Paulo
PLAY ANY INSTRUMENTS? DO TELL: Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keys, Harp, Glockenspiel
DESCRIBE YOUR MUSICAL STYLE: Pop, Rock, Hip Hop, Electronic
HOW’D YOU GET STARTED PLAYING MUSIC? First, I wanted to be Kurt Cobain, then Dave Matthews, then I heard OK Computer and decided I wanted to be myself and write great songs.
FAVORITE LOCAL MUSICIAN BESIDES YOURSELF (AND WHY): My band members, Those “Flash Larue” boys, Tel Aviv
WHAT’S IN YOUR POCKET RIGHT NOW? A wish list for St. Anthony.
YOUR FAVORITE VENUE IN LITTLE ROCK (AND WHY)? Pizza D’ Action–no stage, no real sound, just people in your face.
TELL ME ABOUT THE FIRST “REAL” CONCERT YOU EVER ATTENDED. Neil Diamond. Right then, I knew.
HOW ABOUT THE FIRST SHOW YOU EVER DID YOURSELF? Scariest day of my life.
BEST SOURCE FOR MUSICAL INFO? (MAG, WEBSITE, ETC): thicksyruprecords.com, XLR8, Rock Candy
WHAT DOES THIS TOWN NEED? A great, modern, independent radio station that is in conjunction with a powerful promotion company run by someone young that actually gives a crap.
YOUR THREE FAVORITE ALBUMS, ALL TIME: “The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem and More” – Various Artists, “Controversy” – Willie D, “The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp” – Giles, Giles and Fripp
RE YOUR MUSIC: DOES YOUR MOM LIKE IT OR NOT? She does.
FUNNIEST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED AT ONE OF YOUR SHOWS: Watching a band member choke an audience member while he sang.
AS A KID, WHAT’D YOU WANT TO GROW UP TO BE? I never wanted to grow up.
MUSICAL/LIFE ADVICE YOU’D GIVE TO MY 13 YEAR OLD GUITAR FIEND SON? Learn lots of cover songs and play them your way. Write often. Steal correctly.
TONIGHT: The Weisenheimers & Magic Hassle January 29, 2009Posted by glenhooks in Uncategorized.
Tags: american princes, david slade, magic hassle, matt quin, The Weisenheimers
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Whitewater Tavern tonight hosts a big ole fun Thursday show. It’s THE WEISENHEIMERS CD release show (Part II–this time with ACTUAL CDs!) If you like your power pop with a pinch of punk, this is the show for you. I have it on good authority that both of the Wyres brothers were present at last night’s AC/DC show, so I’m counting on good pyrotechnics. And short pants.
Bonus: opening act is MAGIC HASSLE, the side project of the David Slade/Matt Quin half of American Princes. It’s a different direction than AP, plenty loud but without the Princes’ Wall of Guitar sound. Get there early and check it out.
9 or so, $5. What else are you gonna do? Come on out.
How to Have a Good Time January 29, 2009Posted by glenhooks in Uncategorized.
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In a good times rut? Overloaded with irony? You should go to an AC/DC concert with a 13 yr old metalhead. Yowwww!!
These guys are aging, yes. It’s quite true that Angus Young is a balding fiftysomething dressed up in schoolboy shortpants. It’s also true that Brian Johnson is almost as old as my dad and is slightly potbellied. And, finally, it’s also true that AC/DC is the very definition of anachronistic, over-the-top, cliche rockers. Cannons! Pyrotechnics! Solos!! Devil horns!! Enough to make any self-respecting hipster tear a smirk muscle.
Shake it off, hotshot. This is AC/DC, and 13 yr old kids want to go. They grew up on School of Rock. My son has actually said, out loud, “Dad, you were lucky to live in the 70s, when they had good music.” Whoa! Right on! Look, to a 13 yr old metalhead, Angus Young is a gawd. They are in awe of the pyro, and the solos, and love to rock the devil horns. Yes, yes, y’all, I was there last night, in the cheap seats, fully infected by teenaged enthusiasm and throwin’ the horns. In fact, we put four hands together and made two mega-devil horns because, my friend, THERE WAS TOO MUCH ROCK FOR JUST ONE HAND.
If you are one of those folks who has lost the love, lost the buzz, lost the sheer excitement we all used to feel on Concert Day, take a kid. Remember those days? When you spent the whole school day giddy, waiting for the end of the day so you could ditch out and head out to Barton Coliseum? To see Ozzy, or even freakin’ RATT? That feeling is still there. Just gotta dig it out. I think it’s tucked somewhere under your bloated liver, Otis.
In the past year, my son and I have gone to Van Halen, Metallica, and AC/DC. Good times, for sure, but I have seen the shows through his eyes. Listen, brother–it’s a good view. Take it in.
CHECKONETWO Musician Survey: Jakob Hooks January 4, 2009Posted by glenhooks in Musician Profiles.
Tags: american princes, guitar world, jakob hooks, lil wayne, school of rock, soulja boy, Van Halen, vino's
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Jakob Hooks, holdin’ down the driveway. Photo by CheckOneTwo
BAND(S) YOU ARE IN: The Jakob Hooks Experience
PLAY ANY INSTRUMENTS? DO TELL: Guitar.Duh.
DESCRIBE YOUR MUSICAL STYLE: Shred, metal, blahblahblah
HOW’D YOU GET STARTED PLAYING MUSIC? Same way everyone got started. I watched School of Rock.
FAVORITE LOCAL MUSICIAN BESIDES YOURSELF (AND WHY): American Princes cause they rock and/or roll.
WHAT’S IN YOUR POCKET RIGHT NOW? Your moms phone number.
YOUR FAVORITE VENUE IN LITTLE ROCK (AND WHY)? Vino’s
TELL ME ABOUT THE FIRST “REAL” CONCERT YOU EVER ATTENDED. VAN HALEN! DUDE IT ROCKED IT WAS LIKE THE BEST SHOW EVER ONLY BETTER THAN BEST!
HOW ABOUT THE FIRST SHOW YOU EVER DID YOURSELF? Backyard BBQ.
BEST SOURCE FOR MUSICAL INFO? (MAG, WEBSITE, ETC) Guitar World.
WHAT DOES THIS TOWN NEED? Flying Webelos.Wait…is a Webelo an animal? Ok flying cows.
YOUR THREE FAVORITE ALBUMS, ALL-TIME: Van Halen, Master of Puppets, and anything by Lil Wayne or Soulja Boy…yeah right!
RE YOUR MUSIC: DOES YOUR MOM LIKE IT OR NOT? You’re kidding, right?
FUNNIEST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED AT ONE OF YOUR SHOWS: People showed up.
AS A KID, WHAT’D YOU WANT TO GROW UP TO BE? A caterpillar or the President.
MUSICAL/LIFE ADVICE YOU’D GIVE TO MY 13 YEAR OLD GUITAR FIEND SON? Dude rocks.
NYE in Lotta Rock: Where da Music at? December 31, 2008Posted by glenhooks in Upcoming Shows.
Tags: 607, blair combest, cory branan, free verse, the quiet life, vicious vic, Weakness For Blondes
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Gusano’s, 9 p.m.: 607 (CHECKONETWO RECOMMENDS)
Whitewater Tavern, 9 p.m., $10: Cory Branan, Blair Combest, The Quiet Life
Sticky Fingerz, 9 p.m.: Free Verse, Weakness for Blondes
The Village, 8 p.m., $10/$15: New Year’s Eve with Vicious Vic (trance, electronica, all-night dance party)
CHECKONETWO: A Year in Pics (Part One) December 31, 2008Posted by glenhooks in Flashback, Uncategorized.
Tags: 4 x 4 Crew, al green, andrew morgan, Andy Rourke, ashtray babyhead, chicklettes, chuck D, Damn Bullets, dave raymond, Eclipse Glasses, Epiphany, graham cobb, jeremy brasher, josh kerby, Kyoto Boom, Loch Ness Monster, lorenza harrington, mark wyers, matt floyd, Maxx, San Antokyo, scott cook, sean sulac, sierra club, Smoke Up Johnny, teenage bottlerocket, The Moving Front, The Reds, The Smiths, The Weisenheimers
Some of CheckOneTwo’s favorite moments in music this year were (happily) documented by my little ol’ digital camera. Here are a few for you.
Blood on the Keys (above) and MicEater (below): Jeremy Brasher of The Moving Front
Sean Sulac of Loch Ness Monster, goin’ all one-eyed
“Evil” Mark Wyers of The Weisenheimers (above)
The patented Chicklettes snarrrl (below)
Above: From the Matt Floyd Benefit Show (to pay off traffic tickets and let Smoke Up Johnny go on tour)
Above: Graham Cobb of The Reds, gettin’ busy with the tambo
Above: Josh Kerby of San Antokyo, flashing the ink
Above: Scott Cook of Kyoto Boom (hiyaa, hiyah!!)
Above: Epiphany throws it down at Sierra Club’s “Energy Shift” concert
Above: Dave Raymond of Kyoto Boom at Sierra Club show
Above: John Jeremy George & Ringo: Jeremy Brasher (The Moving Front) at Pizza D
Maxx, @ Maxximum Impact
Miggy of Teenage Bottlerocket: Extreme Power Stance, at Vino’s
The Moving Front, @ big ole sweaty mid-week house party on Schiller
Lorenza Harrington & Andrew Morgan of Eclipse Glasses (Ark Flag & Banner)
CheckOneTwo and some guy named Andy Rourke, from some band called THE SMITHS!!
Ashtray Babyhead reunion show
CheckOneTwo with the one and only CHUCK D (at Philander Smith)
The Reverend works in mysterious ways, kna’mean?
Damn Bullets play the NO NEW COAL show at the State Capitol
Part two uploading soon.
ECLIPSE GLASSES featured in Democrat-Gazette today December 30, 2008Posted by glenhooks in Uncategorized.
Tags: dreamland ballroom, Eclipse Glasses, kyle brazzel
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Eclipse Glasses, summer ’08. Photo by CheckOneTwo
One of my favorite new groups–ECLIPSE GLASSES BANDA–is prominently featured in today’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (CheckOneTwo wrote them up last summer: read it here. ) These guys are ridiculously funky musicians and put on a great show the other night with Smoke Up Johnny and American Princes. According to the article, they are also involved in a really cool effort to restore the Dreamland ballroom.
Since the Democrat-Gazette web edition is subscription-only (sheezzz), I’ve pasted the article below for your enjoyment. Support these guys when you hear of their next show–it’s not to be missed. Kudos to Kyle Brazzel for writing about them.
Dream a little dream
Eclectic band takes under its wing a battered dance hall with a glorious past
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
LITTLE ROCK — Onzell Wright has a keen nostalgia for Little Rock’s Ninth Street, similar to the feeling some people have about Main Street. In both cases of these intersecting corridors, this is mostly nostalgia for one’s youth and for crowds. But the way Wright tells it, his particular strain sounds likean anomalous wistfulness for onestop shopping.
Ninth Street, by Wright’s careful enumeration, was once a place where you could get your clothes dry-cleaned and study to be a beautician. You could buy a life insurance policy and a chili dog.
He makes the type of businessmen who tack their business cards to laundromat bulletin boards sound like old friends.
In a way, it’s loneliness talking.
Wright graduated from high school in 1962 and proceeded almost directly to The Line, in those days the nickname for Ninth Street.
“That’s when I was really partying,” he says with the hint of a grin.
In those days Ninth Street was the center of commercial and cultural life for Little Rock’s black population, and it was also the place to party. But when Wright returned in the 1970s to open Wright’s Shine Parlor near Ninthand Arch streets, the vitality was fading. Now its history is a museum exhibit, literally, at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, which opened in the fall.
As someone who came to Ninth Street first to play and later to work, Wright is an exception. But it’s not only neighbors whose absence he feels.
“There was a lot of neon lights down here, just about as many as there was on Main Street,” Wright recalls.
And there was sound, plenty of it, spilling out onto the sidewalks. Wright has always situated himself near music, whether at work or not: When he operated a shoeshine stand in Little Rock’s erstwhile Sheraton Inn, he could hear Gennifer Flowers’ nightclub act from inside the old Pebbles Lounge.
Up and down the Ninth Street of his youth, “you could hear the blues, you could hear rock ’n’ roll, you could hear band music,” Wright says. Bass guitarhung in the air, but so, he remembers, did the bright tones of saxophone and clarinet. These days, it can be difficult to hear Wright speak over the whir of a shoe polisher and the somber chords that announce that The People’s Court, broadcast over a television set so blurry the picture is practically scrambled, is in session.
But on the right night on Ninth Street, music – even the brassy sounds from Wright’s most distant memories – still carries over to a marginally more bustling Broadway. One can hear guitar and drums, tambourine and even trumpet and euphonium spill from the former Doc’s Pool Hall on the ground floor of the Arkansas Flag and Banner building when a band is playing, the beer keg is flowing and the door to the garage bay is thrown open.
These jam-filled parties, of which there have been a small handful, would earn Wright’s approval for more reasons than their role in bringing a groove back to Ninth Street nights. They are also pushing toward a resurrection that would provide an even more direct link between Wright’s boyhood in the area and his advanced adulthood.
The music, under a street-fair-style string of lights and within a circle of ecstatic dancers, has largely been the instrumental sound of the newish Little Rock band Eclipse Glasses, an outfit whose officialmotif, according to its promotional materials, is a stew of “funk, soul, electro, Afrobeat, reggae and weirdo disco.” The quintet is playing in the former Doc’s, tucked underneath the red-brick structure constructed in 1846 as the temple of the Pulaski County chapter of the Knights and Daughters of Tabor, because they can’t yet play on the top floor.
JAZZ AGE GEM
But the band hopes that the proceeds from the concerts will help boost Kerry McCoy, owner of the Flag and Banner building, closer to her goal of restoring the former Dreamland Ballroom. The ballroom, later known less memorably as the Morocco Club, occupies the uppermost story of the building McCoy took over in 1991.
Obscured by peeling plaster and ribs of exposed beams, it retains only a glimmer of its sequins-and-spats shine from days when it hosted Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and the proms of Dunbar High School and Arkansas Baptist and Philander Smith colleges.
“Being an admirer of all those people who played there before, I would love to be able to play there, too,” says Lorenza Harrington, who supplies the horn sounds for Eclipse Glasses and methodically sets up photo collages showing Dreamland’s promise before each fundraising show. “It’s a beautiful venue. The old ’30’s and ’40’s architecture is all around you.”
Indeed, it’s still there, although evidence is strong of the weather beating it took before McCoy’s extensive refurbishing. A scrapbook of the building’s evolution contains photos in which the diamond-patterned panels edging the balconies sit underneathsuch gaping holes in the roof that what were then downtown Little Rock’s First Commercial Bank and TCBY towers loom in the open air. A patina the color of dried mustard has settled on the rosettes ornamenting the bandstand, lending the room a garish quality of glory gone shabby, like a once-grand dame whose hair rinse is beginning to yellow and whose lipstick applications stray off the mark.
In fact, knowing what to keep and what damaged flourishes tocut have proven so tricky that McCoy has already fired two architects whose conceptions would have, she felt, taken the Dreamland too far from its original design.
“The stinking historical people that do the tax credits – they told me I had to take all the plaster out of the way and spray it with clear shellac,” reports Mc-Coy, who originally bought the building for $20,000 from restaurateur Mark Abernathy, who had bought the property at auction on the Pulaski County Courthouse steps.
“I said, ‘You’re missing the whole deal!’ I’m not going to lose my peachy-pink color just so I can get those tax credits.”
In some ways – coinciding, as it does, with a mini-Ninth Street revival as well as the movement to rebrand South Main Street as SOMA – the Dreamland may be the right project at the wrong time. McCoy was prepared to go before loan officers with her revised business plan for theDreamland’s eventual profitability as a for-rent event center and concert venue the week of the initial bank-industry financial crisis.
McCoy says she is grateful for the money that goes into Dreamland restoration coffers after Eclipse Glasses organizes a charity concert.
“They get me a couple thousand dollars,” she says. “But I need a million-two.”
Members of Eclipse Glasses understand that they aren’t going to move the mountain of big-ticket financing with proceeds from the occasional latenight get-down. “Just having music there at all brings about an awareness of that place,” Harrington says. (The next fundraising concert is not yet on the calendar, but progress on the restoration effort can be followed at the ballroom’s Web site, www.dreamlandballroom.com.)TRUMPETING THE CAUSE
And the devotion to the Dreamland held by Eclipse Glasses, as well as other bands of their ilk, casts them as much Generation O as successors to the bluesmen and rock ’n’ rollers who lugged their instrument cases through stage doors in Ninth Street’s heyday. Generation O is the nickname that has been applied to people college age on through their early 30s who helped president-elect Barack Obama reach unprecedented levels of campaign fundraising,one relatively minute, Internetdeposited contribution at a time. The tag also signifies a new order of social consciousness, and members of Eclipse Glasses – Harrington, Zach Reeves, Kyle Carpenter, Andrew Morgan and Collin Miles – in addition to playing in other bands also volunteer for causes like the Arkansas Sustainability Network and the No New Coal environmental movement.
Harrington, 26, learned to play on a trumpet given to him by his grandfather when his parents couldn’t afford the drum set he requested as a teenager. A leader of kung-fu-centered after-school tutorials for the Little Rock School District, Harrington is cautious about appearing opportunistic in his Dreamland boosterism.
“I don’t want it to seem like I’m just playing there so whenever it does get remodeled I’ll have my foot in the door,” he says. “Before it’s established as a legitimate music venue, people should be aware of its history and not just use it as a place to make money, or boost their own popularity.”
McCoy, for her part, understands the ballroom’s appeal to emerging young musicians.
“It’s part of the music heritage of Arkansas – that same bond that ties musicians together generation after generation,” says McCoy, who adds that she bought the property primarily because of the ballroom. (At one time, her goal was to have the Dreamland restored by 2000.)
“I want to move forward while they’ve still got time on their hands and don’t have families yet,” she says of the current youthful gravitation toward the Dreamland. “But even if they get off of it, there’ll be somebody else that falls in love with it.
It’sjust that kind of place – as long as I don’t mess it up.
“I don’t want to sell ownership of it,” she continues, “but it may have to someday be Coca-Cola’s Dreamland Ballroom. But I’d like to see it before I’m 80!”
But even if she doesn’t, as Onzell Wright might tell her, it’s never too late to recapture reveries gone by. Wright’s wife maintains a collection of 45s that preserve the type of tunes that once provided the Ninth Street soundtrack.
“I’m in church now,” Wright says. “I’m a deacon. But every now and then, we spin some old records at the house and dance.”
Style, Pages 27, 32 on 12/30/2008
Copyright © 2008, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc.
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Help Luke Hunsicker December 29, 2008Posted by glenhooks in Lotta Rock News, Upcoming Shows.
Tags: american princes, luke hunsicker
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American Princes bassist LUKE HUNSICKER recently underwent emergency brain surgery, to remove what turned out to be a benign tumor. Princes frontman David Slade reports that Luke is doing very well and is resting at home.
The worse news: huge medical bills on the horizon. If you’d like to help out wih a donation, please go here
You can also come to the American Princes/Big Cats show tonight at Whitewater Tavern (9 p.m.) to make a donation or buy a limited edition t-shirt. Proceeds from the shirt sales go toward Luke’s medical bills.
Hope to see you out,