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Mixin’ it up on Friday Night January 20, 2008

Posted by glenhooks in Show Reviews.
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Yours truly did indeed venture out to Whitewater on Friday, looking forward to seeing Silverton, The Moving Front, and Doug McKean and the Stuntmen.   The Tavern was packed with a distinctively different clientele this evening.  Lots more ballcaps and rugby shirts, noticeably more hairdos and cleavage….made me wonder if there was some sort of IFC meeting going on.  Seems that the memo has gone out to the frats that WWT is a great place for cheap beer and live music.   Congrats to Matty and the crew on expanding the crowd, but this is going to take some getting used to. 

Maybe I can help ease the transition a bit.

 TIPS FOR THE WHITEWATER FIRST-TIMERS

1.  This is not a sorority party.  Dress however you want, but making snotty comments about the way the regulars are dressed is likely to result in you getting dealt with.  Save that shit for the River Market or your spring social.

2.  Dancing is encouraged.  However, if you try to go all Tawny Kitaen in front of the stage, expect to be laughed at.  By us and by the band.  By all means dance your little heart out, but don’t be surprised if it gets you some attention that you weren’t counting on. 

3.  If you are trying to get to the bar, it’s really OK to just say “excuse me.”  No need to push people out of the way.  Your Abercrombie shirt and backwards baseball cap looks reeeeeallly great on you, and I’m proud that you are a star at intramurals, but it’s not going to get you past me.  Settle down and we can probably even be friends.

4.   Last tip:  it’s really about the music at WWT.   Give the bands a chance to play, and quit looking annoyed that they are interrupting your conversations.   If you’re occupying the first couple of rows in front of the stage, and you have your back to the band for an extended conversation with your friends, man…..come on.  Kind of rude.  Maybe it doesn’t piss a lot of you off, but it pisses me off.  Save that area in front of the stage for the folks who care about the music more than they care about what happened in Western Civ today.

5.   Welcome!  We’re really glad you’re here.  Next time, bring a few more friends. 

Now about the music:

SILVERTON 

Silverton  is a young, local band that somehow crammed 7 performers onto the tiny WWT stage and then went to work.  I really dug their set a lot.  Heavy on the harmonies, with a lead singer who sometimes channeled a young Yusef Islam, Silverton brought a country-rock vibe nicely accentuated with keyboards, double back-up singers,  and a barefoot tambourinist.   The songs were short and loosely performed–the phrase “happily shambolic” comes to mind, and I mean that in a good way.  Silverton seemed to enjoy each other’s company, which goes a long way with me.

Word around the campfire is that Silverton plays Juanita’s next month (Sat Feb 23, 9:30 p.m., $6).  Based on the strength of their WWT performance, I’ll plan on checking it out. 

THE MOVING FRONT

Next up was TMF, with a strong mix of material from their “S/T” album and new material yet to be released.   TMF is a crowd favorite and did not disappoint.   Let’s just note that before this set was a third over, there was quite literally blood on the keyboards (somebody send Jeremy Brasher a band-aid) and a lot of new fans for TMF.   I personally observed more than a few folks who knew the lyrics and were lustily singing along. 

DOUG MCKEAN AND THE STUNTMEN

Based largely on their association with the GC5, I anticipated this set would be heavily on the punk side, or at least a little more fierce.   Two songs in, though, a fellow concert-goer put it well:  “This sounds like they were influenced by John Cougar Mellencamp.”  Nailed it.  Perhaps the lead singer’s cowboy hat should have been a giveaway.  The set lacked the anger, passion, and drive that I was hoping for, and unfortunately the crowd settled in for a role as passive spectators rather than active participants. 

The headliners stayed to do another set on Saturday night.  I did not attend, but would welcome hearing from any of you who did. 

Sibilance,

Glen

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Comments»

1. Demetrius Gordon - January 21, 2008

I think it’s hilarious that you would put those stupid little tips for new WWTers. If they were a little less crotchety, they might fit right in over at Sync Weekly, where cheese reigns supreme. Oh wait, are you trying to break out as a music writer? I did notice the embarrassing Lester Bangs quote on your first post. What an appalling cliche. Who’s next? Norman Mailer?

Per Doug McKean and the Stuntmen: Perhaps lifting your face out of your pint glass would’ve clued you in to the fact that the set was as wild a sing-along wonder as WWT has seen since the last time their Ohio friends were in town. And the GC5 reunion Saturday night was pure magic.

The saddest thing about your judgment of “the new crowd” at WWT is that you based it one night’s experience. What you have missed about the new crowd at WWT (besides the juvenile and inaccurate stereotyping of their wardrobes, which I’ll ignore) is that they’re younger than the people who were there before, they’re making Little Rock their home after school or whatever, and they’re centering their social lives around live local music– not $2.50 pint specials, not dueling pianos, not dance clubs, not 50 televisions with 50 different sports games on– but live local music. And, for the last year now, they’ve made WWT the center of LR music of the roots/rock/punk-ish variety.

But you go on and make sure they know how to order a drink, and by all means, stand in their way if you don’t think they’ve got the protocol down. Someone’s got to maintain some standard of decency, right? Someone must march beneath the grand, sud-spangled banner of grizzled curmudgeonry disguised as criticism. Arise, CheckOneTwo, this is your moment!

This blog sucks.

2. glenhooks - January 21, 2008

Mr. Gordon–

Thanks for your comment on CheckOneTwo.com. I appreciate you checking in.

Just so you’ll be informed: I’ve spent an average of 1-2 nights per week at WWT for the last two years. My observation of last Friday night is not based on one visit, as you stated. I’m pretty much a regular at WWT, Pizza D, and Vino’s.

Also, as I noted: I went on Friday night. I wasn’t there Saturday night. If Saturday’s show was “pure magic,” I’m glad to hear it and am sorry that I missed the good show. Friday night’s set–the one that I saw–was disappointing. However, as I noted in my opening post, this blog is one guy’s opinion. I’m glad you had a good time both nights.

Thanks for sharing your opinion. Maybe we’ll agree on some other things down the line.

How did you like the other bands?

–Glen Hooks

3. Paul Michael - January 23, 2008

Stumbled onto this blog and must say it’s nice to have a decent write up about Little Rock music.

As for the disgruntled on the tips at hand, I must say these are pretty spot on…and unruly hilarious. Sad but true, expansion takes getting used to on all fronts, but like it is stated, one mans view is still just one mans view on all of this.

Sadly, you can find me at White Water 5 nights of the week.

Paul Michael

4. glenhooks - January 23, 2008

Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate them.

Also, I have to say that I dig your posters large. Many of them are on the walls of my 12 yr old’s room. He’s been playing guitar for about 2 years (natch, he shreds) and can’t wait to be old enough to go to shows. Perhaps I’m creating a monster, but it’s fun for now.

–GLEN


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