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TONIGHT: The Weisenheimers & Magic Hassle January 29, 2009

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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, 2009

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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: A Year in Pics (Part One) December 31, 2008

Posted by glenhooks in Flashback, Uncategorized.
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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


4×4 Crew


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, 2008

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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

— 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.


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

Material from the Associated Press is Copyright © 2008, Associated Press and may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and noncommercial use. The AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing. All rights reserved.

Long Weekend? Chickety-check! December 19, 2008

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The good news:  that is indeed my ass.  The bad news?  That’s not MY hairy hand.  D’ohhh!!

One of the reasons that CheckOneTwo is lucky is that his job shuts down for the last couple of weeks of the year, every year.   That means at the end of today I will be leaving from the office until Jan 5.  Ohhhhhyeahhhh….it’s like being a school teacher without the hassle and the denim jumpers.

So what should I do this weekend?  Hmmm…

Downtown Music, 9 p.m., $5, ALL AGES:  Cool Shoes dance party.  Featuring Western Meds, T.J. Deeter, others

Sticky Fingerz, 9 p.m., $5:  First Impressions (reggae, r&b)

Whitewater Tavern, 9 p.m., $5:  John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives, and Jonathon Wilkins

Vino’s, 8:30 p.m., $8:  PM Today, School Boy Humor, Don’t Call Me Shirley

Cornerstone Pub, 9 p.m.:  Chris Denny & Friends

Juanita’s, 10 p.m., $7, 18+:  Elsie Davis w/Isaac Alexander and The Bill McElroy Band


Sticky Fingerz, 9 p.m., $5:  Weakness for Blondes

Whitewater Tavern, 9 p.m., $5:  Kevin Kerby & Battery, The Reds, Drunken Angels.  CHECKONETWO RECOMMENDS

Pizza D’Action, 9 p.m.:  Stella Fancy!  CHECKONETWO RECOMMENDS (for the low-key lovahs)

Vino’s:  Toys for Tots benefit w/Kingsdown, Solstice, others TBA

Cornerstone Pub, 9 p.m.:  Joe Pitts Band

Downtown Music, 8 p.m., $6:  Fatal 13, Klaun VI, Patient 8, and Out of Ashes

Juanita’s, 9:30, $8:  Machina, Brookroyal, Altus Pocket

So maybe I’ll see you out?  GET LUCKY!!



Making your holiday music (err… ESCAPE) plans? December 15, 2008

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grandparents  other-grandparents

I hear all the time about how hard the holidays are, how families get on your nerves, how you gotta have some escape from Memaw & PawPaw…I guess it’s especially hard for those of you who come in to visit family.  They want every last minute of time. 

Dude.  You gotta plan.  Otherwise it’s several days of Scrabble with your nephew or, Yahweh forbid, Monopoly.

Here are the things you could miss if you don’t start sowing the seeds of your escape plan NOW. 

SAT 12/20:  , Kevin Kerby & Battery, The Reds , and Drunken Angels at Whitewater Tavern; Stella Fancy & Whale Fire @ Pizza D’Action

MON 12/22:  Trusty (yep, TRUSTY!!) w/Matt Besser, at Vino’s.  The big DMZ reunion. 

TUE 12/23:  Isaac Alexander @ Vino’s

FRI 12/26:  Big Cats, Kevin Kerby & Battery, and Ashtray Babyhead at Juanita’s.

SAT 12/27:  American Princes, Smoke Up Johnny, Eclipse Glasses (Rev Room, ALL AGES)

FRI 1/2:  Lucero @ White Water Tavern

A little bit of  pre-planning, like:  “Mom, I can’t wait to see you too…I do have a couple of things I’ll need to do while I’m there, but the REST of the time I’m all yours!!” just might go a long way.    In a pinch, you might try, “I have a dance to go to.  It’s a very important dance.  We’re being graded on it, for gym.”

I’m just sayin’.


Hey, did you go to the Metallica show in Little Rock last month? December 15, 2008

Posted by glenhooks in Uncategorized.

Me too.   Wouldn’t it be cool if we were able to get a super-sweet recording of that show, without having to go all “Rerun at the Doobie Brothers”?

Well now you can!!!  For $9.95, go right here to download an mp3 of the Metallica Little Rock show.   Owwww!!  It is one top quality show, boyeee.  I love hearing James Hetfield talking about Little Rock.  Yes, I am a geek…but  a geek with a live Metallica show!!!  If you want to pay a bit more, you can get it in FLAC format. 

Makes a great gift–downloadable skins, as well. 

Riding the Lightning,


TONIGHT! Warm up ACAC’S New Space!! December 15, 2008

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Our friends over at the Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative breaks in their new space tonight, over by the skate park on Kanis.  Seen that old Gallery B building?  That’s the space. 

900 S. Rodney Parham Blvd., Little Rock, Arkansas (neighboring Kanis Park) Doors open 8:30, show starts at 9:00 pm $5.00, all ages

The only weak spot for ACAC’s old space was a limit on music, due to tenants living overhead.   That problem is solved, so I  spect it’s gonna get LOUD AND NASTY tonight. 

How loud?  How nasty?  Chew on this:

HOLY SHIT!, straight outta Milwaukee

THE CHICKLETTES! (straight outta LR, with a detour through L7)


KILL TV!  (straight outta…Cabot??)

Get on out before the ice traps you in.



BIG NEWS re AMERICAN PRINCES December 14, 2008

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A Little Drummer Boy told me the following:

1.   American Princes’ latest album will be named the top album of 2008 by Magnet magazine; and

2.  The Princes are on the bill to play at Bonnaroo this summer.

Niiiiiiiice.  Well done, fellers.

Catch AP and The Good Fear in Fayetteville this Saturday 12/20 at Smoke & Barrel (on Dickson, behind Jose’s),  or in Little Rock on Saturday the 27th for an all-ages show at the Rev Room with Smoke Up Johnny and Eclipse Glasses.



Your Pete Jones Update November 6, 2008

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Pete Jones, formerly of Pants and known/beloved by many here in Lotta Rock, now lives in NYC.   He said that Election Night was something to behold.

From Pete–

That’s me standing on the newspaper box. I think. Hell of a night.