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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.

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Blood on the Keys (above) and MicEater (below):   Jeremy Brasher of The Moving Front

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Sean Sulac of Loch Ness Monster, goin’ all one-eyed

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“Evil” Mark Wyers of The Weisenheimers (above)

The patented Chicklettes snarrrl (below)

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Above:  From the Matt Floyd Benefit Show (to pay off traffic tickets and let Smoke Up Johnny go on tour)

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Above:  Graham Cobb of The Reds, gettin’ busy with the tambo

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Above:  Josh Kerby of San Antokyo, flashing the ink

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Above:  Scott Cook of Kyoto Boom (hiyaa, hiyah!!)

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Above:  Epiphany throws it down at Sierra Club’s “Energy Shift” concert

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Above:  Dave Raymond of Kyoto Boom at Sierra Club show

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Above:  John Jeremy George & Ringo:  Jeremy Brasher (The Moving Front) at Pizza D

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4×4 Crew

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Maxx, @ Maxximum Impact

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Miggy of Teenage Bottlerocket:  Extreme Power Stance, at Vino’s

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The Moving Front, @ big ole sweaty mid-week house party on Schiller

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Lorenza Harrington & Andrew Morgan of Eclipse Glasses (Ark Flag & Banner)

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CheckOneTwo and some guy named Andy Rourke, from some band called THE SMITHS!! 

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Ashtray Babyhead reunion show

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CheckOneTwo with the one and only CHUCK D (at Philander Smith)

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The Reverend works in mysterious ways, kna’mean?

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Damn Bullets play the NO NEW COAL show at the State Capitol

Part two uploading soon.

Sibilance,

Glen

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CHECKONETWO Musician Survey: “Scottish” Brian Hirrel October 29, 2008

Posted by glenhooks in Musician Profiles.
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NAME:  BRIAN HIRREL

BAND(S) YOU ARE IN:  LOCH NESS MONSTER.
PLAY ANY INSTRUMENTS?  DO TELL:  GUITAR (A TOOL WITH 6 STRINGS).
DESCRIBE YOUR MUSICAL STYLE: WILDLY FLAMBOYANT WITH A HEFTY DOSE OF INEPTNESS.
HOW’D YOU GET STARTED PLAYING MUSIC?  LISTENING TO MY 4 OLDER SISTERS MOTOWN, T.REX, THE WHO, BEATLES , STONES AND SABBATH LPS IN THE LATE 60’S, EARLY 70’S JUST MADE ME WANT TO PLAY GUITAR AT AGE 11.
FAVORITE LOCAL MUSICIAN BESIDES YOURSELF (AND WHY): DAVID JUKES HAS A STYLE ALL OF HIS OWN, WATCH AND LEARN. MATT FLOYD IS ALSO GOOD VALUE FOR THE MONEY. I ALSO HAVE TO MENTION THE LATE GREAT VICTOR WYLIE, THE CLICKING BEETLE BAD OMEN BAND WERE ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE BANDS EVER IN LITTLE ROCK.
WHAT’S IN YOUR POCKET RIGHT NOW?  KEYS, WALLET, PEN AND A MOBILE CELLULAR DEVICE. 
YOUR FAVORITE VENUE IN LITTLE ROCK (AND WHY)? WITHOUT A DOUBT VINO’S. IT’S WERE IT STARTED FOR ME AND A WHOLE HOST OF GREAT LITTLE ROCK BANDS. IT HAS CERTAINLY CHANGED IN THE LAST FEW YEARS BUT THAT’S ALSO DUE TO THE FACT THAT I’M NOT 25 ANYMORE. JUANITAS HAS GREAT SOUND AND THE WHITE WATER IS NICE AND INTIMATE. 
 TELL ME ABOUT THE FIRST “REAL” CONCERT YOU EVER ATTENDED.  ROD STEWART IN 1975, THE ATLANTIC CROSSING TOUR, A MAGICAL MOMENT FOR A 14 YEAR OLD. IT WAS AT THE APOLLO IN GLASGOW (SADLY DEFUNCT) , CAPACITY 3,000 AND WE HAD UPPER BALCONY SEATS. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I’D EVER HEARD THE TERM NOSE BLEED SEATS
HOW ABOUT THE FIRST SHOW YOU EVER DID YOURSELF?  PLAYING IN A GLASGOW COMMUNITY CENTER WITH A WEE PUNK COMBO CALLED THE HEARTBEATS. IT WAS MORE OF A PRACTICE THAN A SHOW, BUT THERE WAS ABOUT 30 PEOPLE THERE WATCHING INCLUDING THE JANITOR AND THE CLEANING LADIES.
BEST SOURCE FOR MUSICAL INFO? (MAG, WEBSITE, ETC)  WORD OF MOUTH IS GOOD FOR ME. I ALSO TRAWL THE NET FOR STUFF.
WHAT DOES THIS TOWN NEED?  A REALLY GOOD FISH AND CHIP SHOP
YOUR THREE FAVORITE ALBUMS, ALL-TIME:  FOR THIS WEEK, RAW POWER; THE STOOGES, SKETCHES OF SPAIN; MILES DAVIS, SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE; BERLIOZ
 RE YOUR MUSIC: DOES YOUR MOM LIKE IT OR NOT? MY DEAR OLD MOM NEVER DID CARE FOR THE ROCK’N’ROLL THING.
FUNNIEST THING THAT’S EVER HAPPENED AT ONE OF YOUR SHOWS: WELL, THERE IS THE LEGENDARY BIG BOSS LINE SHOW IN MEMPHIS WHEN OUR LEAD SINGER GAVE AWAY A DEMO TAPE TO SOME KIDS WITH AN EIGHT BALL OF COCAINE INSIDE IT. FUNNY LATER BUT AT THE TIME……..
AS A KID, WHAT’D YOU WANT TO GROW UP TO BE? A MECHANIC. I FAILED, I’M A RESTAURANT LIFER.
MUSICAL/LIFE ADVICE YOU’D GIVE TO MY 13 YEAR OLD GUITAR FIEND SON?  PRACTICE IS FOR DUMMIES, WING IT SON, WING IT.

In England, it’s 5 p.m. on Friday right now September 19, 2008

Posted by glenhooks in Upcoming Shows.
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…and it’s gettin’ there here.  Sweet Mother Love Bone, I’m ready to call it a week.  It’s been a busy few days for the enviros ’round here, and next week doesn’t look any easier. 

But we’ve got tonight.  Who needs tomorrow?  I do.  Here are some places you might just see your Ol’ Pal CheckOneTwo:

FRIDAY

Whitewater Tavern, 10 p.m., $5:  John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives (outta Memphis), with Mat Mahar

Sticky Fingerz, 9:30 p.m., $10 :  Wade Bowen (outta New Braunfels, TX)  and Sean McConnell

Rev Room, 10 p.m., $12:  Divas in the Rock (Nicky Parrish & special guest Pinky)

Vino’s, 7 p.m., $6:  PLU * LAST SHOW! * w/ Sean Michel, Farewell Flight & Futuro Boots

Cornerstone Pub, 9 p.m., $5:  The Eoff Brothers (Blues/Rock from Springdale)

Downtown Music, 8 p.m., $6:  Seahag CD release show, with Vore and Bloodletting Device 

Juanita’s, 10 p.m., $5, 18+:  Notion, w/Flash LaRue and Joey Farr & Friends

The Village, 7 p.m., $8:  Livid, Sufferkate, Finding Jimmy Hoffa, Land of Mines

SATURDAY

Juanita’s, 9:30 p.m., $6:  The return of ASHTRAY BABYHEAD, and THE MOVING FRONT, and SMOKE UP JOHNNY.  CHECKONETWO RECOMMENDS

Pop In the Park (Riverfront Park, 7 p.m.):  Grand Serenade, Chase Pagan, Epiphany, and 607.  FREE SHOW, coolers allowed, how could CHECKONETWO not recommend this?  Go here, then go to Juanita’s.

Whitewater Tavern, 10 p.m.:  Go Fast’s record release show

Sticky Fingerz, 9 p.m., $6:  Brothers and Sisters

Vino’s, 8 p.m., $6:  18TH ANNIVERSARY w/ King Don, Gino Delray, The Reds, Loch Ness Monster & Underclaire

Cornerstone Pub, 9 p.m., $5:  Sean Rock and the Toltecs

Downtown Music, 8 p.m.:  Hoodtech productions hip-hop show (acts TBA)

The Village, 7 p.m., $12:  Bleeding Through, The Handshake Murders, Tristan Betrayal, and tba

ALBUM REVIEW: Loch Ness Monster/Eleven Traditional Songs August 28, 2008

Posted by glenhooks in Album Reviews.
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LOCH NESS MONSTER:  Brian Hirrel, Jimmy Young, Sean Sulac, Matt Nicholas.  Photo by CheckOneTwo

Good evening.  Welcome to the sweaty side of your insomniac pillow, the buzz in your ear from the no-see-um at 3 a.m., or maybe the grinding sound your brain makes in the middle of the night when you want to sleep but it declines to shut down.

Loch Ness Monster‘s Eleven Traditional Songs (Max Recordings) is NOT any of the following:  dinner party background music, mood music for that special night when it’s finally going to happen, study tunes, or the lullaby sleepytime sing-song that your kid needs for that final push to sleep.  

Eleven Traditional Songs is really anything but traditional.  Just when you think you’ve got a track figured out, the rollercoaster swerves, drops, climbs, and makes you ignore the rule about keeping your hands and feet inside the car at all times.  Vocalist Sean Sulac explores the entire sonic range, from falsetto whispers and grrrrrowly snarls all the way up to the wahwahwahwahhhhhhhhhh end of the spectrum.  Guitarist Brian Hirrel drives this train like a mad conductor, alternating time changes and bouncing between sludgy Sabbath and hi-speed licks that push you to the point of exhaustion.   The sludge trip is given guts and ballast by the solid rhythm section of Matt Nicholas and Jimmy Young, who barely manage to keep the train from jumping the tracks.   

This is going to be great night driving music, and is guaranteed to work better’n Five Hour Energy.

If you’re looking for something that doesn’t sound like the other stuff in your collection, give Eleven Traditional Songs a try.    If your girl/boy doesn’t run out of the room screaming, s/he’s a keeper.

Catch Loch Ness Monster Sept 9 at Sticky Fingerz.

Sibilance,

Glen

 

CheckOneTwo’s “5 Local Albums I’m Waiting For” List August 27, 2008

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I am not a patient man when it comes to music.  If there’s a show next week that I’m jonesin’ to see, that is the LONGEST WEEK EVER.  The last five minutes before the lights go down ooze by like frozen syrup for me.  And new music?  I am the Veruca Salt of new music.  I want it NOW, I want it RIGHT NOW, especially if I’ve seen your band out and dig your stuff.

So…why, in the name of all that is holy and sweet, am I still waiting for new albums from these local artists?  (Check out their music at the links below.)

KYOTO BOOM–Scott Cook, Dave Raymond, and Duke Boyne have blown my mind every time I’ve seen them, from beginning to end.  Love the songs a ton, and even love their cover stuff (Blue Oyster Cult?  Duran Duran!?).  80s influenced and bass-driven, but with super keys, sparkle-shredded guitar and thunder drums.  I’d play this CD all day, every day, IF THEY’D RELEASE A CD.

THE MOVING FRONT–My favorite local fellers (Jeremy Brasher, Micah Fitzhugh, Mark Lewis, Brian Rodgers), except for the fact that they’ve made me practically wear out their “S/T” disc while waiting for the new stuff to get released.  I keep hearing about an EP in the works, but that’s been pending so long that my clothes are goin’ outta style.   Am I going to have to get all Ninja like, scale a building, kidnap the master recordings, and release it myself?

THE WEISENHEIMERS:  (Sean Causey, Karle Johnson, Mark Wyers, Micah Wyers)–Perhaps it’s sloth?  Financial issues?  Perhaps it’s the demands of day jobs, wives, girlfriends, fiancees, new babies?  Or maybe they’re just seeing how many times I have to ask “So…when’s the album coming out?”  Whatever it is, I’m refusing to accept any more excuses.   Weisenheimers, if I have to put together a f*&$ing fundraiser to get this album out, I’ll do it.  Holla. 

RODNEY BLOCK & THE REAL MUSIC LOVERS:  You find these guys (Rodney Block, Oliver Thomas, Michael Chandler, and Sam Carroll) out a lot–at the AfterThought, at wedding receptions, at rooftop restaurants in Conway, etc.  Their gig list is a long one, but their CD?  Nada.  They’re unsigned, and that’s a damned crime.  This is a crazy-good mix of insane trumpet, hip-hop beats, gospel layering, and a healthy dose of jazz/funk.   I’d buy this CD for me and a bunch more to give as gifts.  GET IT OUT, WOULDJA?

SILVERTON:  My favorite 8-member folk revivalists have reportedly hung it up, due to musical differences.  Here’s to hoping it wasn’t an acrimonious split, and that they’ll get a real CD out someday.  There is a CD sampler available, so I’ll have to live with that (can’t buy it off their site, though!!)

All of the above is said with love.  And impatience.  There’s only so many times I can listen to the new Loch Ness Monster album….

Sibilance,

Glen

Thoughts on Powering Through January 29, 2008

Posted by glenhooks in Lotta Rock News.
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So last night I left Pizza D around 10 and hit the third installment of Thick Syrup’s Monday night local music series at Sticky Fingerz.  Solid, entertaining sets from The Weisenheimers, San Antokyo, and Loch Ness Monster.  Good bands, good setting, but the audience was almost completely gone.  Maybe everybody was still breathless from watching Bush’s last State of the Union speech earlier?  Or sick?  Were all the cool kids somewhere and forgot to tell me?

A tip of the hat to these bands for powering through with almost no crowd support.   The Weisenheimers clearly brought some folks with them (good thinking), but those folks scattered immediately after the set.  San Antokyo is always a treat–I dig the interplay between The Brothers Kerby–but they played to no fewer than 12 people in front and a few more back at the bar.  By the time Loch Ness Monster brought their sludgy scream-of-consciousness selves to the stage, they were preaching to five of us.    To give you an idea of how sparse things were:  Brother Sulac lost his balance and fell off the edge of the stage during a verse and free-fell to the floor.   Give the man some credit.  He didn’t miss a beat, finishing the song from a prone position.

 I’ve never been in a band, but I’ve often wondered how you summon up the gumption to go for it when there’s virtually no one watching .  The answer came last night–these guys aren’t playing for us, they’re playing for themselves.   Why is Kevin Kerby playing topless at midnight in front of almost no one on a Monday night?  Because he wants to.  How can Sulac put on a white lab coat/broken sunglasses and squeeze out an endless river of lyrics when there are no adoring fans hanging on his every nonsensical syllable?  Because it’s way more fun than singing into his hairbrush in the comfort of his bedroom.

Much love to the guys who play for no one, just because they can.

Question:  Who is your favorite local (Arkansas) band?

All this Thick Syrup is giving me Sticky Fingerz, man…. January 28, 2008

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san-antokyo.jpg             lochnessmonster.jpg         weisenheimers.jpg

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If it’s Monday, it’s time for some Thick Syrup again.  Come on out tonight to Sticky Fingerz for Loch Ness Monster, San Antokyo, and The Weisenheimers.  It’s a 9 p.m. lo-do-show ($4). 

Loch Ness Monster seems to give Sean Sulac (of Hector Faceplant) and Scottish Brian (who’s poured you many a pint at Vino’s) a chance to explore some heavier, darker riffs worthy of the fabled sea serpent, but Hector keeps managing to poke his head out of the sludgy stuff and say hello. 

Betcha 5 Old Styles that San Antokyo brings it hard, fast, and maybe topless tonight.  Watch out for the Kerby boys (Kevin and Josh), Brian, and Bryce to show up with a fun, loose set, maybe written on Josh’s back. 

I haven’t seen The Weisenheimers yet, but their MySpace tunes sound kind of power pop.  Maybe a flexed-out, sped-up Material Issue (and I mean that in a good way.)

 Come on out tonight.  I haven’t seen you in a long time. 

Sibilance,

Glen