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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.


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.




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’.


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

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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:


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



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


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NAME:  dan johnson

BAND(S) YOU ARE IN:  i was in the contingencies.  i’m actually still working on a new contingencies “b-sides and outtakes and other badass-stuff-you-never-heard” kind-of release.  i played a couple shows with pete jones and the tiny vibrations – which was much fun.  i was in cream and sugar with david slade (and matt quin?) for a show or two back in the good old days.  one day, there will be a reunion.  i’m currently looking for a few good people.  i may also be responsible for project sunshine.

PLAY ANY INSTRUMENTS?  yes  DO TELL:  guitar.  voice.  i can hammer, like, two notes at a time on a keyboard.  but only if i concentrate.

DESCRIBE YOUR MUSICAL STYLE:  smart.  tasteful.  sexxxy.  familiar.  polite, but not really.  misunderstood.  kinda’ cerebral.  foundational.  personal.  moody.  idiosyncratic, yet somehow likeable.  funny.  honest.  it has its limitations, but it eventually creeps up on you.

HOW’D YOU GET STARTED PLAYING MUSIC?  in college with the contingencies.  we used to be called other things like the halloweenies and the slush puppies.  we only did covers back then.  we told people we wrote them.

FAVORITE LOCAL MUSICIAN BESIDES YOURSELF (AND WHY): lenny bryan.  he does it all better than just about anyone.  even drums.  kevin kerby says his lyrics used to be shit.  but by time kerby left ho-hum, they weren’t anymore.  i REALLY like a lot of other musicians too, though.  the guys in battery.  the guys in the easys.  jim mize.  the guys in american princes.  zach reeves.  andrew morgan.  chris denny.  the guys in the moving front.  dusters, cats, pants, johnnies, reds, tokyos, fits, kyotos, parachutes, and ‘heads.  and many, many more.  i like most everybody and for different reasons.  if i don’t like them, then people probably know it.

WHAT’S IN YOUR POCKET RIGHT NOW?  i’m not telling.

YOUR FAVORITE VENUE IN LITTLE ROCK (AND WHY)?  whitewater.  the stage feels like my bedroom.  it’s very comfortable.

TELL ME ABOUT THE FIRST “REAL” CONCERT YOU EVER ATTENDED.  michael jackson on the “bad” tour.  ’nuff said.

HOW ABOUT THE FIRST SHOW YOU EVER DID YOURSELF?  does an acoustic open-mike in college count?  we played “angel of harlem” by u2.  yeah, yeah, yeah.  i know.

BEST SOURCE FOR MUSICAL INFO? (MAG, WEBSITE, ETC)  i stopped playing that game a couple years back.  i only hear about new stuff from my friends now.

WHAT DOES THIS TOWN NEED?  an enema.  there’s talent.  but there’s also laziness and complacency, which leads to excuses.  i know because i’m as guilty as anyone.

YOUR THREE FAVORITE ALBUMS, ALL-TIME:  really?  i can’t do that.  i can do my top five favorite bands of all time, though.  that seems more manageable.  the beatles, radiohead, pavement, guided by voices, built to spill, and ho-hum.  okay, that’s six.

RE YOUR MUSIC:  DOES YOUR MOM LIKE IT OR NOT?  she’s deaf.  if she could hear it, she would probably hate it.



MUSICAL/LIFE ADVICE YOU’D GIVE TO MY 13 YEAR OLD GUITAR FIEND SON?  work hard right up to the point of it being boring or un-fun.  then stop, for a little bit.  then push yourself.  find your voice.  play to your strengths and occasionally beyond them.  know that your limitations are what will define you.  become okay with that.  satisfy yourself.  be prepared to throw away a lot of money.

Weekend’s Gone, With the Wind… July 28, 2008

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Man, where’d that weekend go?  For Yours Truly, it was a good weekend of down time.  Thursday:  the return of Dana Falconberry, along with Chris Denny & The Old Soles showing a seriously well-honed and tight set.  Dinner out Friday night, then a little DJ/dance party action at Easy Street.   Saturday was bike buying time, then out to the Riverfront to catch some verrrrrrry hot/sweaty tunes from The Moving Front, The Reds, Rockst*r, and Dre & Jontai doing their one song (with a little of Maxx thrown in at the end). 

On tap tonight–looks like Stickyz may have the only game in town: 

Sticky Fingerz, 10 p.m., $4:  The Evelyns & Frown Pow’r.

Friday! Daaaaaaaaaaaaaammn!! April 18, 2008

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Another good night for shows here in Little Rock.  Here’s what I have on tap:

Vino’s, 8:30, $7:  Silverton, Siberian, Mat Mahar

Whitewater Tavern, 9 p.m.:  The Reds, Gringo Star, Jonathan Wilkins

Salty Parrot, 9 p.m., $10:  Chill–Night Breeze Edition.  Epiphany w/Gina Gee, Rockst*r, Goines, many others from Lotta Rock’s hip-hop scene.

Sticky Fingerz, 9 p.m, $6:  Jamband night–Starroy, Speakeasy

Rev Room, 9 p.m., $12:  Culture (reggae from Kingston, Jamaica)

Cornerstone Pub, 9 p.m., $5 w/pass, $7 w/o:  Red Chair Promotions presents the Weekend Power Set (Osyrus tha G.O.D., Luck Rudy Ru, K3 as B.A.I.N., Zone of America, Da Saw Squad, and Spit)

Downtown Music, 8 p.m., $6:  1000 Points of Pain, Power Bastard, Black Tooth Gryn

UPDATE: Aunt Jemima/Mrs. Butterworth Cage Match Tonight (w/special guest “Karo”) February 11, 2008

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9 p.m. Sticky Fingerz, $4

Our friend and yours, Travis McElroy, trots out the latest installment of his Monday Thick Syrup night at Sticky Fingerz.  I’ll be there, you’ll be there, and guess who else will be there?  Yup, that’s right:  everybody else.

 This is your last chance for a while to see Everybody’s Favorite Putumayo web guy on stage.  Pete Jones is headed back to NYC and his swan song will be performed tonight, with back up from members of The Moving Front and The Contingencies (performing as the Tiny Vibrations).   We’ll miss our friend and fellow Eco-Savants kickballer and look forward to (hopefully) his frequent returns to la petit roche.

As if seeing PJ off isn’t reason enough to get off your couch, you also get a chance to make up for missing The Reds show last week.  Come on out and taunt Graham Cobb into tossing off a few pre-show Il Libretina licks.  

You still want to stay on the couch?  Still?  Ok, sheesh, try this:  MAGIC CROPDUSTERS!  David Jukes, Jeff Matika, and Matt Quin (complete with new ink), out from behind the bar at Vino’s and ready to make your outing worthwhile.  You don’t get to see the Cropdusters out too often–scratch up $4 and see three acts.  $1 Old Styles.  Hoo-ahh!!

UPDATE:  Magic Cropdusters have cancelled, and have been replaced with BROWNINGHAM.   Too bad about the Cropdusters, but Browningham is a one man tour de force.  This should make you get up and down to Stickyz even earlier.   I caught Browningham at the ACAC cover show on Hallowe’en, which featured him as Prince Rogers Nelson himself.  One man, one synth, one falsetto, much groovin’.  



Writers Treat me Like Coltrane, Insane February 8, 2008

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Your Man About Town, full of Asian beer and Chinese-New-Year-Cheer (much love to the folks at Saigon)  ventured out last night to catch Round 2 of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase.  Much like a Chinese food menu, the lineup featured a little something for everybody–some of it flavorful, some of it bland, and some that was so tasty that I gazed wistfully at the empty plate when it was gone.

Congratulations to the Round 2 winner:  Epiphany & One Night StandThis six-piece rock/rap/jazz unit brought a loud, funky,  mix that transformed spectators into a sweet headbobbing seventh member.  Big Piph’s strong Popeye flow was given an extra can o’ spinach by the sweet soulful vocals of Gina Gee, but the can’s edge was extra sharp thanks to the serrated guitar work of Sixtring.  This set was strong and delivered the second rap/hip-hop winner in as many weeks.  If you missed it or just want more, catch Epiphany on Saturday the 9th, 7 p.m. at Wynsong. 

The Reds had a tight, super-sweet treat of a set last night, featuring fun dancy pop entirely from their album Economy of Motion.  Lead singer Johnny Mac pushed the songs along with some heavy, chunky bass lines a la early Police tracks, while guitarist Graham Cobb and drummer Jason Thompson spooned extra layers of la-la-la confection onto my crowded dessert plate.   It’s evident that this trio enjoys playing together–check ’em out next Monday at Sticky Fingerz’ Thick Syrup night. 

The other two bands had strong sets musically but seemed to lack that intangible extra bit of connection which separates the sort-of-good from the bands you really love to see live.   Take Notion for instance.  Every member of the band was strong individually, but collectively it was like watching folks paint-by-numbers.   Have you ever watched a band live and been able to peg the source of everyone’s moves or style?  That’s what was happening last night:  like I was watching musicians who each had a different source of inspiration–maybe one grew up on Pantera, another on Black Crowes, another on Jeff Tweedy–and sought to mimic those styles.  I think Notion has good skills and definitely had some audience support, but will be a stronger band when they gel and find their own vibe.    Notion’s next show is Feb 28 at George’s in Fayetteville. 

Bryan Frazier’s set was augmented by a collective group of musicians from other bands, and left me wishing for the chance to just focus on the strength of his songs and lyrics.   Frazier’s usual style–quieter, introspective–may not have been a good fit for a competitive battle-of-the-bands format like last night, so I understand the reasoning behind beefing up the stage a bit.  However, his natural strengths seemed to be overshadowed and sometimes overwhelmed by the “Shreddy McShredenstein” (as one friend put it) lead guitar.  I’m looking forward to seeing Bryan in his natural environment–you can catch him tonight at Lulav lounge in Little Rock.

 The finals are already shaping up to be one nasty streetfight:  607 v. Epiphany v. _____ v. ______.   

Round 3 next week at Stickyz.  Don’t miss it.



AT Musicians Showcase: ROUND 2 TONIGHT February 7, 2008

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notion.jpgthe-reds.jpg bryan-frazier.jpgepiphany.jpg

Sticky Fingerz is hosting Round 2 of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase tonight.  Starts at 9–you won’t want to miss tonight.  Why, you ask?

Because The Reds are on the bill!  Their Economy of Motion album (Max Recordings, 2007) was the pop soundtrack to the last half of the year for me.   I dig the hooks, dig the echo-y timbre of Johnny Mac’s vocals, I dig the glittery schwank of Graham Cobb’s guitar work, all backed up by Jason Thompson’s outstanding drum work.  I’m not going to be impartial tonight, so it’s good that I’m not judging.   Word around the campfire is that The Reds play at 10 p.m. sharp.

 Not that the rest of the bill is lacking.   Notion (energetic, rowdy rock), Bryan Frazier (perfectly crafted, subdued, lyrical songs) with Action Figures, and Epiphany (slow Southern rap/hip-hop) & One Night Stand.  Give their stuff a listen at the links–promises to be a great night.