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The Ross Who Knew Too Much

Saturday, March 19, 2005

More stuff from Friday's Spin party (and beyond)

-- Everyone's favorite Twin Cities band that doesn't live in the Twin Cities may well have been the hardest working band at SXSW, opening the Spin show, playing at least three (I think!) other gigs and even busking outside of Iron Works. Possibly!

-- As I mentioned last night, the New York Dolls were my own most anticipated show of SXSW. And they didn't disappoint as they ripped through all the expected classics, including my personal favorite "Trash." It's not too much of a stretch to say the Dolls influenced -- either directly or indirectly -- at least 90 percent of the guitar-based bands playing SXSW. For example, look at Louis XIV, who appeared earlier on the very same bill. It doesn't take more than a few degrees of separation to trace their whole glam/punk/sex thing back to the Dolls now does it. No, it does not.

-- The New York Dolls reunited last summer at the behest of this longtime fan who released a live album of the Dolls' reunion show on his own Attack Records label. Bass player Arthur "Killer" Kane died of complications from undiagnosed leukemia a few weeks later, leaving frontman David Johansen and guitarist Syl Sylvain the only living Dolls left on this planet. That fact, more than anything else, was why I needed to see the New York Dolls. Because when the next one dies, they'll have to change the name to New York Doll. (And, oh yes, Johansen has not weathered particularly well. He may want to consider adopting a new stage name, "Boney Curtis." Still, his voice was in better shape than it was on the live CD and it helped if you stood back from the stage, or stared at the sun.)

-- Speaking of reunited bands, I ran into my old Seattle pal Hannah Levin, who had the good fortune to catch the Slint show earlier this month in her hometown. "Incredible" was one of the many glowing words she used to describe the gig. No Twin Cities date as of yet, but the Kentucky alt-rock cult heroes play three dates in Chicago starting Thursday.

-- OK, one more bit of reunion news. Over dinner, I found out that Rykodisc has just reissued the entire Starz catalog! I need to get me these as soon as I get back home!

-- The Queens of the Stone Age did, indeed, play that Entertainment Weekly party Thursday night, concentrating largely on their new CD "Lullabies to Paralyze" and their 1998 debut. Band leader Josh Homme has also been working out as his pipes are now fearsomely ripped. No word yet if the lyrics to "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" will now be appended to include "creatine."

-- After the Spin show, I accidentally ended up seeing Michelle Shocked! A bunch of Minnesota SXSWesters had planned an informal, conversating-type happy hour at this place, which as it turns out had live music. Anyway, I saw a bunch of locals including Dan Israel, who played a SXSW show later that night (and has another on tap for this afternoon), Anna Lee, Vamp Music Source's Kate Galloway (who is keeping her own SXSW blog here) and a bunch of other people. Later in the evening, I ran into First Avenue's booker Sonia Grover outside of a Matador Records showcase, where I caught the drone-y and promising band the Double and indie-stoner-rockers Dead Meadow, leaving long before Stephen Malkmus took the stage. I may be the only rock writer in the world to admit this, but I really hated Pavement.


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