THE UGLY AMERICANS w/ THE GHOST OF ROCK / King's, Raleigh, NC / 4-8-04
i start the evening around 8, rock, TGOR's drummer, arrives at our pad with lots of beer.  clif's tuning his guitars.  an hour and a
half later, we pile into rock's truck and head downtown for king's.  a few brews later,
THE GHOST OF ROCK take the stage.  
i'm a bit bias, but there's no doubt these guys know what they're doing.  i'm head boppin' again to the catchy, cool, danceable,
sometimes melancholy but still punk rock songs.  i'm getting good at it - hardly any neck injuries of late.  tonight, ron seems to be
doing some jack black moves in his always entertaining dancin'.  it occurs to me that i've forgotten my earplugs.
a few more beers and i'm ready for
THE UGLY AMERICANS.  danny hooley (guitar), chris eubank (bass), and jon mcclain
(drums) take their spots on stage.  it looks like the "hooligan" has a new marshall cabinet with "danny fuckin' hooley" in big white
letters across the front.  they play an impressive rockin' instrumental number to open.  then, simon bob "sinister" joins them and i
can imagine how these guys must have sounded twenty years ago.  the bass and drums sound incredible.  the guys kid about the
time it takes to start a new number, how when one turns forty, there's more and more time in between songs.  then, one false
start and everyone's laughing again at another comment about "another thing about turning forty..."
someone tells me simon bob is a cop these days.  all of a sudden, he looks exactly like a cop and images
of henry rollins pop into my head.
the second half of the set is really strong with simon bob picking up a guitar, adding to the already powerful sound.  an all around
great show and remarkably tight for guys that haven't played together in nearly a decade.  i don't remember how many brews i've
had at this point, but i do remember saying something dumb to chris eubank about how great they played.  it came out all
backwards or something.  i hope he knew what i meant. my pillow finally welcomes me around 5:30 the next morning.  i should
remember to drink more water.
KUNG FLUDE / The Cave, Chapel Hill, NC / 3/19/04
just a quick note about KUNG FLUDE. this rock-steady kick-ass band played last night and i'm still recovering.  i'm wearing my
new kung flude t-shirt right now, which goes to show ya, i loved the show! something about being in the cave, with the very
low, uneven concrete ceilings and loud in your face rock 'n' roll made me drink a few beers more than usual.  just too much fun
that i didn't want to end.  john even did some "karate" moves as vee (and others) held up "boards" to chop in half right in front of
my eyes.  very impressive.  a set of authentic, energetic, high voltage punk-rock songs, kung flude has everything down to
perfection.  you have to see these guys to know what i'm raving about - so go do it.  and, happy birthday to matt!
THE MAN, THE GHOST OF ROCK, THE LONERS / Go!, Carrborro, NC / 4-3-04
i have to mention the show at Go! saturday night, 4/3/04.  THE LONERS, whose powerful sound and gut wrenching, full of
vigor songs make the duo never alone,
THE GHOST OF ROCK with guest appearance by ex-tgor bass player, lee waters, singing
on one of their many cool tunes, adding to the already explosive head boppin', foot stompin', hip shakin' set, and finally, the brave
chapel hiller's, THE MAN, with the iggy-like kevin clark baring lots of skin, grit and very fine vocals.  my head hurt all day from
rockin' too hard - what can i do?..  
it's memorial day week-end and i've worked doubles for 2 days straight.  i'm ready for a new environment and some r & r, rest
and relaxation, yes, but also some rock and roll.  luckily, i'm not the designated driver tonight, so i crack open a can of beer to get
myself going.  i'm heading to the cave in chapel hill to see the chrome plated apostles and dexter romweber.  hunter, the lead
singer and harp man for the cpa's, grew up with dex in the chapel hill area so they go way back.  clif, on guitar for the apostles,
racks in some history with hunt as well seeing as they've been tearing it up in the bad checks for over 20 years now.  it will be a
good night.  dexter begins the evening on piano, belting out tunes off his new album, "blues that defy my soul"  (yep roc).  his
first song is "prisoner of life", a bluesy, soulful number that sounds great even though the piano is out of tune.  dex is a hell of a
piano man and his intense vocals call to mind van morrison, van the man, singing from the gut and always dragging me along.  i'm
definately awake now and just in time for the chrome plated apostles to crank it up and vibrate some hearts and eardrums.  dave
"vespah" perry's pounding on his drum kit, greg adams is bringing in some bottom with his bass, clif is brass sliding the neck of
his guitar, "sugar", and hunter is keeping up with all of them.  this show represents why we haul ourselves off the couch after a
long day and go out to see live, full of heart, real roots, makes one feel ALIVE, incredible music.  i've forgotten my troubles, at
least for a little while, as the CPAs push on and play on into the night.  then, unplanned, dexter is back on the floor ripping into his
signature sound with borrowed guitar, sugar.  dave is backing him on drums and soon hunter is beside dex with his harmonica.  
clif joins them on bass and nothing could sound finer.  i'm thinking, "man, this is like a show down of talent (like in the movie
"crossroads"), someone should write a script about these guys".  a perfect ending.   it's time to leave and i go out onto franklin
street to find an old blues man sitting by the cave entrance.  he says, "that sure sounded great, it sure did".  it sure did.     
pics here
THROW RAG, THE GHOST OF ROCK, KUNG FLUDE / Cat's Cradle, Chapel Hill, NC / 8-04
I'll start by saying, I'm sorry if you missed this show! Really, I'm sorry you missed it because it was one of the few deserving
your attention.  It was a Tuesday night at the Cradle with Chapel Hillians, Kung Flude and The Ghost Of Rock opening for
California rockers THROW RAG.  These guys live on the road, traveling from coast to coast shaking up clubs along the way and
on this Tuesday, I was definitely shook.  The first note spat at me, primal rock-n-roll, punk-rock raw and clear reminding me of
The Misfits, Sex Pistols, Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys and some riffs tinged with a surfabilly sound reminiscent of Link Ray
or Dick Dale .  The strong, smart and well placed, and well played, guitar riffs along with Franco's solid bass, the steady, hard
drum beat and the Johnny Rotten crossed with Jello Biafra vocals of Captain Sean Doe made me stomp my high heels hard and
drink my cheap beer even harder.  "Space Hump Me" (take me, take me, erase my memory - I want to be your abductee), "Rule
Maker" and "Hang Up" are just a few of the stand out songs which are on their cd "Desert Shores" out on BYO Records.  The
addition of the band's backing vocals on "Bag of Glue" yelling "I'm Stuck" or "Say What?" at the appropriate spots calculated for a
great audience participation number.  Speaking of audience involvement, Jacko, the washboard player, invited one lucky show goer
onstage to strum the washboard and play with the guys.  This was not a show where anyone was looking for the exits! A live act
full of raunch, appeal and excitment as well as fine musicianship.  So, THANKS to Captain Sean Doe, King Taco Pearl, Jacko,
Chango Von Streicher, Franco Fontana and Dino for one hell of a rocker!  Go see these guys of the Salton Sea when they come
through your town.  (and, great job on the cd graphics taco!)
jenn after the elf power show in chapel hill.  the super cool green tee..

elf power links: