In case you've been out of the loop for the past five years, here's the deal: Local bands that normally perform original material gather to play a 20-minute set of songs by an artist more famous than themselves. Simple enough, eh? And best of all, every penny of proceeds from the event are donated to Brewster Center, a local service organization that provides shelter, crisis intervention and advocacy for victims of domestic violence. Of course, that means that no band will receive any compensation for slaving away at practice for a month or two, only to learn a set of songs they'll probably never play again. But look at it this way: It's probably about the most fun you'll ever have doing volunteer work.
It's so fun, in fact, that due to an anticipated overwhelming response, this year's Cover-Up will be expanded to three nights: Wednesday, Nov. 19 to Friday, Nov. 21, at Club Congress.
If you're interested in performing, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com with the following information: your band name, what type of music you normally play, your top three picks for bands you'd like to cover, and a contact name and number and/or e-mail address. Additionally, if you have a scheduling conflict with any of the three nights (legit ones only, please), please let us know in advance, as this sucker is always a bitch to schedule. Deadline for submissions is Oct. 10, and if all goes as planned, we should get back to you on or before Oct. 24.
Oh yeah, there's also one more crucial rule: Any band or artist that has been covered in the five previous years is strictly off-limits. What's that? How are you supposed to remember who the hell got covered back in 1998? Well, friends, we've got you, um, covered. Here's a handy reference list of all the artists whose music has been previously performed: Abba, AC/DC, Bauhaus, the Beach Boys, Beastie Boys, the Bee-Gees, Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Cameo, Camper Van Beethoven, The Cars, Cheap Trick, The Clash, Concrete Blonde, Elvis Costello, Cream, the Cure, Devo, the Doors, Foreigner, Funkadelic, Gary Glitter, Gordon Lightfoot, Guns 'N Roses, Hall and Oates, Billie Holiday, Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson, Jane's Addiction, Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, Billy Joel, KC and the Sunshine Band, The Kinks, L'Trimm, Led Zeppelin, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Madonna, the Steve Miller Band, Joni Mitchell, the Modern Lovers, Minutemen, N.W.A., New Order, New Kids on the Block, Nirvana, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pink Floyd, The Pixies, PJ Harvey, the Police, Elvis Presley, the Pretenders, Primus, Prince, Psychedelic Furs, Public Enemy, the Ramones, the Replacements, The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack, the Rolling Stones, Run-D.M.C., Rush, Sex Pistols, Shoebomb, Sly and the Family Stone, the Smiths, Soundgarden, Talking Heads, Tina Turner, Velvet Underground, Violent Femmes, songs from Walt Disney films, Weezer, the Who, Stevie Wonder, X, XTC, Neil Young and Frank Zappa.
You're highly encouraged to get creative: Delve outside your usual musical genre, pick a band that will allow you to play dress-up, etc. In the meantime, we'll be checking our e-mail, waiting to see what fabulous ideas you have in store for us this year. Good luck to all, and thank you in advance for your submissions.
THE TALE OF THE MONKEY'S PAW: A little while back, we received an e-mail from local speed-bluesman/one-man band Bob Log III about a hilarious misadventure he recently experienced on tour. If it came from anyone but Señor Log, we might question its authenticity, but seeing how this sorta thing seems to be fairly normal for him, we're convinced it's true. Take it away, Bob:
"There has been a rumor circulating around the world for some time now that I have some kind of monkey paw instead of a human hand. I would like to once and for all make an official statement. I do not have a monkey paw. It is just a very, very hairy human hand.
"I think that many people believed it was a monkey paw due to the fact that aside from being so incredibly hairy, it also moves quicker than most other human hands do. I don't know how or why it does this, it just does. It may or may not have something to do with my monkey ancestry, but let me repeat ... It is a human hand.
"Recently this rumor caused some trouble in the Czech Republic. A major newspaper there heard about this so-called monkey paw and printed a story about me and my non-human hand in their newspaper. Many people came to see the show, including a large number of people with prosthetic limbs. When they saw that my hand was actually somewhat normal, except for the large amount of hair, some of them became quite upset. They wanted to see a man with a monkey paw play guitar.
"The next day the newspaper received many letters complaining that the public had been deceived and they wanted an explanation.
"The newspaper tracked down my Czech booking agent, Stephan, and called for a press conference. Stephan had never done a press conference before in his life, and he told me how nervous he was as he walked up to the microphones. Then, on live TV and radio, he apologized to the Czech Republic public for Bob Log III not having a monkey paw.
"As of yet I don't know if the people of the Czech Republic have accepted the apology. It is entirely possible that the next time I go to Prague I might be chased through the main square by an angry mob who wants to beat me on the head with all their prosthetic limbs because of the fact that I do not have a monkey paw. But I am not worried. Not at all. Because I know I can outrun anybody with my newly acquired quicker-than-human monkey legs.
"They will never catch me."
Far, far away from his trials in the Czech Republic, Bob Log III performs on Friday, Sept. 26, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. 50 Cent Haircut opens the show at 9:30 p.m. For more information call 798-1298.
ON THE BANDWAGON: There's more going on musically each week these days than there was all summer, so get off yer ass and indulge yourself in as many as possible of the following shows.
Like your punk rock drunken and scuzzy? You'll want to be present and accounted for at the four-band blowout hitting Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St, on Tuesday, Sept. 30. Straight outta San Francisco, self-described practitioners of "tight-as-fuck (and I'd add catchy-as-mononucleosis) drunk punk" the Bar Feeders headline in support of their new album, 50 Ways to Leave Your Liver, one of the funniest titles we've heard since their 2000 debut, Pour for Four, Por Favor. Also on the bill: Las Vegas trainwreck punks the Civic Minded 5, punkabilly locals Swing Ding Amigos, and Tucson's Fusty Luggs, who have the good sense to make fun of Gilman Street in song. Things get started around 10 p.m., and $4 gets you through the door. Questions? Call 622-3535.
Add Scene Creamers to the ever-growing list of Drag City bands that have changed their name. According to a label rep, the band is now going under the moniker Weird War, which was previously a Scene Creamers offshoot that included Neil Michael Hagerty. Alas, Mr. Hagerty won't be a part of the new WW, but that won't stop Ian Svenonius and Michelle Mae from soldiering onward, as they have since their Nation of Ulysses and Make-Up days, with their patented brand of yelpy, political, punky funk.
Scene Creamers/Weird War perform at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Friday, Sept. 26, sandwiched between an opening set by Coin at 9 p.m. and a special SC/WW DJ set. The show is open to those 18 and up. Cover is $7, but show the folks at the door your Atmosphere ticket stub, and you're in for $3. Call 622-8848 for details.
Best known for their 2001 album Rebuild the Wall (Back Porch), a track-by-track re-creation of Pink Floyd's The Wall, performed in a bluegrass style that was way more entertaining than it should have been, Ontario quartet Luther Wright and the Wrongs have just released the follow-up, Guitar Pickin' Martyrs (Back Porch), an often gorgeous collection of songs of broken hearts and desperation that retains enough wit to save you from hiding the razor blades.
Chapel Hill four-piece Trailer Bride's brand-new album, Hope Is a Thing With Feathers (Bloodshot), offers up another dose of the sleepy, Southern Gothic bleakness that the band has been churning out for about six years now. When Mel Gibson gets around to making a Western version of the Book of Revelation, Trailer Bride will provide the soundtrack.
Luther Wright and the Wrongs and Trailer Bride perform at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 28, at Plush, 340 E. Sixth St. For bonus details ring 'em up at 798-1298.
Renowned weirdo and "godfather of the West Coast psych scene" Anton Newcombe brings the ever-revolving ranks of his Brian Jonestown Massacre to town this week in support of -- And This Is Our Music (to be released on Oct. 7, on Tee Pee), yet another potent dose of dreamy, jangly, blissed-out electric Kool-Aid.
Cross Big Star with the Beatles--complete with fake British accents and "sha-la-la-la"s--and you get the potent power-pop of Williamsburg-by-way-of-Detroit's the High Strung, back in town this week for the second go-'round to pimp their excellent debut, These Are Good Times (2003, Tee Pee).
Brian Jonestown Massacre and the High Strung perform at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., on Tuesday, Sept. 30. The show starts at 9 p.m. with opening sets from the Midnight Evils and the Red Switch. Cover is five Washingtons. Call 622-8848 for answers to your questions.
And finally, one of our burg's most talented blues harp players, Tom Walbank, is celebrating the release of not one, but two new CDs this week: The Walbank Cannonball and Jaguar Blues. Celebrate with him as he performs at the Red Room at Grill, 100 E. Congress St., on Saturday, Sept. 27. Things kick off around 10 p.m., with an opening set from George Rosenberg. Admission is free. Call 623-7621 for more info.