In case you have no idea what the hell we're talking about (and I'm often surprised at just how many people are still unaware of this event), 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, right? And best of all, every penny of the 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 charity volunteer work.
As many of you know, the event has expanded during the years from a single night to last year's three-night extravaganza. Currently, this year's Cover-Up is also slated to run three nights--Wednesday, Nov. 10 through Friday, Nov. 12, at the event's longtime home, Club Congress--but it may be scaled back to suit demand for slots. It's really up to you, the performers.
If you're interested in participating, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org 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), let us know as far in advance as possible, as this mofo is always a pain in the ass to schedule. Deadline for submissions is Sept. 23, and if all goes as planned, we should get back to you on or before Sept. 30.
Oh yeah, there's also one more critical rule: Any band or artist that has been covered in a past Cover-Up is strictly off-limits. While a few folks have called for this rule to be abolished in recent years, we're sticking to our guns. Look at it this way: About 110 acts have already been covered, but literally thousands upon thousands haven't. Use your imagination, people.
Here, then, is a handy reference list of all the artists whose music has already been performed in past years: Abba, AC/DC, Adam and the Ants, Burt Bacharach, Banana Splits, Bauhaus, the Beach Boys, Beastie Boys, the Bee Gees, Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Built to Spill, Café Tacuba, Cameo, Glen Campbell, Camper Van Beethoven, The Cars, Johnny Cash, Cheap Trick, The Clash, Concrete Blonde, Elvis Costello, Cream, Culture Club, the Cure, Depeche Mode, Devo, the Doors, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Foreigner, Fugazi, Funkadelic, Gary Glitter, Merle Haggard, Gordon Lightfoot, Guns 'N Roses, Hall and Oates, songs from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Billie Holiday, Iron Maiden, the Jackson 5, Joe Jackson, Michael Jackson, Jane's Addiction, Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar, Billy Joel, Elton John, Journey, KC and the Sunshine Band, The Kinks, L'Trimm, Led Zeppelin, Huey Lewis and the News, Madonna, the Steve Miller Band, Minor Threat, Joni Mitchell, the Modern Lovers, Minutemen, Mountain, N.W.A., New Order, New Kids on the Block, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Gary Numan, Robert Palmer, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pink Floyd, The Pixies, PJ Harvey, the Police, Elvis Presley, the Pretenders, Primus, Prince, Psychedelic Furs, Public Enemy, Queen, Rage Against the Machine, the Ramones, R.E.M., the Replacements, The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack, the Rolling Stones, Run-D.M.C., Rush, Sex Pistols, Shoebomb, Simon and Garfunkel, Sly and the Family Stone, Smashing Pumpkins, the Smiths, Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, Talking Heads, Tenacious D, Tina Turner, Velvet Underground, Violent Femmes, Tom Waits, songs from Walt Disney films, Weezer, The Weird Lovemakers, The Who, Stevie Wonder, X, XTC, Neil Young and Frank Zappa.
As always, 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 eagerly 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.
Fellow Seattleites The Catch and Tucson's Bark Bark Bark are also on the bill at the 9 p.m. all-ages show Saturday, Sept. 11, at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave. Admission is $6. For more information, call 884-0874.
Fresh off a stint on The Cure's Curiosa Tour, Head Automatica pulls into Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., Wednesday, Sept. 15. Also on the bill for this all-ages show are A Thorn for Every Heart, July July and Misery Likes Company. It all goes down at 8 p.m., and cover is $8. Questions? Ring 'em up at 622-8848.
The event is headlined by Clay Walker, who, when he began his career more than a decade ago, was primed to become one of the true stars of the new traditionalists, selling albums by the truckload. But after seeing his sales decline as the years progressed, Walker seems to have realized that the big bucks are now in glossy, pop-country pap. Look no further than his latest album, last year's A Few Questions (RCA), for proof.
Tracy Lawrence seems to have made the same realization in recent years. Where his albums were once a combination of new-trad honky-tonk and Southern rock, scoring him countless No. 1 hits, his career has faltered following a 1998 conviction for threatening and hitting his then-wife, along with the quality and authenticity of his music.
The all-ages KIIM-FM Country Fest, which begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11 at the Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Road, also includes performances from Tucson's Troy Olsen, Dusty Drake and Ryan Tyler. Advance tickets are available for $15 at www.calproductions.com, www.etix.com and all Chuy's locations. They'll be $25 on the day of the show, with children 5 and younger admitted free. For more information, call 327-2214 or visit www.kiimfm.com.
Every once in a while, there's still a guest headliner, and this week's event follows the exception rather than the rule, as Austin-based Tucson faves the Weary Boys will follow Insley Wednesday, Sept. 15, at Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St. Things should get cooking around 9 p.m., and you can call 622-3535 with any questions you may have.