TO BELL AND BACK: Every once in a while, a touring band
blows through town, impresses the hell out of the unsuspecting
locals, and is never heard from again, save for a souvenir CD
purchased at the show. It doesn't happen often, but it still happens--great
bands that seem to vanish into thin air after that one chance
One band assumed to have gone that way is Seattle's Bell, the likes of which happened through town several years ago and won the praise of local critics (including The Weekly's own Fred Mills) before getting lost in the permanent monsoon that is the Pacific Northwest.
Until now, that is. Two 7-inch singles, "Already There" backed with "Overwhelming" (1997), and the newly released "Viral Love" backed with "Unshockable" (both on Yeah, It's Rock Records) show Bell is alive and well, and much improved in their diversification.
"Already There" is a garage-pop rave-up, "Overwhelming" is a dark-n-moody blues-based piece, and the newer material sounds like a smarter, catchier version of L7, with that band's humor intact. And unlike a lot of bands who attempt to branch out to cover their bases in the marketplace, Bell is able to pull it off without making it sound like an undue effort--thanks in great part to the husky, full-throttle talents of frontwoman Vanessa Veselka. Though the song styles vary, they all manage to sound like the same band.
See if Bell doesn't ring true with you at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 10, at Double Zero, 121 E. Congress St. Call 670-9332 for more information.
LINDISWHO? Like Fairport Convention, which featured the talents of Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny, Lindisfarne emerged at the end of the '60s, playing traditional English folk music filtered through the lens of the rock community. And also like Fairport, Lindisfarne has formed and reformed in the years since, undergoing major lineup changes along the way.
Most surprisingly, they've put out a damn fine album in Here Comes the Neighborhood, on Park Records. Produced by ex-Long Ryders frontman Sid Griffin, the disc proves these old dogs have remained vital and contemporary, with a heavy influence by the aforementioned Thompson that ought to please old fans alike. Though not without its missteps (the annoyingly adult contemporary-sounding "Can't Do Right For Doing Wrong," which sounds like James Taylor on a bad-hair day), on the whole it's a thoroughly enjoyable affair blending trad-folk leanings with modern acoustic pop.
Lindisfarne stops in Tucson on a rare American tour at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. The Mollys Trio opens the show. Advance tickets are $14, available at Antigone Books, Hear's Music, by phone at 881-3847, or online at www.ticketweb.com. They'll cost $16 at the door.
CALLING ALL GOTHS: You are hereby invited to the perfect event to flaunt your impressive pallor when Black Tape For A Blue Girl makes its debut Tucson appearance this week. The group, formed in the mid-'80s by Projekt Records founder Sam Rosenthal, was an off-shoot of Rosenthal's interest in British electronic pop pioneers like Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream and OMD; but the band's seventh album, As One Aflame Laid Bare By Desire (Projekt), finds the band's sound coming closer to Dead Can Dance or This Mortal Coil. In other words, think ethereal ambient goth. Black Tape performs for an all-ages crowd on Monday, June 14, at Hazmat art gallery, 191 E. Toole Ave. Call 623-1249 for show time and ticket prices.
BAND WAGON: Fans of gritty, R&B-influenced roadhouse blues ought to drag their carcasses to Mike Morgan & The Crawl, who pull into town this week in support of their Black Top/Alligator Records release, I Like The Way You Work It!
The Dallas-based band features--in addition to Morgan's blistering blues-rock guitar--the impressive talents of vocalist/harp-blower Lee McBee, recruited from the Kansas City hometown where he enjoyed near-legendary status for his soul-drenched singing style. If your record collection includes Wilson Pickett, T-Bone Walker and Stevie Ray Vaughan, you won't be disappointed by the band's performance at 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, at Boondocks Lounge, 3360 N. First Ave. Call 690-0991 for more info.
If you've watched MTV's "reality-based" shows Road Rules and The Real World over the last year or two, then you've heard 29 Died. The band combines the moody, atmospheric e-pop of Depeche Mode with the darker, edgier sound of such power-techno bands as Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb. Their 1996 debut album, Sworn (Prospect Records), cracked the Top-10 Alternative Retail chart in Rolling Stone magazine. Last year's follow-up, In Vein, proved their chops sufficiently to score opening honors on tour with Metallica and Gravity Kills. Check out their all-ages show at 9 p.m. Sunday, June 13, at The Fineline, 2520 N. Oracle Road. Tickets are $7, and you can call the club at 882-4953 for details.
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