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You can always count on The Reverend Horton Heat for a good time. In the sweaty Water Street chapel, the Rev sanctified and satisfied the sinnin' and grinnin' faithful with the rock 'n' roll of ages. Openers Nashville Pussy easily performed their best show yet. They are simply amazing, and no, I'm not just saying that because the lead guitarist stripped down to her underwear. (But it didn't hurt.)

            We shuffled off to Buffalo, as we're inclined to do every now and then, to see legendary Vegas cat, Buddy Greco. I was all primed for a night full of rat-packin' and Shirley Temple-sippin' with the blue hairs. Instead, Greco kinda bummed me out with his modern-day, sappy Vegas take on current pop. His big band was stellar, and his singer-wife does a mean Peggy Lee, but tunes like the theme from Tootsie left me cold. Ouch, babe.

            The Priests have certainly perfected their noir-sleaze formula. The band's Friday show at The Montage Grille teetered on the brink of glorious disaster, smoke, and feedback. The Bloody Hollies opened up after drinking 15 cups of coffee each. They bopped hard, even though the vocals were completely inaudible.

            I'm nothing but teeth and eyeballs in the dark after spending as much time as possible in the sun at Seabreeze. The only downside is that I can still taste chlorine when I sneeze. On the other hand, my spit can now remove stains.

            5 Watt Bulb, Veluxe, and The Bird Circuit played a great evening of rock alternative bliss at Mercury. 5 Watt Bulb is the new project of Jonah (Visionstain), and set to exorcise the new demons in his head. Veluxe plays excellent indie-type rock with heart, brilliance, and guts, kind of like Guided By Veluxe. One of Rochester's best kept secrets is The Bird Circuit. These guys write brilliant rock music that's catchy, edgy, and like no other in town.

            I took a brief ankle excursion to the St. Paul Quarter Fest to see Spacetrucker's new-for-2002 line-up. The freshly tweaked dynamics coupled with the band's new blood really let the material gleam: loneliness, bravado, and loud guitars. I like it, I like it.

            And if that wasn't enough, the boys packed up the rig and headed over to the Bug Jar to party down with The Grinders and New Jersey's Swingin' Neckbreakers (look for the Neckbreakers on a couple of episodes of The Sopranos this season). The combination of The Grinders' self-destructive brutality and The Neckbreakers' relentless fury brings new meaning to the word "postal" --- both bands feature frontmen who are mailmen. (Through rain, through sleet, through Jagermeister ...) The blonde from a few episodes back bit me again. This time, I bit back.

            Elise debuted her new Black Eyed Rosie new line-up at Milestone's monthly Gogirls Rock night. Man, can that woman roar. You will not see a bigger fan of the rock idiom on or off stage. This is beautiful, straight-ahead rock music the way nature intended. Go see what I mean, sluggo.

            When you go to Niagara Falls, try and notice the irony in all the Asians running Italian restaurants and Italians running Asian ones. We saw the Falls, we stared at monsters (wax and real), gnoshed on gnocchi, and slowly drove home. Sometimes you just gotta get away.

--- Frank De Blase

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