Monday, February 24, 2020

The F Word: Giddy-up

Posted By on Mon, Feb 24, 2020 at 3:05 PM

I kissed the canvas twice this weekend with two knockout shows, starting out with The Tragedy Brothers who plied and rectified their electrified Americana in front of a modest gathering at Three Heads Brewing. There was plenty of giddy-up from the stage spilling out onto the dance floor, from which cries of “Yahoo!” could be heard. This couldn’t prepare me for what I saw next at Skylark Lounge, as Kryst bludgeoned the packed room with a sexy-tractor-pull bump ‘n’ grind. In fact, the band scrambled my brain with the intense drive and surge. I recovered by the time I got home, but had to laugh when I read my notes: “This is a betal mand that contends ammands attention with sheer ca-rush, careen and kerrang.”

Frank De Blase is CITY’s music writer. He can be reached at

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The F Word: Up against the grind

Posted By on Tue, Feb 18, 2020 at 9:44 AM

Last Friday night, while cruising around in my all-wheel drive, I found myself being pulled, being inexplicably drawn as if by a tractor beam to the Rosen Krown. There, a fairly impressive gathering of Rochester’s leather-clad, low-down-and-out were there to burn Cupid in effigy while The Grinders fiddled for the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

This was a flashback to the mid-'90s, when the band dominated this overcast burgh with loud and snotty barroom rock ‘n’ roll, singing songs of teenage lust and petty crime. The show on this night starred guitarist Paul Morabito (Chesterfield Kings, The Moviees, and Lovematics), and featured songs from the Grinder hymnal — along with some Jethro Tull and the Stones — and ended in a fistfight. If you throw beer cans at the band, you get what you get. This is the kind of thing that happened back in the day — like the time I put Todd Grinder through Richmond’s ceiling during a show.

And hats off to my honey, who did the cell phone boogaloo and scored us two tickets to the Stones in June. So scratch another one off the bucket list.

Frank De Blase is CITY’s music writer. He can be reached at

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Monday, February 10, 2020

The F Word: the neighbor of the beast

Posted By on Mon, Feb 10, 2020 at 5:49 PM

The Tin Man and I rolled out and into the upstate tundra Friday night to a gallery downtown, to give thanks and praise to the sensational photographer Aaron Winters. He shoots wildlife in the Serengeti region in Africa, risking life and limb; he also shoots wildlife on stage at concerts in Rochester, where there isn’t as great a risk of getting trampled in a stampede or becoming someone’s lunch. This photography show was for his African material, and I’ve got to say there’s two things that have me in awe: Winters’s precision shots, and the access the beasts afford him.

Later the same night,
The Iron Maidens entertained a sold-out audience at Montage Music Hall, playing all of the IM hits, like “Run to the Hills” and “2 Minutes to Midnight.” The Los Angeles-based band was polished and impressively tight. But it must be tough defining yourself with someone else's catalogue, especially in a genre in which pulchritude is not necessarily on-brand. I’m just saying, a lot of us are used to getting our metal from gargoyles like Dio or Ozzy. Elvis and Dean Martin impersonators have been trying to live up to similarly high standards for years. But can you imagine Eddie officiating a wedding in a little chapel off the Vegas strip? Hell, I’d go.

Frank De Blase is CITY’s music writer. He can be reached at

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