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Flutes are anathema, drummers use sticks 

I’ve been serving wine and cheese to the Broadway types seeing Aida at the Auditorium all week. I need some rock ’n’ roll or anything loud, stat. But first, a brief, albeit sanctified, pit stop in Fairport.

            It was on a hot Saturday afternoon that I saw my niece Angel receive her first communion. And despite my mother’s warnings, I did not immediately burst into flames upon entering the church. I was pleasantly surprised when the old man next to me gave me a basket full of money (these Catholics are all right!). But it was a rather long-winded ceremony for kids who know Tony Hawk better than Jesus Christ. And the music was deadly dull. Uplifting? They needed the Reverend Cleophus, bad.

            The legendary Dickie Betts (Allman Brothers) put on a Tuesday night stationary Southern-rock parade for Rochester’s rurally rooted rock aesthetes. It was the forever-Stetsoned Betts and Co., complete with two --- count ’em --- two huge drum sets and a percussionist. Betts pulled off a comfy version of Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue,” but I split when the band broke out the flute and chimes. It was off to the Dinosaur where flutes are anathema and drummers use sticks. Period.

            Steve Grills, in his standard low-key manner, out-kinged all the Kings (Freddy, Albert, BB, Billie Jean, etc.) and rocked the joint with a set that included a stellar rendition of some rarely performed Miles Davis. Riding Grills’ shotgun side was my old guitar professor, Phil Marshall of Colorblind James fame --- the man who taught me everything I’ve forgotten. Phil has always burned the poker-faced blues, and as a new daddy, is reevaluating the world through newborn eyes, despite his going through “the tantrum stage” --- the kid, that is.

            You don’t necessarily have to be baked to dig stoner rock, though it might soften the deafening blow. The two gals and a guy in San Francisco’s Lost Goat pounded out hook-rich power rock with head-bowing grooves tossed in at the Bug Jar. Their onstage thrust was menacing and cool. Seattle’s Fireballs of Freedom exploded in a set that rocked hard but was --- I can’t believe I’m saying this --- too freakin’ loud. When I started to taste blood, I knew it was time to resume the all-night David Lynch film fest at my pad.

            The other morning an individual told me “it doesn’t matter, it’s only Rochester,” in referring to promoting and playing live shows here. Well, it’s Rochester and it DOES matter. Apparently somebody needs a hug. Back to the movers and rafter shakers.

            Thursday night was Lowton night at the Bug Jar, with the bass thundering mightily, riding the stage like a cross between Washington crossing the Delaware and Lemmy in Rio. Man, I never get tired of this stuff.

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