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Going to California 

Will's not dead. Though rumored to be taking a dirt nap, The Monty's Krown (and Korner) owner is alive and well. It was his business partner who passed. Condolences to his family.

            So, I went to the Krown to see The Tyrones and Oceanside. I already knew what to expect from The Tyrones, and got it all as I walked in on them strangling their last song out of their instruments. Oceanside proved to be spaciously melodic and poppy, with layers of guitar that never got too crowded.

            Next stop: The Bug Jar, where Bee Eater took the stage after an all-day video shoot that had a "Fight Club" theme. The band, though urgent and tight, plays rock music more suited for arenas. Big and loud. The sparse crowd ate 'em up. Some even manifested their joy physically on the dance floor. Incidentally, a one-man mosh pit is just a tantrum.

            Flew down to New Orleans to get into trouble with the folks on "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment" --- a hidden-camera show on the WB. You'd think I'd have been flying into warmer weather, but the Big Easy turned out to be butt-cold. Ate some great grub, saw Pinetop Perkins and Willie Smith (ex-Muddy Waters sidemen), danced in a bowling alley with a buxom blonde who was allergic to cinnamon, hung out with lounge singer/cool cat Johnny Angel, and saw some of the worst music I have ever seen in my life on Bourbon Street. You see, Bourbon Street has turned into spring break: cover bands, drunken frat boys, stupid girls, and vomit raining from the balconies. If you want real New Orleans culture, you gotta dig deep and stay the hell away from Bourbon Street.

            Got back in time to see The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and The Black Keys at The Showplace Theatre in Buffalo. The Showplace is one of the dirtiest clubs you'll ever see, and the bathrooms... well, you'd better just hold it. Anyhow, it was an amazing evening of loud lo-fi. The Black Keys were totally unassuming in appearance, with beards and their regular-guy duds. They blasted groovy, Zeppelin-esque blues-rock with a terse intensity that caught the crowd off guard.

            With moves that were part Spider-Man, part Vegas-era Elvis, and part preacher man, Jon Spencer played the low-down, dirty blues drenched in soul and sweat. The band was relentless as they played themselves into the ground.I love it here, but I'm tired of finding my car doors frozen shut, and I'm tired of hiding my luxuriously greasy locks under a tuke. I'm going to California.

--- Frank De Blase


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