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No stunts, no whining 

A little bit o' kitsch usually goes a long way with me, so checking out Gil Mantera's Party Dream seemed like a good idea Thursday at The Bug Jar. Somewhere between karaoke, public access TV, and gay porn, this duo was high up on the stupid fun meter but honestly bored me. That may be due in part to the blistering opening set --- full of stupidity (the good kind) --- from The Isotopes. Eventually guitarist Handsome B. Wonderful will just admit he's a metal guitarist. He and the group raged instrumentally ferocious with dancing girls bumping and grinding to the beat. I couldn't tell if the band was trying to be funny or just showing off when they covered Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" note for note, because they did it so well.

Later on I slipped over to the Dinosaur to catch Oklahoma City's Watermelon Slim (dressed like a pimped-out Easter egg) and his band The Workers rock the blues. Slim's bellowing tone and lackadaisical phrasing is tres cool. Put that voice through a Green Bullet and it'll give you chills. These cats put the OK in OKC.

Stopped for a bit of the first ever Boulder Fest to catch Gregory Paul and Brian Rath playing separate stages. It was a bit of a volume battle but if you stood between them you could mish mash their songs together. Rath/Paul? I hear a collaboration in the works. Whaddaya say fellas? Caught Teressa Wilcox (without her band) and Katy Wright (with a band, including a guitarist full of cool hooks and atmosphere) as well.

Buckcherry is one of the best live rock bands today. No stunts, no whining, no self-serving crap, just balls-out rock 'n' roll with no apologies. With '70s classic rock as a springboard and punk as the fuel, Buckcherry roars in a celebration of sweat, excess, debauchery, and volume. Saturday night's show at Water Street was a steamy display; a traveling Sodom and Gomorrah that only a band that lives that way could deliver. Singer Josh Todd has an incredible voice and spent more time in the air than on stage. Great show. Hell yeah.


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