September ... "back-to-school" time for you scholars out
there and time for your second edition of "The Veracity
View." The last edition featured yours truly travelling
across the United States in search of good music. "V2,"
as SkidMark and I like to call it, demonstrates a less-travelled
Dani Veracity who is back to work and once again submersed in the
depths of the Tucson, Arizona local music scene.
write concert reviews and take stageshots for tucsonscene.com, which
means that I go to a lot more concerts than before. This was a busy
month for me because, by Tucson standards, this last month was a
biggie for the local music scene.
Shortly after writing the first edition of "The Veracity
View", I covered a concert featuring The
Plus Ones (from San Francisco),
Tucson locals Bombs for the Bored
and a Tucson newcomer named Serpe.
Serpe started the show with a Little
type thing. Back in the day when I was infatuated with the whole
Pacific Northwest scene (ahhh, Seattle),
I was really into punk rock folk poets and even
did some solo shows myself. For that reason, I totally empathized
with what Serpe was doing but nevertheless became a little bored.
Incidentally, Bombs for the Bored
was up next, minus any genuine bombs. Vocalist and guitarist Noah
Gabbard has been a friend of mine since my early
days in Blue Remedy,
back when his band The Tawdry
opened up for us at Bookman's East. Even back then,
Noah was one of the best guitarists I'd ever heard and he was, like,
16. Now, at 20, he's an even better guitarist with songwriting skills
to match. In fact, he's won the Best Songwriter award in
Tucson's own TAMMIE Awards. By the way, his songwriting
skills really are top-notch: He knows when to rock out on guitar
and when to just let the bass and drums carry the songs through
a la Cobain’s
songwriting at its best. On that note, bass player Justin Irwin
lays down bass lines that drive the songs without muddying the mix,
similar to (okay, another Nirvana
comparison) the bass style that made Krist Novoselic
famous. I was equally impressed by E. Shumeister’s drumming,
especially since it reminded me of my favorite drummer, former-Smashing
Pumpkin Jimmy Chamberlin
-- lots of snare. Gabbard’s vocals top off the Bombs’
great sound with their raw and emotional quality and well-though
lyrics. Don’t you just love the whole “tortured artist”
thing? After their set, the band sold their CDs for $1, or in Gabbard’s
words, “a lifetime of bad karma.” The last thing I need
is bad karma, so I coughed up the dollar. The Plus Ones were up
next and, as the only touring band, were the stars of the show.
For you indie rock aficionados out there, the
Bay Area band is like a supergroup: I mean, you've
got Joel Reader from
Mr. T Experience on bass and vocals, Luis
Illades from Pansy Division
on drums, the Roman god-like John
Speranza on guitar and pop punker guitarist and
vocalist Scott Hay.
The Plus Ones had
a great variety of merchandise for sale -- including, as Reader
told the crowd, pieces of them like "jars of urine." I’m
sure, okay I hope, he was joking. I’ll settle with just listening
to their power-pop music, which reminded me of the early emo
sounds of Sunny Day Real Estate
(like Diary) -- you
know, before Jeremy Enigk
became "born again."
Reader in deep thought about some throbbing bass lines.
Gabbard looking very much the tortured artist.
you've probably surmised this all along, but your own Dani Veracity
is a cartoon character
well sort of. I did a voiceover
for a cartoon that will appear on Comedy Central, which is
a very big television channel here in the U.S. Is it available anywhere
in Europe? Anyway, I only had two lines, but I'm going to be in a
cartoon, which makes me very happy. The whole thing is still under
wraps so I can't say too much about it, but I will as soon as I can.
own Club Congress turned 20 this month. It's been around for
a long time, so a lot of good bands (like X
from L.A.) performed there before my time. Okay, a lot of good bands
still perform there, too. Anyway, there was a big three-day long concert
series and I covered one day of it for tucsonscene.com. The
highlight of my night was a cool afterhours party that I was
able to go to, thanks to Tucson Scene editor James.
The 80s glam band Gentlemen After Dark
was there and I had a really nice conversation with American expatriate
Stuart about the differences between
life in the U.S. and life in the U.K. He's happily lived in England
for the past 17 years. Like Gentlemen After Dark, most of the bands
that played at Club Congress' bash were reunited local favorites.
Highlights include The Napkins
(whose frontman is strikingly photogenic) and Chick
Cashman (Tucson's equivalent to a bluesy New
York Dolls). Check out my pics from the show.
own band is doing really well. Our songs are sounding like a cross
between Joy Division, X
and The Smashing Pumpkins. We
still don't have a name yet. Email me ideas please.
The next Veracity View should be really good, as I'm going
to a Nine Inch Nails concert
on the 17th. I'll try to sneak in a camera if James can't get me
a press pass. Speaking of New Orleans (Trent
Reznor's old haunt), I'm also helping put together a
benefit concert and CD for the tragedy that happened in the lower
Gulf States. As you've probably heard, Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi
and Louisiana the hardest and New Orleans is now under water. Some
of the refugees are now staying at the Tucson Convention Center,
where Nine Inch Nails will be playing (the concert won't be affected).
I'll keep you updated.
I took a lot of pics of this one.
there's the second edition of the Veracity View for you.
If you have any comments/suggestions, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
10 Songs to Add to Your iPod Before the Next Veracity View:
1. "Slow Hands" by Interpol
-- Gotta love any lyrics that have the words "heart,"
"soul" and "wasteland" in the same line.
Kind of like a nihilistic version of that amateur pianist
favorite "Heart and Soul."
"Miss Yugatu" by The
Jons (Tucson, AZ USA) -- "Mrs. Robinson"
for Generation Y.
3. "Mr. Clean" by The
Jam -- Okay, this is an old one that you may need
to upload from your vinyl or cassette. The song always reminds
me of Mr. Dursely from the Harry Potter series, as I guess
4. "In His Room (Without a Sound)" by Nirvana
-- This is one is a Nirvana rarity that you can find on Outcesticide
2 and a few other places. The whole song reeks of desperation
I love it.
5. "Bruise Violet" by Babes
in Toyland -- Whatever happened to this now-forgotten
90s band from Minneapolis? "Bruise Violet" was lead
singer Kat Bjelland's "f**k you" message to ex-best
friend Courtney Love. A sample line includes "You f**king
bitch! I hope your insides rot!" Why be civil when you're
6. "So Much Better Now" by Bombs
for the Bored (Tucson, AZ USA) -- A nicer
way to say the sentiment expressed in #5.
7. "Out of Sight" by Transceiver
(Tucson, AZ USA) -- Not a song, an experience.
8. "Whatsername" by Green
Day -- Is it just me, or is this somewhat sad song
sort of funny?
9. "Wake Me Up When September Ends" by Green
Day -- Between New Orleans going under water and
Sept. 11, September seems to be a jinxed month for the U.S.
10. "Take You on a Cruise" by Interpol
-- This was once a happy song; now it's sad. Don't
ask. Listen for yourself and test your emotions.