Live Series The Debi Graham Band
Debi Graham Band
Bulb Studio – Live Sessions

Self-Released
Street: Nov. 2006
Ani DiFranco + DiFranco, Ani + Dave Matthews Band

The constant comparisons between Ani DiFranco and Debi Graham Band are understandable. The similarities are numerous: proficient female guitarists, sharp witty lyrics, funky and “fuck you” rock, talented musicians who’ve toured relentlessly for the last five years, etc. While I do appreciate the skill of DiFranco, I do not like her. However, I do like DGB for her better vocal range and more danceable-funky style. The sound quality of this album is low: you have to turn it up really loud to hear at normal volume. If you want to dance you’ll enjoy this album. If you want sound quality try another of her albums and see her live show. -Jennifer Nielsen

photoThe Gorgeous Hussies
Self-Titled

Self-Released
Street: March 2007
The Gorgeous Hussies = Mothers of Invention + The Pres of the United States + Barenaked Ladies

Remember those big guys in high school that weren’t the cool kids, but they were still friends with everyone because they were so funny and too damn happy all the time? The Gorgeous Hussies is three of those guys, who happen to be jazz geniuses, but not rock musicians. The influence of Frank Zappa is obvious with the lyrics; unfortunately, they’re too silly-stupid to be ridiculously clever. Let me restate: the lyrics are terrible. “A friend of mine/ You might have know/ He calls me on the phone/ I know it seems strange/ I’ve asked him more than once/ ‘Please don’t call me on the phone'” The Gorgeous Hussies could put out an excellent jazz/rock album if they left out the reggae & bluegrass infusions. And didn’t sing. They probably even put on a fun live show, as college bar bands often do. (How else to explain the success of Royal Bliss?) If you want to listen to them on CD you’d better be super-duper high or like Phish. They want to be compared to Phish. Hell, just get high.

THE NEW NERVOUSThe New Nervous
Frantic Is The New Nervous

Self-Release
Street: 03.24
The New Nervous = The Academy Is + Circa Survive

Provo has a burgeoning music scene for all ages and of every musical genre. The New Nervous provides SLC’s southern neighbor with a good dose of aggressive (though not too angry) rock influenced by the Deftones and the Mars Volta. Tightly composed with skilled performances by all four band members, the one caveat is that their album is not the singing of Scott Shepard, but his hi-pitched screaming. I want him to yell, but he seems to just raise his vocal pitch to a squeal. Prime example of poor vocals is the second track when he repeats Hollywood dictates over and over. Who cares? Shepard’s vocals sound best on the more mellow. “The Struggle and Pharmacadia’s” anti-drug corporation verse “Let’s burn this temple down!”

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MonorchistMonorchist
Keep Your Eye On the Ball

Self-Release
Street: 2007
Monorchist = Sleater Kinney + Joan Jett

Kourtney Farnsworth might be feminine, but she’s no prissy girl. Singing in a taunting tone on the best track, “Action Girl”: “She’s not like Barbie, there’s no fucking way. She’s like GI Joe! Commando style.” Lyrics in “F.K.A.” reminded me of Bianca Butthole (R.I.P.) of Betty Blowtorch and the Butt Trumpet. Vocals are reminiscent of riot grrl bands; the music is energetic with punk influences. Recorded by Andy Patterson with great black + white artwork by Tony Poulson.

Localized is a monthly music showcase held the second Friday of every month at the Urban Lounge. This months Localized will be held on Friday the 13th and will feature Junta Deville, Spooky Deville and opening band Dubbed.

SPOOKY DEVILLE

Billy Diesel – guitar
Kid Gruesome – rambles
Dozer – tries to sing
El Cucuy – upright bass

In the middle of recording a song for the soundtrack of Gris Grimly’s upcoming movie, Cannibal Flesh Riot!, Spooky DeVille took a moment away from the studio to chat with me about themselves and their music. Unfortunately, the conversation was brief and the phone connection, not so great. I did get a sense of their humor (perhaps sillier than normal due to long hours recording) and sound—enough to tempt you to see their live show.

While both of this month’s Localized bands happen to have ‘Deville’ in their name and their style is rooted in punk rock, they sound completely different. Spooky Deville plays self-proclaimed ‘Krunkabilly’ Billy Diesel says they’re “technically psychobilly, but we really just play rock ‘n roll music.”

“Yeah, only it’s scary like Scooby-Doo,” adds Kid Gruesome.

The band has only been playing together since March 19, 2006, (yes, they know the exact date) but has already accomplished many things. Spooky DeVille have already self-released a CD, Breathe Transylvania, and just got back from a brief tour with Mad Sin (Berlin, Germany). They’ve also been invited to play the esteemed Hollywood Showdown at The Knitting Factory alongside Guana Batz (UK), Hellblasters, The Nutrinos and Zombillyz. Looking at their spine-chilling Myspace profile you come to understand they’re becoming a big deal and are known in strange locations around the globe. Horror rock is a lot more popular than the average person would think. Spooky Deville pulls their sound together from older music: “80s, doo wop, punk rock, surf blues, western, Jagermeister…” and then they start laughing.

They laughed again when I asked some bands they’d like to be compared to: “Coffin Cats, Polyphonic Spree, John Denver, Slipknot…” Fortunately, they sound nothing like Slipknot and you can hear how spooky Spooky Deville really is during July’s Localized.

Localized is a monthly music showcase held the second Friday of every month at the Urban Lounge. This months Localized will be held on Friday the 13th and will feature Junta Deville, Spooky Deville and opening band Dubbed.

JUNTA DEVILLE

Juanta Spock – bass, vocals
Juanta Clint – keyboards
Juanta Mark – guitar

Junta Deville have only been together for two years, but their current distaste for corrupt politics and anger towards our government began years ago in Spock’s early punk incarnations. Living in San Francisco, his bands Carnage and House of Wheels opened for TSOL, Dead Kennedys, 7 Seconds and even Jane’s Addiction. While those groups certainly influence Junta Deville—especially the vocals, which at times sound like Jello Biafra’s—they don’t carry on with the confrontational, in-your-face attitude. Nor do they name drop to give them the “cult status like it is now for punk bands. Back then you just saw bands you were into.” Further inspiration comes from non-musicians like Aldous Huxley, Kurt Vonnegut Jr and President Eisenhower. Junta Deville’s songs are socially conscious without out being preachy. “Our songs are more lyrical like reading a story. Pay attention to the lyrics and you might learn something if you’re not careful,” Spock said.

Did you know that KBR [subsidiary of Halliburton, and the largest non-union construction company in the US] is building the American Embassy in Iraq bigger than the Vatican? Spock told me this and continued on his rant. “It’s not about Iraqi freedom; it’s about money in people’s pockets.” He encourages others to look to the source: www.followthemoney.org. It’s a machine that’s out of control. The money is too lucrative. “Corporatocracy,” as Clint calls it.

“See,” he tells Spock, “That’s a lot of anger.”

“Yeah,” Spock concedes, “I’m fuckin’ pissed off.”

Spock is quick to restate that they’re not too confrontational. Listening to their demo (which they burn to give away freely, no label to stop them), you can hear the frustration of a “rock ‘n roll band with augmented chords”. Rock ‘n Roll that sounds like The Stooges, Television, Sonic Youth and a bit of John Densmore (The Doors).

The only thing missing from their lives is a permanent drummer. It doesn’t hinder them from recording though (they use a session drummer) or wanting to recreate the feeling of shows at The Speedway Cafe. Catch them at the Urban Lounge on Fri., 13 before they play a few shows in San Francisco.

PLEASE FEED ME: A PUNK VEGAN COOKBOOK
NIALL MCGUIRK

Soft Skull Press
Street: 11.15.04

This cookbook is just as much a photographic and historical tour of punk in Dublin as it is a collection of delicious vegan recipes. Why punk? As author Niall McGuirk explains, “Together, we would change the world. We saw music as a means of getting across a message through fun.” McGuirk has been involved in the Dublin punk scene since 1984: booking gigs, playing in bands, and working with the Hope Collective, a group of DIY friends who got bands like Fugazi, The Membranes, Bikini Kill, Bis, Team Dresch and Quicksand (to name a few) to tour Ireland. McGuirk recounts many of the events leading up to gigs during and after the fading of the Hope Collective. He says, “I gave up eating meat in 1984, at a time when many others were doing so, as Morrissey had encouraged.” With over 120 pages, each headlined with performing bands, the date they played, and photos and stories about who helped make it a success, Please Feed Me will entertain even the most knowledgeable punk rock aficionados. Recipes were contributed by band members, and are organized by the date of their performances in Ireland. The meals are easy to concoct, and are comprised of easy-to-find ingredients like steak sauce, molasses and tortillas. “Nut Burgers” (from Saru Vegetarian Guest House), is one particularly quick and delicious dish. Next, I plan on preparing “Artichoke Casserole with Pine Nuts,” a recipe submitted by Luke Sutherland of Long Fin Killie and Mogwai. Mmmm … vegetables. –Jennifer Nielsen

Saint Sebastian’s School for Wicked Girls
How To Do Everything Correctly
Ape Island Records
Street: now at Velour
SSSWG = Blur + The Swiss Family Robinson adventures
Who is this band? Where are they from? What wickedness could they have possibly committed sending four dudes to an all girls’ school? Since the band website is not up (get on it!) I had to resort to their myspace profile (ick): SSSWG is from Provo, but I don’t think they really go to such a school. I don’t know which member sings like Jarvis Cocker, but it’s a great album. It’s worth getting just for the album design by member Cole Nielsen. Limited to 240, the cloth cases have stitched edges and are hand printed at Tryst Press by Rob Buchert.

Various Artists
Around the Bend
Slowtrain Music
Street: July 2007
Around the Bend = Local Musicians & Artists + Anna & Chris + great Vinyl selection + an Amazing Independent Music Shop that SLC is lucky to have + Support Your Community!
Giving SLUG’s Death By Salt recordings a run for the money as “Best Local Compilation”, Slowtrain presents a well produced record of previously unreleased tunes by some of Utah’s favorite alt-country or acoustic soloists. In a talented music scene prevalent with singer/songwriters, Around the Bend showcases some of the best: David Williams, Paul Jacobsen, Wuhu Seai, Calico, TaughtMe, Wren Kennedy, Catherine Eve, Chanticleer the Clever Cowboy, Stephen Stanley, Uvada, Glade Sowards, Dead Horse Point, Cub Country, Marcus Bently and the Beat Surrender. I especially like the tracks by Band of Annuals (not just because I have a school-girl crush on Jay) and James Miska (not just because he’s one of my best friends), as they are classic examples of the breadth of impressive craft playing on 300 South at 221 East. Around the Bend features four different covers one designed by Summer Bivens, one by Erin Potter, one by Sarah Martin and one by Mary Toscano. Purchase this fine cd–burn it from a friend and you’re a jerk.

Calico
Black Pyramid
Self-Released
Street: 07.01
Calico = Vincent Gallo + Valley of the Giants + Vetiver
Oh Calico, how do you infatuate me? Let me recount our days. Just as your opening song begins- silently we grew stronger and my heart beat loud like the ringing of a triangle. Vibrations from your percussion and low keys transcended me into a great high. There the sounds steadied as we lay next to one another, “In the Sun.” Naked, not holding hands, for our “Hands are Sand” and as useless as our hearts. We listened while birds chirped and flapped around a “Black Pyramid.” My heart and ears pulsed with Calico’s psychedelic tones staggering through the sky, where we spent most of our time-nine erotic minutes-only to be forced into the spaciousness of “Heaven” by soft chords from an acoustic guitar and relaxing rhythms of a keyboard. Your quickening pace increased my “Bloodflow” with your Thom Yorke vocals. Like stolen, shining “Diamonds,” I am impressed by such a luminous performance of troubadours who generate heat to such musical endeavors (Brownham, Chanticleer the Clever Cowboy). Sadly, Calico, you do not love me in return. I should feel alone, but your bleak honesty fills any empty space.