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Grrl power

President of the Pretty People plays the babe card

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GUY BABE, BABE, BABE! :  Check out all the grrl power at O'Reilly's Bar & Grill on Sept. 8 when President of the Pretty People hits the stage. The band includes (left to right) Chris Hangos, Ashley Pintor, Sam Alderson, and Donna Lu Meazell. - PHOTO COURTESY OF PRESIDENT OF THE PRETTY PEOPLE
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF PRESIDENT OF THE PRETTY PEOPLE
  • GUY BABE, BABE, BABE! : Check out all the grrl power at O'Reilly's Bar & Grill on Sept. 8 when President of the Pretty People hits the stage. The band includes (left to right) Chris Hangos, Ashley Pintor, Sam Alderson, and Donna Lu Meazell.

# I'm a sucker for a pretty face, so imagine how weak my knees went when I saw President of the Pretty People, a quartet that includes three ?berbabes and some dude. Billing themselves as a "chick rock band," this brand-new act is filled with some local music scene veterans, most notably vocalist Donna Lu Meazell, formerly of LuLu and the Cowtippers and more recently Clearbell. Bassist-vocalist Sam Alderson (formerly of the all-female band Kiss 'n' Tell) and newcomer drummer Ashley Pintor round out the female personnel, and former Clearbell guitarist Chris Hangos is the lucky fella amongst all these belles of the rock'n'roll ball.

According to promoter Leanne Phillips of Rock Sisters Productions, "The band plays a mix of originals and classic and contemporary rock covers, listing among their eclectic group of influences Janis Joplin, the Stray Cats, the Romantics, Ben Harper, Foo Fighters, the Wreckers, Warrant, Pat Benatar, and Joan Jett. They even have their own version of Britney Spears' 'Hit Me Baby' on tap."

Phillips, smelling controversy in the "chick rock" label, is going with the old "best defense is a good offense" strategy, adding, "While some may take issue with characterizing the band as a 'chick band,' this group of strong, rock'n'roll women and their male bandmate seem to feel empowered by the label, rather than threatened, infusing their music with their uniquely female strengths, rather than denying them. It is a mistake, however, to think of this band as nothing more than a 'chick band.' Each of the musicians is extremely talented in his or her own right and the band stands on its own among San Luis Obispo County's finest."

Check out all the grrl power at O'Reilly's Bar & Grill on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 9:30 p.m., for free.

Strange bedfellows
Last year, when Rudolf Budginas did a concert at the Clark Center, it sold out a week before the show, and this year the Moscow Conservatory-trained performer is back with Rudolf: On the Edge at the Clark Center on Friday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m. If you haven't got your tickets, you may want to call right now because this concert has the added bonus of featuring Steve Miller Band guitarist Kenny Lee Lewis joining Budginas on a few tunes.

CLASSICAL, MEET ROCK :  Steve Miller Band guitarist Kenny Lee Lewis joins Moscow Conservatory-trained pianist Rudolf Budginas for a mash-up at the Clark Center on Sept. 7. - PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNY LEE LEWIS AND RUDOLF BUDGINAS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNY LEE LEWIS AND RUDOLF BUDGINAS
  • CLASSICAL, MEET ROCK : Steve Miller Band guitarist Kenny Lee Lewis joins Moscow Conservatory-trained pianist Rudolf Budginas for a mash-up at the Clark Center on Sept. 7.

# Budginas, a music professor at Cuesta College, has also tapped some of his former students to round out the musicians for the night's performance. He's also well known in the area for concerts he gives to K-12 students, as he did this past week for students at Mission High in SLO and the Arts-In-Education Outreach Series in Arroyo Grande.

Of course, the real question is, how did an R&B guitarist and a Moscow Conservatory-trained concert pianist end up together?

"The fact that Rudolf is not satisfied with just being a 'delivery system' for presenting the classics makes him a rebel with a cause," Lewis said. "Being an educator and an excellent classical pianist allows him the opportunity to show music enthusiasts how the classics can be morphed into the 21st century by incorporating modern pop flavors of a rock rhythm section, particularly rock guitar, which is, of course, my specialty, and since I am a rebel of sorts myself, we are brothers in music."

 


Drink away the blues
The Tom Nolan Band has one mission: to make its audience get up and dance. The soul, blues, R&B, and jazz-influenced act mixes originals and classic dance covers into a blistering melange of phat horn- and harmonica-driven heel kickers. They may be the best band you're only hearing about for the first time right now. In fact, Nolan likes to joke that after 15 years, he's become an overnight sensation.

Last year, the 10-member act released two albums Feel the Future Start, featuring new original material, and Soul, a tribute disc and all told that makes six albums under the band's belt. The multi-racial, multi-generational band also increased their exposure recently by having a few of their songs appear on the television show My Name Is Earl.

DAYS OF WINE AND BLUES :  L.A.-based soul, R&B, and blues powerhouse The Tom Nolan Band plays the 4th Annual West Fest Wine and Blues Festival on Sept. 8 at Peachy Canyon Winery. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TOM NOLAN BAND
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TOM NOLAN BAND
  • DAYS OF WINE AND BLUES : L.A.-based soul, R&B, and blues powerhouse The Tom Nolan Band plays the 4th Annual West Fest Wine and Blues Festival on Sept. 8 at Peachy Canyon Winery.

# Nolan himself is no stranger to the screen, having appeared in 20 films, two television series, and on the stage in New York and Los Angeles.

His band typically plays for more than 50,000 people a summer, making appearances at jazz and blues festivals and community concerts all over California. The Tom Nolan Band hits our area on Saturday, Sept. 8, when they headline the 4th annual West Fest Wine and Blues Festival that features 13 wineries from Paso Robles' west side who gather together from 2 to 6 p.m. to pour wine and listen to blues at Peachy Canyon, located off of Hwy 46 West on Bethel Road.

Hors d'oeuvres (catered by Dining with Andre) and wine tasting are included in the $40 tickets (or $75 per couple). The event has limited seating, and tickets are sold in advance by participating wineries: Brian Benson Cellars, Castoro Cellars, Dark Star Cellars, Doce Robles, Eagle Castle, Fratelli Perata, Grey Wolf, Hunt Cellars, JanKris Winery, Midnight Cellars, Peachy Canyon, Windward Vineyard, and Rotta Winery. Transportation from JanKris Winery and Castoro Cellars parking area will be provide by the Grapeline Wine Country Shuttle.


 

Nuclear rock
Get your baby boomer rock on Sunday, Sept. 9, when The Arroyo Grande Village Summer Concert Series brings The Local Vocals and Critical Mass to the Rotary Bandstand on the Village Green, where they'll perform your favorite hits of the '70s and '80s.

BABY BOOMER ROCK :  On Sept. 9, The Local Vocals and Critical Mass (not pictured) play the Rotary Bandstand on the Village Green in historic old town Arroyo Grande, where they'll perform your favorite hits of the '70s and '80s. - PHOTO COURTESY OF LOCAL VOCALS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF LOCAL VOCALS
  • BABY BOOMER ROCK : On Sept. 9, The Local Vocals and Critical Mass (not pictured) play the Rotary Bandstand on the Village Green in historic old town Arroyo Grande, where they'll perform your favorite hits of the '70s and '80s.

# The Local Vocals open the show at 1 p.m. The local trio invites you to find your part in their three-part harmonies. The band features Kevin Mounts on guitar, Michael Nunez on bass, and Jim Love on percussion.

Critical Mass, comprised of current and former PG&E employees, is a huge group up to 18 members that performs in a variety of styles, including county, rock, swing, show tunes, blues, and even some jazz. PG&E is sponsoring the show, and representatives from the Diablo Canyon Information Center will be on hand to answer questions and dispense information about Diablo and PG&E.

Bring picnic baskets, lawn chairs, and blankets to this free show. The South County Historical Society will be selling hot dogs, popcorn, lemonade, and sodas at the event. Doc Burnstein's Ice Cream Lab will provide ice cream and donate a portion of their proceeds to the Harvest Festival, the day's featured nonprofit organization.

 


 

Die, Sad Lisa, die!
Oh, how the worm turns. Local rock act Sad Lisa needs some press because they're playing Downtown Brew's Grassroots Night on Tuesday, Sept. 11. But gee whiz, a few years ago two of the band's members used to love to yell out what an asshole I am and write me nasty e-mails about what an awful rock journalist I am. Now here they come a-grovelin': "Graham Haworth here from the band Sad Lisa. You may also remember me for being a bit of an asshole a few years ago in an e-mail exchange we had. For that I apologize. I was both young and stupid (and drunk, ha ha). Anyway, I'm hoping you can include Sad Lisa in your column."

MEAN, ROTTEN, LITTLE BASTARDS :  ****Sad Lisa.pdf in production DO file**** - Sad Lisa, whose members have been real, real mean to me in the past, play Downtown Brew Sept. 11 (and Sweet Springs Saloon on Sept. 8). I encourage you to go to their shows to fling epithets at them. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SAD LISA
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF SAD LISA
  • MEAN, ROTTEN, LITTLE BASTARDS : ****Sad Lisa.pdf in production DO file**** Sad Lisa, whose members have been real, real mean to me in the past, play Downtown Brew Sept. 11 (and Sweet Springs Saloon on Sept. 8). I encourage you to go to their shows to fling epithets at them.

# Ha ha! No way! Now it's my turn to be a jerk to you! No way will I tell the public that you're playing with Ragg and Machine starting at 8 p.m. No way will I tell people there's only a $2 cover or that pints are $1.

You can rest assured I won't tell them about your MySpace page (myspace.com/sadlisamusic) where I listened to a couple of your raucous, headbanging metal tracks, their raw energy pulsing with all that anger you used to direct at me.

In fact, the last time I heard Jared Christopher's screaming vocals, he was using his voice to scream out "Glen Starkey sucks" in some nightclub. So why in the hell should I tell the public about how two months ago Sad Lisa won New Rock 107.3's "Open for Godsmack" contest. Out of 10 bands that qualified for the public online vote, Sad Lisa received more than a third of the total votes. On July 29, the band took the main stage at the California Mid-State Fair before platinum-selling acts Hoobastank and Godsmack.

Nope, after all of your mean-spirited attacks, there's no way I'm informing the public about your gig, you weasels. Find some other way to promote your kickass rock show, because I am an old-school grudge holder from way back, pansies!


 

More music
San Luis Obispo Folk Music Society brings Rita Hosking & Cousin Jack to the area for two shows: Friday, Sept. 7, at Morro Bay's Coalesce Bookstore (772-2880) and Saturday, Sept. 8, at Atascadero's Green Acres Lavender Farm (466-0837). Both shows cost $15 (reserve your ticket by calling the venue) and start at 7 p.m. Rita Hosking & Cousin Jack play soulful, original roots music with a mountain bluegrassy sound. Hosking's musical experience began as a child at church and under the wings of an old time jug band made up of seasoned mountain characters. She's been described as "Natalie Merchant on bluegrass."

Local pyrotechnic progrock guitar god Travis Larson is taking his band on the road, launching a national tour that includes dates in

THE FACE OF PACE :  Stand-up comic Michael Pace brings his act "The Scent of Grilled Meats" to Bob Zany's Comedy Outlet in Morro Bay on Sept. 7 and 8, with opening comic Jeff Applebaum (not pictured). - PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL PACE
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL PACE
  • THE FACE OF PACE : Stand-up comic Michael Pace brings his act "The Scent of Grilled Meats" to Bob Zany's Comedy Outlet in Morro Bay on Sept. 7 and 8, with opening comic Jeff Applebaum (not pictured).
# Cleveland, New York, and Los Angeles. Sponsored by music manufacturers Electrovoice and Digitech, the tour is a combination of music venues and Sam Ash stores. People who make it to the free Sam Ash performances on the east and west coasts will have a chance to win free musical equipment at each show, plus there's a Q&A session with the band after the performance. While the tour ends in Los Angeles on Dec. 1, the Travis Larson Band will begin the tour at Atascadero's Hoovers Live on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 9 p.m. Bon voyage, TLB. Go kick some East Coast ass.

The New Longview hits the roadhouse stage of The Clubhouse on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 9:30 p.m. Now one of SLO County's most popular acts, the group got its start in 2002 in Cal Poly's dorms when vocalist/guitarist Dan Curcio and guitarist Chris Arntzen began working on acoustic songs. According to the band, they "hope to bring back the days when music was more than just a catchy single and a flashy music video." In addition to their debut album Still Time, the group also won a spot on New Rock 107.3's SLO and Dysfunctional Vol. 3 compilation CD, their song "High Tide" was added to the regular rotation at the radio station, rising to the most played song on the station, where it remained for several weeks.

Singer-songwriter Trish Lester performs at Last Stage West on Saturday, Sept. 8. The contemporary Americana artist, performing from 6 to 10 p.m., will share her original music along with favorites from such legends as John Denver, Kate Wolf, Bob Dylan, and Tom Paxton. She's touring in support of her newest CD, Plymouth Belvedere, and she's also a member of "Women on the Move," a group of 14 independent artists featured on a new compilation, Beautiful, produced by Red Coyote Records. Learn more at www.myspace.com/trishlester.

Grungy alternative rockers Palmerston play with local metal/death rockers Sad Lisa on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Sweet Springs Saloon. Based out of Los Angeles, Palmerston is, according to their MySpace page, "made up of three outcasts who each found comfort in standing out, instead of dwelling on failed attempts at fitting in. [Lead singer] French is a misunderstood, walking contradiction. With years of juvenile detention centers under his belt, living hand in hand with his need to write songs, poetry, and create paintings in order to express himself freely, the 20-year-old found his place, and reason to stay out of legal troubles, as the voice of Palmerston. Juvenile delinquents unite! Check out their sound at www.myspace.com/palmerston.

Steve Huffsteter, former trumpet star with the Stan Kenton orchestra and one of the West Coast's most admired trumpet artists, is the next attraction at the Famous Jazz Artist Series at the Hamlet in Cambria on Sunday, Sept. 9. He'll be joined by pianist Ed Czach, bassist Dylan Johnson, and drummer Darrell Voss, as well as concert co-producers Charlie and Sandi Shoemake (vibraphone and vocals). See Huffsteter during two performances: 4 p.m., for $15, 7:15 p.m. for $12, or stay for both sets and pay $20. Reservations (927-0567) are highly recommended.

L.A.-based singer/songwriter Mikey de Lara will kick off his fall West Coast tour at the Frog and Peach on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 8 p.m. This is de Lara's second time in SLO Town. The folky solo artist blends acoustic rock and an independent sensibility. Check out his sound at myspace.com/mikeydelara.

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, Skinny Singers (Tim Bluhm of Mother Hips fame and Jackie Greene) returns to Downtown Brew for an 8 p.m. show (doors at 7:30 p.m.). The two friends are both killer songwriters, and this duo allows Bluhm to perform songs The Mother Hips don't play and to develop songs that may end up on a future Hips album, while Greene can work up new songs for his own band. In short, together, they represent a musical force that is awe-inspiring. They are also very skinny, hence the name. Advance tickets are $16.50 at Boo Boo's.

The Pat Jordan Band plays the Frog and Peach Thursday, Sept. 13, with opening act Joe Clopton taking the stage at 7:30 p.m., followed by The Pat Jordan Band at 8:30. If you're a fan of Dave Matthews Band and you have a sense of humor, I think you'll like Jordan, who, in "Hugs not Drugs," sings, "Something about hugs not drugs, show me your cannon jugs. I really want to work 'em." Boobies. Ha ha. Hear for yourself at myspace.com/thepatjordanband. Folky alterna-indie-rocker Joe Clopton's music can be heard at www.myspace.com/joecloptonmusic.

Funny business
Bob and Tom Show regular Michael Pace headlines this weekend's stand-up comedy shows at Bob Zany's Comedy Outlet upstairs at Embarcadero Grill in Morro Bay. Pace's face should be familiar, with national television credits including Curb Your Enthusiasm, "Comic Relief," HBO's "The Aspen Comedy Festival," and commercials for Coca-Cola, Budweiser, and the California Lottery. His act is called "The Scent of Grilled Meats."

Former Bay Area Cabaret Competition "Comedian of The Year" Jeff Applebaum will open for Pace, whose credits include the Will Smith movie Pursuit of Happyness and The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

There are four big shows: 7 and 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 7 and 8.

 

 

 

CD reviews

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Oh No Dr. No's Oxperiment

Originally, a beat album was a compilation of instrumental tracks a hip-hop producer would gather onto a single disc and showcase to interested lyricists. Like a buffet line, a rapper would peruse the selection, checking off the tracks he wanted, and a deal would be struck. Beat records mainly existed in the background of hip-hop, but credit innovative producers like Dan the Automator, Jay Dee, and Madlib for incorporating goofy over-looked kitsch and mining a wide array of oddball samples to create instrumental albums that could capture a listener's attention without the hyperbole of an animated rapper. On the instrumental affair of Dr. No's Oxperiment, Oxnard-born producer Oh No relies solely on a staple of folk and psychedelic albums from the Middle East and southern Europe as his source of inspiration. Awash in Arabic vocals, crisp drum claps, and fuzzed out melodic tones more intoned for a Turkish opium den, Oh No taps into an overlooked musical avenue to inject hip-hop with a future of new sounds.

Malik Miko Thorne, of Boo Boo Records and KCBX's "Night Train."

 

 

Stereo Total Paris-Berlin

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Operating within the lo-fi corners of rambunctious garage rock, synth-new wave, and 1960s-influenced French pop, Stereo Total merges its international flair and multilingual lyrics into an album of quirky indie-pop appeal. Bouncing fluently between German, French, and English, Stereo Total equally bops around between a variety of musical influences without losing cohesiveness due to its diverse sound. "Mehr Licht" sounds like the center of the dance floor it's built around a driving tech-beat flourished with a chorus of Casio keyboard tones. The stripped down rock'n'roller "Plus Minus Null" shows the punchier aspects of the band's love of the raw edges of '50s rhythm and blues. Think Bo Diddley guitar work combined with a drum machine freakout. With a graphical look of Russian Constructivism embedded within its cover art, as well as liner notes, Stereo Total uses its art to push a subtle sexual revolution a theme running in the background of this trËs chic party record.

Malik Miko Thorne, of Boo Boo Records and KCBX's "Night Train."


Glen is a level 12 dungeon master. Take away some of his hit points at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

 

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