Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A case for The Hooters; Cracker and other weekend shows

Shows of note this week.

Cracker plays an acoustic gig along with the Hackensaw Boys at Toad's Place on Thursday night. Doors open at 7:30 and tix are $15. This is a benefit show. Here's why:
A Benefit For Bryan Hoffa, Sound of Music Engineer, Producer, and Musician. Bryan was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a serious but curable disease in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath surrounding the spinal cord. As a result, the nervous system is short-circuited and varying levels of paralysis effect the body.

Thankfully Bryan is now in recovery but it involves months of physical therapy and a long time away from work.

Some of Richmond's finest musicians have donated their time and talents to help the Hoffa family during this difficult time. All proceeds from this show will go to their daily living expenses.
W.A.S.P. will be at Toad's on Tuesday. Show starts at 9 PM and tickets are $20. If you like your hair big, you bands loud, and a guy named Blackie Lawless in the band (despite what you think of the band, that is a cool rock and roll name), this is the show for you.

Serj Tankian of System of a Down is at Toad's on Wednesday. Show starts at 8:30 and tickets are $30.50.

Outformation plays at the Canal Club on Friday. I think it starts at 9 PM but there is something wrong with the Canal Club site and I can't get to their calendar. Outformation is a jam band in the tradition of Widespread Panic.

Arlo Guthrie plays at the Modlin Center for the Arts on Sunday and Monday night. Shows start at 7:30. Tickets are $36. Arlo is a master between-song storyteller and has some true classics in his repretoire (City of New Orleans, Alice's Restaurant).

New Riders of the Purple Sage bring their psychedelic cowboy music to the Capital Ale House Downtown on Tuesday. Doors open at 8 and tix are $20.

Also wanted to point out that The Hooters are back! Here's an article about them in the Philly Inquirer: http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20080205_STILL_HOOTER-RIFIC.html.

You may be thinking, "Come on, Tony.. The Hooters?!?". I grew up in Philly in the 80s. The Hooters were our hometown boys made good. We had been listening to them since they had released their first independent album, Amore, in 1983. That album featured many of the songs that would appear on Nervous Night, in their more raw and ska-influenced versions. It still is a great album. (I still have the cassette.) This was back in the days when a major local station would still play local music and WMMR played the Hooters all the time.

I first saw the Hooters live a week before Nervous Night was released. They played at Glassboro (now Rowan) College's All College Day/Spring Fling show in a field at the college so me and a few of my friends in high school went. They put on a great, spirited live show and you could see that they were all excellent players, after having built their reputation in Philly on their live show. That was one of stranger shows I ever saw, as the openers were local new wave band Beru Revue and Run DMC, who had yet to hit big. I dug Run DMC that day too. But that's another story for another day.

When Nervous Night broke big, Philly was excited. Sure, the album was overproduced and added a little too much sugary sheen (and a little less ska) to their sound. But, they were our home town boys made good and they didn't abandon Philly for NY or LA. They filmed their videos in Philly (And We Danced was filmed at a local drive-in theater). They still played in Philly. They opened Live Aid in Philly. They broadcast their big Thanksgiving show on MTV from Philly.

Their popularity began to wane but I would still catch them on occassion playing clubs in Philly. They moved into more of an Americana type sound, which was more in line with what I had moved into. They were still writing excellent songs for themselves and other people (Joan Osborne's hit, One of Us).

I'm looking forward to hearing their new album, Time Stand Still, and if you want to hear it, you can check a couple tunes out on http://www.myspace.com/thehooters. If you think they were just an 80s pop act, give them a listen.

Finally, if you every wanted to know the TRUE story (well, maybe) about the making of the song Footloose, check this out: http://youtube.com/watch?v=nX1Nh6c80wo. I never knew that a drunk Michael McDonald could weild a machete with such ferocity. Be warned there is some nasty language in this clip so watch your volume if at work or with the kids.

Oh, and check the couple items below that I added over the week but didn't send out an email update for.

Have a great weekend.

Tony Jordan