By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Ghetto Fame-Us has a new record in the can, And Then There Was Us!, a long-gestating sequel to 1999's Add On! (We're generally not fans of exclamation points in album titles, but Ghetto Fame-Us has had to work so hard just to get these things out, slack must be cut.) Twenty-two tracks strong, And Then There Was Us! features guest shots by a host of MCs, including The Legendary Fritz, Gemini, Close, Epatomed and Indo, but Ghetto Fame-Us is good enough to get over on its own. The group's de facto leader, Dread, dropped off a copy of the disc last week and says Ghetto Fame-Us is hoping to have it ready to go by the last Friday in June, when Liquid Lounge hosts its monthly Final Friday Hip-Hop night. Whether they get it there on time, keep an ear out for And Then There Was Us! and Ghetto Fame-Us. As they say on the album's "Don't Stop": "This is what happens when the East meets the West/And the beats beat your chest/And the streets beat the rest." If you didn't get that, it means, "Listen up." And it's good advice...
Slick 57 also has a new one on the way, The Ghost of Bonnie Parker, following up 1998's Lo-Fi Lorainne and Her Bag of Tricks and 2000's Drunk Life. We stopped by when the band was recording it a month or so ago at Last Beat with the underrated Paul Williams (who's worked with The Polyphonic Spree, The Burden Brothers and Vibrolux, to name just a few), but didn't get much of a chance to hear what they were doing, other than popping the tops on a round of beers. But they dropped by a copy last week, and from what we've heard from the disc so far, it reminds us of the days when you could call the Old 97's country and weren't too far off. Not that Bonnie Parker is necessarily a country record, but then, the 97's were never really a country band. So. Looks like the album should be available sometime in July, though we're not sure who's releasing it. At least around here. The boys have signed with Laughing Outlaw Records, a label based in Sydney, Australia, that's issued records from the likes of Alejandro Escovedo and Split Lip Rayfield. No matter who puts it out, it wouldn't hurt to give a listen. In the meantime, you can check out Slick 57 at something called the Southern Fried Hillbilly Hoedown, a Memorial Day weekend shindig at Club Clearview on May 26 with Americanos, Trainwreck, Big Daddy Alright and Phantom Rockers. Should prolly be a good time...
Hand stamps: 41 Gorgeous Blocks headlines a She's Gone Records showcase (with The Saturday Night Kids and the Wontons) at Club Clearview on May 16, helping celebrate the release of 41GB's fine new EP, Swallow the Sandwich; The Scrap Hotel (with Ken Bethea and Philip Peeples of the Old 97's) performs May 17 at Gypsy Tea Room, and The Black Frames (Earl Harvin, Skerik, Mike Dillon and Brad Houser) are there May 19; Subtronic Theatre (with special contributions by Denton's Stereo on Strike collective) is at Liquid Lounge on May 17, followed by The Falcon Project, 25% Toby and The Audiophiles the next night; Baboon, Little Grizzly and Mission Giant play Curtain Club on May 16, and if you haven't seen Mission Giant or heard their album (the fantastic I Scream Social), get there early; Mercova opens for Cranes and Matthew on May 20 at Trees; The Wild Bull (a.k.a. The Falcon Project's Wanz Dover) backs up Bill Longhorse and pals with some IDM laptop shenanigans at Sambuca on May 16...
This week in Sack of Kittens, because one day you'll thank us: InBoX. (Yes, that's how they spell it, and no, we've never been big supporters of random caps. Sorry, the pAper chAse.) Not that big yet, but hey, why let things get out of hand? Looks like? The Warped Tour and OzzFest on an awkward first date. Or, four random people plucked from the audience at pretty much any show at the Galaxy Club. And their singer is named Bucky. Sounds like? They need a hug. Other things they could probably use: songs, a modicum of talent, throat lozenges and a clue or two. Bucky Garret, Rashaan Fitch, Bryan Sammon and Adam Vanderkolk give their fans (?) the worst of both worlds, their tunes (?) bridging the gap between incompetent metal and wet-bed emotion. Guess you could say they're strong enough for a man, but made for a woman. Actually, it probably works better the other way around. How they see themselves? Audiences "can only ponder what InBoX has in store for them next. From raping your eardrums and sodomizing your emotions, to hoaxing you physically as you listen to their music thinking that you can follow the odd changes that they are so famous for." (Raping your eardrums? Check. Famous? Better grab a dictionary.) Breathless opinion of the fans? "The pain in Bucky's voice pierces our hearts like a rusty sword. The emotions of love exploding through Rashaan's fingertips as he strums his guitar wildly. Mixing with Bryan's bass and Adam's drum beats, an arrangement of beautiful melodies ringing in our ears." So say Kim Ortega and Amber Fanning in a post to InBoX's message board. Whatever you say, girls. Where can you find them? Playing at The Door on May 17; making most of the crowd at Sparta's April 29 gig at Trees (where InBoX opened) rethink their decision to see a rock show on a Monday night. Number of kittens in the sack they're currently standing on? We'll say three, but it's hard to think with this sentence--"The pain in Bucky's voice pierces our heart like a rusty sword"--rattling around in our heads.