There are four well-known indicators that you are famous: being caught lip-synching on Saturday Night Live, "dating" Tom Cruise, hiring Johnny Cochrane as your lawyer and, last but not least, having a major product named after you. Bless his soul, Reverend Horton Heat has achieved No. 4. In January, Gretsch Guitars will debut the Reverend Horton Heat signature model #6120, a humdinger of a six-string modeled after the guitar Jim Heath has played for years. He debuted this new version a few weeks ago at the All Good Cafe in his regular weekly gig with Reverend Organ Drum (which ends Wednesday, October 27). Missed it? Guess you'll have to wait till November 26, when RHH plays Trees.
Recently, I received an e-mail kindly requesting I stuff a sock in it regarding the bands leaving town. This person has a point: Why lavish attention on bands splitting when there are so many bands sticking around?
Instead, this week I bring you news of a band breaking up. After eight years of "spooky death lounge and ghoul jazz," the Necro Tonz are calling it a day. A night. Whatever. Their last show will be Friday, October 29, at Club Clearview.
In related news, several bands will not be breaking up this weekend. See the Dallas Observer music listings for more details.
After what seems like, well, a really long time, Good Records has finished the redesign of its Web site, www.goodrecords.com. Although the online shopping option is not yet functional, the site features goodies such as staff recommendations, top sellers and new releases as well as up-to-date information about in-store performances.
And while we're on the subject of Web sites, Kirtland Records has launched www.kirtlandrecords.com. The label, which handles Burden Brothers and Space Cadet, recently signed The Vanished.
Who are you going to be for Halloween? I am going to be someone who votes this Tuesday. Don't forget. (As if you could.)
When Pop Music Goes Bad, Part 2
A couple of weeks ago, And Another Thing reminisced about the day pop music went sour. For us, it came on a balmy summer's eve, when we first heard preening soap star Michael Damian singing the jaw-droppingly imbecilic "Rock On." Since then, we have returned to Top 40 radio on several occasions--we can sing the praises of recent hits by Franz Ferdinand, Modest Mouse, even Britney Spears. But we posed this question to readers: When were you first disillusioned by pop music? What was your "Rock On"?
Several of you responded by remembering particularly vapid stars of yore: Richard Marx, Jewel, REO Speedwagon.
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"So I'm sitting at a friend's grandmother's house in Pennsylvania in the summer of 1994," writes Adam Woodyard, "and MTV world premieres this unknown new band: Hootie and the Blowfish. And the seven of us just watch this video, and we're like, what the hell is THIS crap?"
Which prompts another question: Hootie and the Blowfish--radio's darkest hour?
Still others had more circumstantial stories--hearing Led Zeppelin for the first time in a grocery store, say, or, for John Council, working at a Miller's Outpost where the only thing playing was KISS-FM (106.1), which repeated a handful of the same songs through the day. "But the worst song on the list, the one that still mocks me to this day, is Steve Perry's 'Oh, Sherrie,'" he writes. "I had an intense crush on a fellow classmate with the same name as Perry's lyrical paramour. And every time I heard the song while folding Levi's 501s, it played havoc with my fragile teenage emotions...And because of the lasting scars the song inflicted on me, every time I hear 'Oh, Sherrie,' I want to punch Steve Perry in his cartoonish, Roman-sized nose."
Ah, pop music. What have you done? And yet our love holds on, holds on...