Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

Ah... Points East. Used to be Brett's (and I always thought it fun that such a frat boy name like "Brett's" would play host to great punk, prog and other kinds of underground rock.) That back room there went through a lot of changes. My band, Loblolly, played its first gig there, when the stage was just kind of crammed in the SW corner (but it WAS a stage by the time we played.). First place I ever saw Floor Model -- and they played in front of that corner stage because they were opening for Dr Chow and there wasn't enough room on that tiny stage to cram all the gear. Too many Trash Fests and Zappa fests to remember. A particularly hilarious Mighty Lumberhorn Xmas show. Debuts of a bunch of great bands, reunion shows of many others, "last show"s of too many long gone bands. And, of course, a bazillion Mighty Deer Lick shows.

It's fitting that the Deer Lick should be the band to officially close the stage. (Zappafest is this weekend, it was booked apparently the "final" decision was made to quit music at Points East.) Bill Brunke, who pretty much built music at Points East, was there, taking it all in and joining Dave Deerlick for a few numbers (which see). And the Deerlick, as they are on my "bands I can't write much more about because they are consistently great" list, put out as usual. I still don't know how Dave does it: every night he's spontaneous, timely, and delivers his stuff with machine-gun rapidity and spot-on precision. And he sent off one of my favorite places to see/hear a band in style. Points East was a GREAT place to see live music. The bar was stocked with cheap and good beers, the restrooms were clean, the kitchen was open late (they made terrific late night bar pizzas), and thanks to Dave Gelting's ear, the sound was correct. According to Points East website, they're instead going to expand the kitchen and dining room, but they're taking great pains to say no kids, this is a bar. Whatever. Another one bites the dust.
Earlier in the evening, I stopped into Linneman's to see Dr Chow open for "Plasticland." Dr Chow didn't do a lot of their originals; they stuck mostly to the Nuggets-style psychedelic era covers they do so well. Obviously this was a nod to the fact that they were truly warming up for "Plasticland." The crowd, comprised of a lot of people I don't normally see at Dr Chow shows, seemed to like and appreciate it.
OK, I gotta admit, Glenn Rehse's voice still sounds great. Most people lose their upper registers after they cross 45 years on the planet. Rehse's is still there, and possibly even stronger. He doesn't have his old moves, but he has his passion. And those songs, while stamped indelibly with 1969, really are timeless.
But nothing happened Saturday night to inspire me to take those ubiquitous quotation marks off the name, "Plasticland." Andy Aeros Kaiser is a great bass player, and is complex enough to suit Glenn, but he doesn't have the shit eating grin (and accompanying demeanor) of John Francovic. There was a great young turk on drums, but he didn't have Vic Demechi's maturity and thus dynamics. And Leroy on guitar? Not bad, but I know Dan Mullen. I play in a band with Dan Mullen. Dan Mullen is a friend of mine. You, sir, are no Dan Mullen.
I'm sorry, Glenn, but that's the way it is. Glenn Rehse has a powerful enough name/brand that he could bill himself as The Glenn Rehse Band/Experience/Quartet (whatever) and people would come. But this outfit doesn't live up to the old "Plasticland" brand, and that's a shame, because that's what people are going to compare this band to -- the old Plasticland. This band that played Saturday night were worthy enough (they were loud enough, that's for sure!) and if they were billed as "Glenn's new band" people would rave. But as Paul McCartney once said, "You cannot reheat a souffle." Why even try, Glenn, when you're perfectly capable of baking a great new cake?

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