Saturday, December 17, 2005

Ladies Nite Recap Part 2

Welcome back to the Ladies Nite recap. Our story picks up with the Texas Sapphires doing a stripped down hillbilly rave-up on Kool & the Gang's "Ladies Night." I was particularly happy they decided to do this song because someone just had to do it. In return, Brent Malkus made me promise to never yell out "Ladies Night!" at one of their shows (Gruene Hall, here I come!). They also played "Ladyfest" from their forthcoming Lloyd Maines-produced album.

Going from the Texas Sapphires to the Transgressors made a good transition. The latter band commingles rockabilly, spaghetti western soundtracks, and a rather dark shade of post-punk. It's a pleasingly provocative combination made even stronger by Chad Nichols' presence as a frontman. The Transgressors started with their own "Lady Caroline" followed by an old Lee Hazelwood/Nancy Sinatra chestnut I'd never heard before called "Lady Bird." Guest vocalist Laura Phelan handled the Nancy parts. They finished with Donovan's "Wild Witch Lady," yet another fine song I was unfamiliar with and now wish would've been included on the Donovan box set I had to slam a few weeks back.

Hilary York laid claim to Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" right when we started putting Ladies Nite together. Together with the Fire Marshals of Bethlehem(the first of four bands Hunter Darby played bass for), Hilary channeled the Isley Brothers' version of "Lay Lady Lay" and totally got down in the groove.

Then FMOB vocalist Julie Lowery returned with Aerosmith's "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" and it brought the house down. I was impressed with the way Jenny Smith played the horn parts on violin. I'm not a very intuitive shutterbug, but I think this photo of Julie conveys at least a sliver of how much fun it was.

In between bands, I awarded about 15 bucks worth' of prizes to people who correctly answered Lady Bird/LBJ trivia questions. My favorite prize was this colorfully framed photo of LBJ being sworn in aboard Air Force One. I figured it would be the perfect way to introduce tots to Texas history. After all, LBJ was the only U.S. president ever inaugurated on Texas soil. Yee-haw!

The Diamond Smugglers are always fun and spot-on musically. Neil and company delivered a great version of KISS' "Ladies Room" before bringing out the big gun - Styx' "Lady." The older I get, the more I appreciate how Styx was able to penetrate the bubble-scripted romantic aspirations of teen-age girls (okay, perhaps "penetrate" is a poor word choice) while retaining enough balls to bring the boys into the tent as well. So of course "Lady" was a highlight. I even got to dance with my high school smoking area friend Leah, which made the whole thing seem like a re-enactment of the closing scene from the pilot episode of "Freaks and Geeks."

Seth Tiven from Dumptruck did a somber-but-inspired take on Dylan's "Sad Eyed Lady Of the Lowlands." He played the whole thing and sang four sheets' worth of lyrics. Every time he'd finish a page, he'd fling it from the music stand onto the floor. It was altogether different in tone from the other acts, but I really liked what he did.

When I introduced the Barons of Stilton and said it was their first show, they quickly added it was also their last. If that's true, I hope at least one of the guys carries on that band name. My Noodle/Summer Breeze drumming buddy Lance Farley and I always shared an affinity for middle-of-the-road R&B even when our own music was completely removed from that, so it was great to see him sing the Commodores' "Lady (You Bring Me Up)."

The fiery rawk spectacular of the Rockland Eagles made them the natural closer. They were totally kicking ass with Black Sabbath's "Lady Evil" from Heaven and Hell when a short-lived but frightening scrum ensued in front of the stage. It was an unpleasant end to an otherwise wonderful evening and I felt bad the Eagles couldn't finish their set. I'm not going to get any further into it here, other than to say cooler heads eventually prevailed and no one was seriously injured.

Many thanks to all the bands, the Continental Club and our stage manager Jenny for making Ladies Nite an (almost) unqualified success. As soon as I know how much we raised for the Wildflower Center, you'll hear about it here.

And by the way, Hunter and I are already talking about doing Man's Nite.

1 comment:

Mari Pool said...

"I even got to dance with my high school smoking area friend Leah, "

Heh heh, I used to smoke with her too, back in the days of high school smoking areas. Bellaire forever (not).

Mari Chow (Pool)
P.S. came here from a link off Kilian's blog.