Remember all the "next Bob Dylan" tags over the years?
Several top local rockers will live out their own "next Dylan" fantasies at 9 p.m. next Sunday at Club Lingerie in a concert devoted entirely to Dylan songs. Real Impossibles guitarist Marc Platt organized the affair, modeled somewhat on the celebration of Elvis Presley's birthday last month.
"Word started spreading so fast I got millions of calls from musicians who wanted to participate," Platt said. "Every day when I go home there are like three messages on my machine of people telling me what songs they want to do."
Among those who will perform two Dylan songs each: Steve Wynn of the Dream Syndicate, Marvin Etzioni, Bob Forrest and Mike Martt of Thelonious Monster, Phranc, Carmaig de Forest, and Sid Griffin and Steven McCarthy of the recently dissolved Long Ryders, plus the bands Firehose, Walking Wounded and the Real Impossibles. The event is a benefit for AIDS Project Los Angeles.
The project may also lead to an album of Dylan songs by local musicians. Rhino Records exec Gary Stewart will be at the show to discuss the possibility. It was that label, of course, that released, "Cover Me," a set of Bruce Springsteen songs as done by the likes of the Beat Farmers, Dave Edmunds and Johnny Cash.
TEXAS RECORDS REDUX: When Texas Records shut its doors a few weeks ago (its building is giving way to a mini-mall), the adventuresome Santa Monica-based retail outlet did it with a bang: a final in-store concert featuring House of Freaks, Concrete Blonde, the Reivers, Steve Wynn with Robert Lloyd and the American Music Club. For an encore, everyone joined in on "Auld Lang Syne."
Well, the store may be gone for now, but the Texas Hotel records label is busier than ever with four new albums due, including "Life Time" by the Henry Rollins Band (featuring Black Flag's former frontman) and Downy Mildew's second full album, "Mincing Steps." Those two titles will also mark Texas Hotel's first venture into the CD market.
Michael Meister, Texas' co-founder, says that he doesn't really miss the store except "when I see some of the great bands coming through whom I would have loved to have play there." And yes, plans are in the works to open a new Texas Records store later this year--if a new location can be found that will allow for live shows.
LIFE IS A CABARET: Piet's Place, the chic, intimate music showcase that opened last summer on the patio of the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, is moving indoors at the nearby Bel Age. The club's premiere event will be March 12 with two shows by jazz and R&B saxophonist Eddie (Cleanhead) Vinson. The tiny club (room for 50 seated at tables for $10, plus 20 spots at the bar for just $5 each) will sport a menu of drinks and pastries from the hotel's chef.
"I refer to my place as McCabe's with tablecloths and liquor," said club entrepreneur Bert Ball. "There are not enough places for artists to play in an intimate setting." The club will run once a month until summer, when it will go weekly at an as-yet-undetermined outdoor location. Upcoming shows include Van Dyke Parks and friends on April 30 and Harold Battiste on May 15. Reservations and information: (213) 474-3236.
A slightly different cabaret atmosphere will inhabit Club Lingerie one Monday per month beginning Feb. 29, when Mr. Kite's Hippodrome debuts with a show featuring music (from the Voices, the Death Folk and Black & White), performance art (the Lost Tribe) and some things in between (drummer-comedienne Robyn Ryan and the Ringling Sisters). Ex-Power Tools main man Matt Dike will serve as deejay between acts. Admission is $5. The Hippodrome will be running in rotation with the ongoing Month of Mondays series hosted by the Moberlys. Among upcoming guests of the power-poppers will be Rick Elias on Monday and Marvin Etzioni on March 14.
QUE PASADENA?: Things may be looking (or sounding) up for rock fans in the Crown City. Handelbars Saloon is stepping up its booking of cutting-edge acts, with Dave Alvin & the Allnighters scheduled for Saturday, plus upcoming shows by Billy Bremner & the Lads.
"It is my desire to have people not have to go to Hollywood if they don't want to," said club owner Dennis Vacca, adding that he is negotiating appearances by Firehose and House of Freaks. Vacca hopes eventually to compete with Hollywood houses like Club Lingerie and Raji's as a venue for top alternative national bands as well as local acts. He may hire a booker soon to aim at that goal.
PONTIAC MAC ATTACK: It's easy to see why the Pontiac Brothers would want to have ex-Faces and sometimes Rolling Stones keyboardist Ian MacLagan play on its new album, "Johnson." The band's loose, dynamic rock has consistently reminded listeners of both acts. But why would the group record Paul McCartney's super-hero spoof "Magneto and Titanium Man" as a bonus for the album's cassette version? Turns out these four hard-edged rockers are fans of ol' Mac.