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Pop Notes

Second Show to Light Up Firecracker Lounge

October 14, 1994|MIKE BOEHM | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Some good news from the grass-roots arena: The Firecracker Lounge hasn't fizzled.

In fact, after about two months of operation, promoter Tom Dumont is expanding from one show a week to two at the cozy all-ages venue, which is the upstairs lounge at the Cattleman's Wharf restaurant, 1160 West Ball Road, Anaheim.

"I've been really happy with it," reports Dumont, who is the guitarist in the popular Anaheim ska-rock band No Doubt. "We've been nicely full pretty much every night," drawing an average of about 70 or 80 people to the Sunday night shows. With that modest success, Dumont will light up the Firecracker Lounge on Thursdays as well, starting Oct. 27.

Scheduled shows include: Gameface and Enswell, this Sunday; Boxcar Wino and Dashboard Prophets, Oct. 23; Supernovice and Iron-Ons, Oct. 27; the Canid Show, Oct. 30; the Grabbers, Nov. 3, and Larry and Joker Pickles Reaction, Nov. 10.

Shows start at 10 p.m., and admission is $3. Taped information: (714) 502-9827.

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John Easdale's mostly acoustic show at the Firecracker Lounge on Sunday night marked the start of a new career phase for the former Dramarama singer.

With Dramarama having split, or, depending which ex-member you talk to, gone on indefinite, long-term hiatus, Easdale has been working up new songs to launch a new band and win a new recording contract. He'll be playing a few new songs, along with a bunch of Dramarama oldies, at his next show, Oct. 27, at Club 369 in Fullerton.

Easdale's backup consists of one new associate, lead guitarist Brian Williams, and one old one, guitarist-keyboards player Tom Mullaney, who served as an unofficial, adjunct member of Dramarama.

"I don't want to do the big showcases. I just want to start from the grass-roots," said the La Habra-based Easdale, who is wary of venturing into Hollywood until his new direction has become well-established. "I haven't pegged it yet, so I don't want anybody else to."

Besides trying to write his own next career chapter, Easdale (who doesn't rule out a Dramarama reunion at some unspecified time in the future) has been helping some fledgling Orange County bands launch careers by producing demo recordings. So far, he has done production for Redpoint and Shiver.

Dramarama, meanwhile, may be placing its legacy in hands that have served many a deserving but underappreciated rock band. Easdale said a deal is close with Rhino Records, the highly regarded archival label, to re-release Dramarama's first two albums, "Cinema Verite" and "Box Office Bomb," as well as a "Best of" compilation, spanning the band's career and including rare and previously unreleased tracks.

Rhino's interest means that eggBERT Records, a Fullerton label run by Easdale's friend, Greg Dwinnell, will not proceed with "Senseless Fun," the Dramarama rarities album that had been set for a late September release.

"Legally, I could put the record out this minute," Dwinnell said, but that might sour the prospective Rhino deal. "John Easdale is my friend. He has four children (actually three, with a fourth on the way) and does not have a job or a major contract right now. There's a fair amount of change on the table, and I don't want to be pigheaded."

eggBERT recently released "Looking Through," a 1989 album that Dramarama originally issued only in Europe under the pseudonym Bent Backed Tulips. eggBERT's recent Bee Gees tribute album, "Melody Fair," has won strong reviews, and Dwinnell said he is now busy compiling a similar tribute project in which contemporary alternative-underground rockers cover their favorite Hollies songs.

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