september 13, atomic 7, cuff the duke
It may have had something to do with sharing a Horseshoe bill with country cut-up Carolyn Mark Friday night, but Cuff The Duke's decision to play it corny just didn't work. The punks' warbling of mock-C&W tunes painfully off-key fell way short of any intended hilarity, and their choice to close the set by bouncing through the crowd tapping on tambourines was no more endearing.
Luckily, Atomic 7 followed up with a 40-minute lesson in no-holds-barred house-rocking. As a swankly outfitted Brian Connelly began ripping rousing leads from his stunning Gretsch White Falcon, you could see the Cuff the Duke weeds staring in open-mouthed wonderment, thinking, "So that's what a guitar is supposed to sound like!"
Atomic 7's super-tight rhythm section of upright bassist Clinton Ryder drummer Mike Andreosso kept things rolling at a fast gallop, but Connelly was on fire, mixing fluid Tal Farlow-esque finesse with blazing Link Wray-like ferocity. If they managed to get any of this kind of blasting on tape, Atomic 7's forthcoming Mint label debut, Gowns By Edith Head (due in October) should be a scorcher.
upcoming, gentleman reg
With its pretty pink-and-green packaging and tracks with titles like Two Boys In Love, there's something decidedly, well queer about Gentleman Reg's second album, Make Me Pretty.
In fact, much to his surprise, Make Me Pretty has become a definitive coming-out statement for crystalline-voiced (Gentleman) Reg Vermue.
"I definitely didn't sit down ahead of time and plan that. Of course, other people picked up on it. Because that was such a big theme on the record, I did end up thinking about it a lot and ended up coming out to everyone else who didn't already know, pretty much through the press."
Vermue admits that leaping out of the closet in the public sphere has been a bit weird.
"Even when I was talking about being gay and stuff in the interviews, I never really considered everyone who was gonna be reading them -- including family members who didn't know. But then I started getting e-mails and messages and realized I'd just come out to thousands. It's kind of intense when you think of it on such a big scale."
The disc's release helped to quell any residual familial tensions. Vermue, also a proud Hidden Camera, says his other band's just put the finishing touches on their upcoming Andy Magoffin-produced record. Until it drops, the blond Gentleman's hoping to tour in support of Make Me Pretty, with a killer backing band comprised of members of his Three Gut family -- the Royal City rhythm section is featured on his album, and the Constantines make up half of his current musical team. Check out his coming-out party at Sneaky Dee's Saturday (September 21), with pretty popsters Young Ideas opening.