Thursday, January 21, 1999
If this is a dream, don''t wake me up. There''s so much good music in town you''d think we were in the middle of week-long music festival.
Let''s warm up with the Austin Lounge Lizards who are appearing at Doc''s on Thursday (1/21). If you''re an old FAThead or current PIG, you probably know all about the Lizards, whose bluegrass-styled satiric work has been played on KPIG and its predecessors for years. In fact, a line from one of their early songs--"we''re growin'' old and fat and drunk together"--is featured on one of the station''s most frequently recurring IDs.
What''s sometimes forgotten, obscured by the hilarity of the group''s satirical lyrics, is that these guys are also very accomplished musicians.
This show marks the first show by "Sleepy" John Sandidge, of Snazzy Productions, at Doc''s--and, according to Sandidge, it''s only the first--other shows are in the works.
Austin Lounge Lizards, Thursday, 7:30pm. Doc''s Nightclub. $16. 429-7663.
If you''ve ever seen Candye Kane (maybe last year at the Monterey Bay Blues Festival where she was one of the--if not the--highlights of the fest), you know that she can absolutely dominate a big stage. So it ought to be a pretty damned incredible experience to see her in the intimate confines at Doc''s.
As you probably already know, Kane is the big, beautiful ex-stripper/porn starlet who in recent years has overcome a lot of prejudice to emerge as both a critically praised blues singer and a popular performer (particularly in California). Her performances are a mix of high-powered musical fun, liberally sprinkled with Kane''s political polemics about body acceptance and sexual tolerance.
Right now, she''s touring in support of her most recent album, 1998''s Swango, which offers even more swing than ever before in Kane''s work.
I caught up with Kane, by phone, on Tuesday while she was prepping for an appearance on the Rosie O''Donnell show. The conversation took place between a search for The Flowered Hat Box and Kane''s abduction by The Makeup People.
"I''ve always done a lot of swing," says Kane. "I got a lot of flak from blues audiences because I play too much swing, and I got a lot of flak from swing audiences because I play too much blues. But I''m a singer and I have to follow my own musical direction."
According to Kane, her background in the sex industry has been both an asset and a hindrance.
"Sometimes I wish I hadn''t recorded as ''Candye Kane,''" says Kane. "But once I had, it was very difficult to record under any other name. I think I have a bigger hurdle to jump than some singer who doesn''t have my background. It''s also hard on the people in my band. It''s difficult, because people buy into the stereotype that those people [in the sex industry] can''t have any other talent. That''s certainly not true in my case.
"I think what''s significant about me is not that I was a stripper or a porn star but that I evolved. But to deny [my sexuality], is to deny who I am. And if that helps people come to the show, I think that''s an asset."
It''s interesting to note that Kane seems well on her way to overcoming the stereotype. A couple years ago, when you searched the Web for Candye Kane, virtually all you''d find were pictures taken from various skin rags. Searching today, you''ll find many more sites devoted to Kane as a musician.
It''s an omen that augurs well for Kane''s future plans.
"I was a singer long before I was a sex worker," says Kane. "I can sing a lot of styles well; I''d like to do a gospel record--some people are surprised at that--and I''d like to do some albums in French and Spanish, and an album of torch songs. If I have a long career, and I think I will, hopefully I will be able to do a lot of different things."
Before the makeup crew grabbed her, Kane had a couple last words.
"Women should not be scared away from the show--I use my show to uplift women, especially, to be comfortable with their bodies and to follow their dreams. That''s certainly what I''m doing."
Candye Kane, Friday, 9pm. Doc''s Nightclub, 649-4241.
And speaking of women, Cherish the Ladies, an all-woman group that plays traditional Irish music, is making a rare West Coast appearance this weekend.
Not knowing much about the group, I turned to KAZU programmer David Berry, co-host of "The Eagle''s Whistle" for some inside info.
Take it away, Dave.
"Cherish the Ladies has been recording top drawer traditional Irish music for over 12 years. Although they have never performed here before now, their music has been featured many times on several KAZU programs over the years, including Celtic, folk and women''s music shows.
"Their musicianship is powerful, precise and deadly accurate, and yet characterized by a lightness and vitality that dares the listener to sit still, and their vocals can cause outbreaks of sweaty eyeballs in their listeners. They will be joined by dancers from the Patricia Kennelley School of Irish Dancing, whose dazzling performances are well-known to audiences at the S.F. Celtic Music & Arts Festivals every March.
"Cherish the Ladies'' name is taken from the name of an old Irish jig."
Sweaty eyeballs? Thanks, Dave.
Cherish The Ladies, Sunday, 7pm. Carleton Hall, Monterey Religious Science, 400 W. Franklin St., Monterey. $22/advance, $25/door. 373-7379.
Ray Wylie Hubbard is unlikely to give you sweaty eyeballs, but you might shed a tear in your beer (if only they served beer at The Media Room).
Hubbard is probably best known to mainstream audiences for writing the 1970s hit "Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother." And that''s all well and good, BUT there''s a whole lot more to Hubbard''s music than amusing, nearly novelty numbers. He''s part of the same mind-set that spawned other Texas singer/songwriters like Joe Ely, Townes Van Zandt and Robert Earl Keen.
And like them, you''ll find his music to be haunted with characters that''re soaked in beer, baked under a hot sun and lost in a world where they never quite fit in. Taste this, from the title cut to Hubbard''s ''97 release, Dangerous Spirits: "Dangerous spirits are at large in the hills/Cold dark wings are in the air/Some have been lost to the shadows within the light/And some are beyond the reach of prayer./I myself have stood with the ravens in the rain/a darkness in my heart and a younger face/And with a stolen chestnut mare and a blue navy colt/I was above the law, outside the bounds of grace.Since the time I left my revolver in the dirt/I have known peace since that hour/And now I see my life passing before my eyes/As a petal falling from a flower."
Sounds like poetry of the damned and the redeemed. And Hubbard''s performance is equally intense; in The Media Room''s small space, this should be a very special show.
Ray Wylie Hubbard, Wednesday, 7:30pm. The Media Room. $18/advance; $20/door.
And, at the last minute, Jeff White, from Whitey''s Place caught me with this morsel of info.
It seems that Funnybone Entertainment is presenting a Birthday Comedy Jam at Whitey''s Place on Saturday. The birthday boy in question is comedian William "Squeaky" Parker and he will be joined on stage by Patrick Deguire and Ali Dugar, comedians whose credits include gigs on BET, "Comic Jam" and "Def Jam." Hosting the event is L.G. Brown; music is provided by DJ EZ Cutt.
According to White, a similar event late last year sold out.
Saturday, 9:30pm. Whitey''s Place, $7/advance; $10/door plus a two-drink minimum. 646-8383.