Thursday, September 30, 1999
At first glance, Joy Drop''s story doesn''t seem to differ much from that of a lot of other bands. Formed in 1996 in Toronto, the four members, driven by a certain overwhelming passion for music, came together from varied backgrounds of rock and jazz to follow a dream. Everyone, that is, except lead singer Tara Slone, who spent a decade of her life as a student in opera and theater. It is her voice that seems to have become the finishing touch of the band''s rock ''n'' roll sound, which has been praised as intriguing, multifaceted and rich in terms of instrumental textures and twists.
Upon closer inspection however, Joy Drop does stand out from most other bands of its generation. In an era where the new, alternative rock music seems to bombard us with an overwhelming amount of frustration, anger, and utter hopelessness, Joy Drop infuses spirituality and philosophy into their songs, creating much more than just the all too familiar hard-driven rage... and it''s beautiful.
Joy Drop, Friday, 8-8:45pm, Long Bar, 372-2244.
The Long Bar seems to be the hot spot this weekend. Gene Loves Jezebel returns on Thursday with its edgy pop rock that took the world by storm in the ''80s and hasn''t been forgotten in the ''90s. When they come to town, GLJ packs the house and parties down. This time around, the band welcomes Luxt to do the opening honors. This four-piece band, hailing from Sacramento, is ready to submerge you into its hard-driven, electronic-based sound that mixes industrial, pop, rock and techno, and even a hint of blues. Luxt is ready for you; the question is, are you ready for Luxt?
And the rock goes on with another prominent act, currently featured on VH1. Meet one of the biggest alternative rock bands of the ''80s, Romeo Void, that captured audiences around the world with the unforgettable hook, "I Might Like You Better If We Slept Together." After years away from the mic, Debora Iyall returns, and judging from rave reviews, her latest collaboration with former Pearl Harbour and the Explotions axeman, Peter Dunne, is more than a complete success. If you thought that the band''s hit singles, "Never Say Never" (''81) and "A Girl In Trouble (Is A Temporary Thing)" (''84), were charged, you don''t want to miss this act.
Says Iyall: "Sex is a big metaphor for me. It''s a big life force for me as well. To me it''s an exciting place of feeling in my power. And in my knowledge." Listening to her latest efforts, there''s no doubt that she means what she says. And with 12 Volt Sex and Amazon Mollies opening the show, get ready for a charged musical experience.
Gene Loves Jezebel with Luxt opening, Thursday, 9pm, $5. Romeo Void with 12 Volt Sex and Amazon Mollies opening, Wednesday, 9pm, Long Bar, 372-2244.
Filling in the Saturday void with a huge CD release party at the BlueFin, is Monterey''s very own VERA. Semi-finalists in Musician''s Magazine''s "Best Unsigned Bands" 1996 competition, their rock ''n'' roll sound has been described as moody and intriguing in the past. When I talked to Jim Chatterton (guitar/keyboards) almost a year ago, he told me about a CD being in the works, quoting May ''99 as the scheduled release month. Well, it took a little longer than he anticipated but now the trio is ready to celebrate its completion. Helping them is another local band, InBalance, who turned heads at the "Monterey Battle of the Bands" competition in August. Let the party begin.
VERA with InBalance opening, Saturday, 9pm, BlueFin Cafe, 375-7000.