Music News

Local Yodels

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And finally, though all of the previous reviews have been of full-length releases, a single by Robert M. Armstrong warrants mention for one simple reason: The song, titled "Hold the Cocaine, Pass the Cyanide," is easily the funkiest, weirdest song to cross my cluttered desk in the past three months. The tune begins with a Gil-Scott Heron-inspired monologue about drug circles, poison minds, conspiracies and "lookin' down the barrel at the booty." It then launches into a chanting, alto chorus of "It's just a whole lot of B.S." against the fattest bass line this side of "Superfly." Armstrong never bothers to spell out exactly what it is that's so much B.S., but no matter -- he's honestly passionate about it. The song continues in this vein, never making much sense and never settling for anything other than a booty-shakin', hand-clappin', gettin' freaky kind of groove. This is surrealistic funk, and it is beautiful. (Though most local acts who send in material are kind enough to include biographical and contact information, Armstrong's single arrived without any such information -- not even a working telephone number for its creator. So, Robert Amstrong, if you're reading this, please make a phone call, send a postcard or wire a telegram -- just do it quick!)

Rhythm and news: The swing club formerly known as Ninth Avenue West was officially rechristened in the Latin tradition with last week's opening of La Rumba, a salsa dance and music club modeled after real-life salsa dance and music clubs in Miami and Los Angeles. Conjunto Colores was the first band to command the mambo-mad crowd, and club promoters Jesse Morreale and Chris Swank plan to book national touring Latin bands in the future, beginning with Poncho Sanchez on November 12 and 13. Sources have reassured me that the lambada ("the forbidden dance") will be uniformly frowned upon at the new club. One can only hope they'll place a similar ban on attempting to emulate Ricky Martin's dance moves.

Drummer-for-hire Kenny James has recently become an increasingly familiar face at local venues since he began filling in for Carolyn's Mother. The band is trying to fill a vacancy left when skinsman John Rector moved to Omaha after playing with the band for a year. It's all in the inexplicable Spinal Tap tradition: Carolyn's Mother has been through three drummers in the seven years it's been together. (None were lost to anything as tragic as spontaneous combustion, however.) Manager Zach Cook says simply, "They were not as dedicated as the remaining three members of the band when it came to the success of Carolyn's Mother." Parties interested in auditioning should call Cook at 303-419-1451.

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Laura Bond
Contact: Laura Bond