Resolved to…Resolutions, yeah, I was supposed to have some of those this week right? Some serious, some funny (allegedly), some obtuse. Here’s the problem…I can’t remember a single one. I didn’t even imbibe to excess on New Year’s Eve (the night before was tough though) so I have no excuse. Realistically, I would have broken all of those resolutions before next week anyway so we can just save the space – but that doesn’t mean you’re free just yet.
While I haven’t any great resolutions for myself, I do recognize that this is the time of year when everybody joins a gym or signs up for a marathon (all you personal trainer types love this time of year – you know who you are). So here’s a self-improvement suggestion for those of you with a live music obsession. Get some plugs. Yeah, ear plugs. Ear damage is real – check out the testimonial of legally deaf former Poi Dog Pondering manager and DJ, Carolynn Travis at Earlove. The experts (or at least the government) claim that hearing loss starts with extended exposure to sounds over 85 decibels (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band at Starbar do less than that).
There are lots of earplug options out there. Foam inserts can be found cheap at Home Depot or Lowe’s (and maybe InTown Hardware) in packs of 6 to 10 for about 50 cents a pair. You can also buy a pair on the fly at the bar at Starbar for $1 (thankfully). These get the job done but do compromise the quality of the sound by eliminating many of the highs and muddying the sound in general. For this reason, you can often see me with only one in at a time. Note here that rolled up beer napkins can be just as effective (if less comfortable).
A more expensive but far superior alternative is a pair of musician’s earplugs. Check out Etymotic Research for a high quality but affordable ($12 plus shipping) earplug that will reduce the db level without compromising the spectrum and will look a little less obtrusive in the ear. Whatever your choice, you will enjoy your next heavy show (and the one after that, and after that) much more if you don’t wake up the next morning with tinnitus and the real risk of losing a little bit of your aural range.
Okay there’s your first soapbox post of the year. Many more to come friends. I’ve got 51 weeks left. Let’s get to the shows (and you will soon see why I am talking about ear protection).
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It was only last week that I told you I only mention cover bands if I have a friend in the band, and the only other cover band that I have plugged in this space was based on a great idea – recreating the music of Bob Dylan and the Band (A-List Archive 11/23). This week’s lead-off show combines both.
She-Ruption will be at the Five Spot on Friday night. These four ladies bill themselves as the world’s only “she-creation” of classic Van Halen. Why didn’t somebody think of this earlier? I love the first six Van Halen albums and even found myself asking a friend last week whether or not David Lee Roth could have made himself look like more of a girl on the back cover of 1984 (minus the chest hair of course). This just makes perfect sense. No need to steal glances at the buxom big-haired, bottle blonde in the crowd hoping that she will flash the stage when there are chicks on stage! Really, this is like Reese’s – the perfect combination. Doors are at 7:00, look for Diva Lee Roth and her cohorts to take the stage around 8:00.
Make it an evening in L5P on Friday. After Five Spot, cross the street to Sweet Lime for some edemame or wander up Euclid to The Porter for a beer before you make your way to Starbar (sorry I’ve linked you guys enough for one week) to see Pistolero. I don’t know if the band borrowed the name from the Juno Reactor tune, the Frank Black album, or an Antonio Banderas clip but I like it. The sound is similar to that of local boys Gringo Star, which is to say an updated return to the late sixties brit pop sound. This is not at all offensive if you like Oasis or can remember the Kinks. They will be joined by Attractive Eighties Women who at least have a clever name.
If none of that appeals to you then you have either Friday or Saturday night to check out The Long Ryders at The Earl. These guys were doing alt-country in the early 80s (during the ascendancy of David Lee Roth) long before it was cool or even called alt-country (whatever that is). Playing with a little twang at that time was far more rebellious than aqua net on an poorly trimmed mullet. This band is getting together after 17 years on the shelf so we really don’t know what we will get, but as a fan of the genre I want to check it out. For more extensive coverage of the show and the band, check out the cover story of this month’s Stomp and Stammer.
It’s a little thinner than last week’s “monster” A-List but that might be just the right way to start off a new year.