Monday, April 12, 2010

Music Extravaganza

The logic in my head went something like this: "If I'm going to see the new movie, 'The Runaways' about the first all-girl rock band in the 70s, I must go with a she-rocker." Makes sense, no?

And so I grabbed Camille, my mohawk-wearing rocker friend who writes a song a week, or something like that, over at BloginSong. She also sings with an 80s cover band called Mullet Over. They kick ass.

The movie was gritty, awkward and totally necessary. Sure, an all-female rock band seems like no big deal these days but back then, it was the craziest idea ever.

Kristen Stewart really nailed it in her portrayal of a young Joan Jett, that dark slump and black leather pout - it was all in place. Dakota Fanning was dreamy and fragile as Cherie Curie, the 15-year-old lead singer of The Runaways. It got me all nostalgic for 70s fashion and music but certainly not all the sexism that came with it.

Michael Shannon steals every scene he's in as that freaky visionary, Kim Fowler, who makes the girls world-famous. The movie's worth your money if you're a music nerd or at least a feminist. (I'm more music nerd than I am feminist but both sides were pretty pleased.)

But the music didn't end there. We ended up at Swallow Hill, now joined by Reid, and experienced additional greatness.

First there was The Dovekins, a funkalicious band described on their site as "Psychedelic/Western Swing/Bluegrass" which is about right. Laura Goldhammer, the headliner, is also in the band and plays a mean banjo. They felt like Squirrel Nut Zippers meets M Ward. Truly awesome.

Then, there was Widow's Bane - which was a spawn-of-Tom-Waits/zombie band that completely charmed me. The lead singer looked like he'd just stepped out of a Tim Burton movie but one song he sang (about death - surprise!) brought me to real tears. Well done, dead guy & friends! I hope they come through town again.

In a completely different room, my mind was blown by Palmer Divide, a local bluegrass band with phenomenal talent and lots of great jokes. As soon as I got there, the lead singer announced, "We're going to give this shirt to whoever can yell the loudest." I thought, 'Jeez, they might as well give it to me right now.' Sure enough, that shirt was mine but really, how hard is it to outscream a bunch of folkies?

We eventually left and ducked in to a nearby lounge, where lo and behold, another amazing band was playing: Tough Grooves. The leader was a Joan Jett look-alike who could not only rock the drums but she sounded an awful lot like Janis Joplin. We chatted during the band break about our favorite female singers and we all agreed that we'd love to be Chrissie Hynde for a day.

Sometimes, good things happen when you leave the house ...


Susie said...

CH-ch-ch-ch-ch-CHERRY BOMB!!!

Loved dancing to that song and singing it at the top of my lungs. How fun, my friend that, not only is there awesome music in your town, but that you can stay up late to see it all.

Camille Bright-Smith said...

It truly was an epic Colorado Music Scene Day! And the movie made me want to do drugs and play loud music and have sex. But instead I took my mohawk home and fed the kids homemade applesauce. How things change.

Thank you for a funky time Heather!