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WEDNESDAY READING: A night to remember

Wheelies, Gold Teeth and the Fucking Eagles

The Weekly Volcano's in-house drummer, Geoff Reading, publishes his bi-weekly music column on every other Wednesday. It's called "Wednesday Reading." Get it?

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Last weekend I went to a show at The New Frontier.  It reminded me of those days of my youth when music from the NW was all still our little secret.

My good friend (and everybody's favorite German) Niels told me if I could find a sitter, he would be at the New Frontier for Neil Harris' (The Frontier's proprietor) birthday party. It had also turned into a last-minute benefit for one Mr. Jason Locking. Jason is a beloved band guy in the 253 who, while making his way to a performance with one of his bands (Pioneers West) a few weeks ago, went ahead and had himself a little stroke.

Niels said the place would be filled with good people.  There would also be a few bands playing: The Fucking Eagles, Gold Teeth, and Wheelies.

The night started with Neil himself on stage. His first selection was "The Gambler." I knew it was going to be a great night.   Accompanying him at one time or another was the Fucking Eagles' harp man (and my favorite bartender in Tacoma), Greg Rodriguez, and fellow New Frontier bar-keep and Wheelie's front man Patrick Doherty. Neil then tore up a version of the Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers" at its foot stompin, sing-along best. He finished with Alabama's "Woke up This Morning." Right from the start it was clear this was a room full of friends. His last song had the Wheelies join him half way through and segued right into the first song of their set. My buddy Rusty is the drummer for the Wheelies and I'd been trying to check them out for a while.

Wheelies reminded me of Interpol, but after a few songs I decided their influences were more pure than to saddle them with a "they sound like X, Y, or Z."  I believe, much like Sunny Day Real Estate,  Wheelies have (as much as is possible in this day of global influence at the stroke of keyboard) a geographically isolated brew of passion that, while certainly possessing traits and flavors of other contemporary  acts, comes across as a distinctly original flavor.

Or maybe they sounded exactly like Interpol, who effin knows.

Either way I liked them a lot, and was really happy that my buddy Rusty ended up being a great drummer. I'm too old to lie to anyone anymore and it's a total drag having to talk around a friend's lack of prowess. Especially when they are still in the post performance glow.

Next up was Gold Teeth. MOTHER F*CKING GOLD TEETH!!!

Every once in a while the stars align, and it all happens in one glorious night. About three songs into the Gold Teeth set, I realized I may be witnessing one of those nights. Gold Teeth reminded me of a cross between Mastodon and Suicidal Tendencies.  

The frontman was probably 6'5''. If he didn't weigh a sturdy 290, I'll be shocked. Except for the previously mentioned Jason Locking, who sat on a chair while he played, the band's energy was on 10 from the second they started. They had three guitar players, a guy sorta of playing "percussion" and a guy that can only be described as a "hype man." I have never seen more beer cans thrown at one band in the span of a 40-minute set in my entire life. The magical part was, every one of the cans was EMPTY. The only beer spilled on the TEETH was at their own hands, and that was no small amount. 

After Gold Teeth left the stage looking like an aluminum recycling plant explosion, I made a fool of myself to one of the guitarists by trying to convey how blown away I was. That's the price/benefit of being floored by a band in a small club. You may get a chance to rant like an idiot directly into their faces once they've left the stage. 

I did not envy The Fucking Eagles for having to follow the Gold Teeth and what was obviously a near religious experience for all in attendance, but the show must go on ...

Previously mentioned heartthrob bartender Greg was the first person to turn me onto these two facts:

1) The Fucking Eagles had a guy blowin' harp on stage. You can deduce quite a bit about a band's sound and possible influences with that one piece of the rock puzzle in place.

2) A couple of members are formerly of one of the only Tacoma bands to ever give The Sonics a run for best band to ever emerge from the 253 - the amazing Seaweed.

The Fucking Eagles took the stage two members shy of their full roster. The drummer was setup at the very front of the stage. Having never seen them before (and having cultivated a massive beer, tequila and marijuana buzz) I can't say for certain what would be gained with their second guitarist and second tambourine player in attendance, but - even without those cogs - the Fucking Eagles threw down some high energy, swampy boogey that had a lot of folks dancing - a perfect end to the evening's live entertainment offerings.

I am still in a bit of denial about the sort of evening I was fortunate enough to be a part of. I would never use the word "scene." But it was a room full of different types of people with one thing in common. They live, and work and RULE in Tacoma. People in cities all over this country - and even the world - would be jealous of evenings like this. 

Here's to hoping it never gets out...

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The softer they come

Comments for "WEDNESDAY READING: A night to remember" (2)

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jLO said on Jan. 27, 2011 at 2:52am

I am so glad that you enjoyed that evening. That being said, It was weird, awesome and hard for me to be there. As dumb as a rocker I am, I fought (FOUGHT) to get out that day so that I could play for my friend's birthday, and with two of my favorite Tacoma bands.I tried to hide in public that night....not so easy in Tacoma, but the support that was shown really hit me harder than I expected. And I tend to get a bit emo about shit. I love this town, the people, the ones who want to make this place right about so many things. It's easy to get down on this takes more gut to believe in Tacoma. Thanks again Geoff. Tell the elder Rouse I said "hi".

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geoff reading said on Jan. 27, 2011 at 7:04pm

j LO, A brief little hospital stay for the wrong reason will certainly boil your life needs down to what is essential. As much as going out to bars ISN'T imperative, being available to accept your friends support, as humbling as it may be, lets us know, in a time of lightning fast hi's by's and didn't get a chance to cry's, that there are folks that love and cherish us. Glad you made it and then made it out. Cheers.

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