Alt-Nation: A Win for Tony Jones & The Cretin 3

Tony Jones & The Cretin 3 Win the WXIN Rock Hunt

Rhode Island College’s WXIN Rock Hunt wrapped at Fete last Friday, and what a scene it was as the confetti rained down in Olneyville! Tony Jones & The Cretin 3 triumphed after a journey four years in the making. Think about it – there was probably some kid in the class of 2006 who went to the WXIN Rock Hunt every year of his or her college life, wondering if this was the year that The Cretin 3 broke through. This was The Cretin 3‘s year as they were going against a field of younger, less established bands, and the timing was right. Over the years, these guys had to face eventual WBRU Rock Hunt winners like VulGarrity and Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes. Another year there was a Silks vs. Boo City vs. Indiana Handshake final that was better than the WBRU card that year. It isn’t easy winning a Rock Hunt, and The Cretin 3 should savor the well-deserved glory of their victory. I asked Tony Jones a few questions to see how it feels to finally climb to the top of the mountain.

MC:        Congratulations on the victory, now that you guys have been doing the WXIN Rock Hunt for how many years? How does it feel to finally ascend to the throne?

TJ:           This was actually our fourth year. Rob Duguay booked us for our first one in 2010 when we were a fairly new band, and we have been lucky enough to get invited back each year since. I always go into these things with the lofty goal of not coming in dead last. So, it was great to come in third last year, and we are, of course, stoked to have won.

MC:        Because of the long process through the years and the bands that you’ve gone up against, I feel like it’s time we recognize Tony Jones & The Cretin as the greatest WXIN Rock Hunt Champion ever. Will you be back next year to defend the belt?

TJ:           I can’t say enough about all of the kids over at WXIN. They really take what they do seriously and have a passion for local music and keeping college radio alive. They also do a great job of rounding up bands from all different genres. I also have to say, it’s great to see the love and reverence that the younger crowd has for loud, raw rock and roll, even if that’s not what they grew up listening to. Sadly, we will not be back next year, as once you win you’re out. However, I am talking to the station management about coming back next year in a different capacity, maybe as a guest judge or host. It would be great to be a part of what they are doing for a fifth year.

MC:        What’s the Tony Jones & The Cretin 3 song people should drop what they’re doing and go online to purchase and download now?

TJ:           Depends on what you are into because we tend to have a varied sound. If I had to narrow it down, I’d have to say “Midnight Mass” gives a taste of our more crisp sounding stuff, but “Bobby’s Shed” is a bit more strange or out there http://tjc3.bandcamp.com/album/midnight-mass-2.

MC:        What’s next for the champs?

TJ:            We have a pretty aggressive clip coming up this spring and summer, including opening for Barb Wire Dolls (Greece) on May 18 at Simon’s 677 in Providence. We’ve also been booked for PorcFest x (www.porcfest.com) on June 22 in Lancaster, NH, and we have some NYC dates in the works. Also, we’ll use some of our WXIN winnings for a trip to Danger Studios to do a bit more recording.

Tony Jones & The Cretin 3 will be at The Spot on April 26 with Grammy Award winner Larry Mitchell Trio, Psychedelic Clown Car, and Metcalf.

Sara Azriel Debuts Self-Titled EP Release

Sara Azriel has made a long journey from Michigan to college in Boston’s Berklee to the west coast to Providence. The first song on her debut self-titled EP, “Lake Michigan,” harkens back to her roots. Azriel’s vocals have a definite Sarah McLachlan meets Christine McVie (from Fleetwood Mac) feel that exudes warmth. “Be With Me” has a cozy, inviting, ethereal quality that is great for popping on and laying out in the sun on a Sunday afternoon. “Gloria” showcases the explosive power of Azriel’s pipes as the vocal melody carries the tune. “Little Wilted One” features Tyler James Kelly from The Silks on guitar and has a jazzy show tunes meets early rock and roll feel that is fun through and through. Sara Azriel’s debut is a testament to her formidable talent and passion as an artist. To win a pair of tickets to the CD Release, be the first person to go to the Motif Facebook page and post, “I want to go to Sara Azriel’s CD Release.”

Sara Azriel, The Silks, and Henrick Bain (from Boo City) will be performing at Fete on April 26 as part of the self-titled EP release.

Odds & Sods

Lolita Black and Malyssa & the Liberators are at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket on April 26. I’m particularly stoked to see The Liberators, who have been described as sleazy rock and roll. They formed in March and already have an EP due out next month! 2010 WBRU Rock Hunt Champions, Fairhaven, are at The Met Café with Satellites Fall and Last One Out on April 26. The next night at The Met, there is a huge show that has been twice postponed due to snow. Legendary Boston power-pop rockers The Neighborhoods make a rare visit to town that is not to be missed. The local openers on this, RI institution of punk Neutral Nation and Hope Anchor, are must-see. Hope Anchor has a great new disc called Never Gonna Let You Go that captures how the band has transformed into one of my favorites. The Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame takes over The Met on Sunday, April 28, for two shows. The first show runs from 2 to 4 pm and is a tribute to Eddie Zack, Bobby Hackett, Jimmie Crane, Sissieretta Jones and George M. Cohan. The night show starts at 7 pm and will feature performances by The Cowsills, Steve Smith & The Nakeds, Paul Geremia, and more! The Motif Awards will be at The Met on April 29, featuring performances by Nymphidels, Mark Cutler, and a special surprise guest. The presentations start promptly at 7 pm. MGMT is at Lupo’s on May 1 with Kuroma.

Email music news to mclarkin33@gmail.com. 

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