Alt-Nation: In Mourning

bowieI had planned to start with a brief tribute to Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a few words about David Bowie, whose passing I haven’t had time to really process. As far as Lemmy, people always talk about Keith Richards being the personification of the rock ‘n’ roll outlaw. I love Keith, but he isn’t, Lemmy was. Lemmy never took a year off, never mind years. He toured non-stop, and put out good albums every year even though people coming to see him don’t want to hear new Motörhead songs. He never mailed anything in; Motorhead’s last album, Bad Magic, is actually a great album and the first track, “Victory or Die,” pretty much sums up everything Lemmy was about.

David Bowie was the rare musical genius who could do just about any style of rock ‘n’ roll and have it turn out great. His music could go from space rock to glam, art rock and R&B – one minute he’s futuristic and the next record is a retro tribute to Philly soul. There was nobody like him or really anything to compare him to. He was subversive and at the same time mainstream. The only constant to Bowie was that he was always cool. While the world is a darker place without Lemmy and Bowie, it is much better place because of all the music and memories they left us. R.I.P.

The Quahogs – Sunny Waste
You don’t get more Rhode Island than having a band named The Quahogs. The Quahogs have been labeled as “Deer Tick light” over the years, for better or worse, for being influenced by Americana and having a raspy voiced singer/guitarist in Steve Delmonico. But with their sophomore record, Sunny Waste, they are ready to make their own mark. The Quahogs’ material tends to be mid-tempo with slashing and sliding guitars like twangy blues of “Baby Never” and “Chevrolet.” “Dorothy” is a highlight that harks back to early ’70s swampy rock ‘n’ roll. On the love ballad “Eyes of Blue,” Delmonico hits you with lines like “she’s the reason why the world spins around the moon.”  The latter part of Sunny Waste is more up-tempo with toe tappers like “Go Forth” and “Hungover Day.” “Snow Covered” reminds me of stripped-down Nirvana. Delmonico has been through a lot to get to this point, including a life threatening illness that required months of hospitalization just to get to this point and resurrect The Quahogs from scratch. The rewards for Delmonico and music lovers alike are captured perfectly on Sunny Waste.

The Quahogs CD Release show for Sunny Waste also including performances by Smith & Weeden and Hott Boyz and goes down at the Columbus Theatre in Providence on January 16.

The Blushing Brides
The Blushing Brides are a great Rolling Stones tribute band that I’ve had the pleasure of catching a couple times and have never been disappointed. The Blushing Brides have delved deep into the Stones’ catalog, going by the songs they list on their website, and with good reason – they have been covering the Stones for over 30 years. The live sets, like the Stones, tend to focus on the hits with maybe a couple of deep cuts thrown in. The last time I caught them at Manchester 65 it had the atmosphere of an actual Stones show with a packed room and everyone wearing their Steel Wheels merchandise. Of course, it is never going to compare to actually seeing Mick and Keith. That said — it is a far more inexpensive way to enjoy the music of the Stones.

The Blushing Brides return to help you get yer ya-ya’s out at Manchester 65 in West Warwick on January 22.

Bottle Rockets – South Broadway Athletic Club (Bloodshot Records)
Bottle Rockets recently serve up a new slab of country flavored rock with South Broadway Athletic Club. Bottle Rockets hail from St. Louis and heading into their 24th year, are still writing great songs. Whether it’s the hillbilly folk of “Big Lotsa Love” or the straight-ahead rock of “I Don’t Want to Know,” Bottle Rockets deliver the goods with infectious choruses. “Big Fat Nuthin’” is an folksy ode to a stay-cation with lines like “my idea of recreation is brain dead flat line vegetation.” The sweeping “Something Good” and touching honky tonk of “XOYOU” are other highlights on South Broadway Athletic Club. On the fuzzed out “Building Chryslers,” Bottle Rockers create a new genre of grunge country with lyrics in the spirit of Woody Guthrie. Bottle Rockets come to support Marshall Crenshaw at the Narrows Center For The Arts. I’ve caught them both there a few times and how it works is the Bottle Rockets will kick the night off with a set and then come back up as Crenshaw’s backing band. It is always a rockin’ hootenanny.

Bottle Rockets will support Marshall Crenshaw to rock the Narrows Center For The Arts in Fall River on January 28.

The Dictators NYC
The Dictators NYC are the modern incarnation of legendary NYC punk rockers The Dictators. It is essentially the same band with Handsome Dick Manitoba, Ross The Boss, RI Native JP Thunderbolt, and Ramones producer Daniel Rey minus original bassist and songwriter Andy Shernoff. The Dictators NYC have all the swagger that the original lineup is noted for and will play their anthems like “Next Big Thing,” Baby Let’s Twist” and “Who Will Save Rock and Roll.” This is the biggest show this winter for lovers of ’70s raucous punk rock, so get your ass down to Newport and I’ll see you at the show!

The Dictators NYC will rock The Café at The Parlor in Newport on January 29.

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