Turn Up The Mains
Let’s start this off with addressing the undecided voters in one of most divisive presidential elections ever. Four years of Trump, an epically mismanaged pandemic, and a knife stuck in the long festering wound of racial inequality and yet you are still undecided. Congratulations, you are the unicorn nobody thought could exist!
Most columnists are going to try to sway you, but not me! Democracy is a myth. Hillary Clinton won the vote by nearly 3 million votes in 2016 and she lost. Rhode Island is going to throw a whopping 4 votes for Joe Biden. So take a load off and have a drink. The last time a Republican won the state was in 1984 and it’s not like there was any book written predicting that year. It’s cool, it isn’t like we have cameras everywhere though, right? I know things are contentious on Facebook with your in laws, but take another sip; the game is rigged.
Now I’m not suggesting you not vote. In fact, everyone should vote more! Especially in primaries where you actually have a say in which candidates appear on the November ballot. So vote, but then demand accountability from your local officials. Turn up the mains, let’s go!
Dropdead – Dropdead (Armageddon Records)
When Trump got elected, the glass half full take was maybe this will make punk rock great again like in the ’80s with Reagan. Welp, we got a new Dropdead record, plus their other two records have been remastered and re-released. Was it worth it? I don’t know, but maybe we’ll stick to the advice of the Doobie Brothers and “Listen to the Music.” So before diving into the biscuit, I listened to the old stuff to see if there was any drop off? Did they become Linkin Park singing about getting their periods? Hell no! Dropdead are alive as ever and the passion, which is how I measure hardcore bands, is bursting on this new biscuit. “Book of Hate” is the closest they come to Meatloaf in terms of song length (most songs are under a minute) clocking in at just under 3 minutes. This tune takes me back to what I love about hardcore, stuff like Circle Jerks. “Stoking The Flames” is genius, breaking-the-sound-barrier rock ‘n’ roll. “Hail toThe Emperor” is another banger for your Zoom election night party. It thrashes, it rocks and really just knocks your socks off. The world is a sick place and Dropdead is the soundtrack. My favorite tune here is “The Future is Yours” because in the classic tradition of the Bad Brains, it is both angry and offers light for better times. This album is available at all the usual places, but I’d suggest the place at the end of my street, Dropdead guitarist Ben Barnett’s Armageddon Records on Broadway Street. I own at least 50 records purchased from there over the years. Sadly they are closed for in-store browsing due to COVID, but you can order at armageddonshop.com and stop by for a safe pickup.
Chrissy Stewart – House of Christina
The backstory of Stewart’s debut album, House of Christina, is fascinating. She was at a show in western Mass, stopped on the way home, realized it was near the house she grew up in, ran to the house, met the owner and learned it was now a women’s shelter called the House of Christina. Mind blown, Stewart was driven to make this album. The title track is the first one that grabbed me for its haunting beauty. “Remember When” continues the ghostly sway, but underneath the handclaps there is some shredding happening. I love the dreamy folk feel of “Tired Heart Talking.” My favorite here is “Preacher’s Daughter;” it has a jazz-based swing like an old showtune. House of Christina is available on the usual streaming formats, but I got to say the vinyl sounds fucking fantastic — go to chrissystewart.com for that like I did. In addition to performing, Stewart puts on great shows and has PVDLive on Instagram where I think there is a blog of stuff to check out.
Spook Power – Devil’s Night!
This night will be a throwback to my six-year run at the legendary E&O Tap spinning Alice Cooper, Misfits and whatever else — trust me, I have a bottomless bag of tricks. I miss those E&O Days, so it is an honor to be asked to DJ at one of the last two dive bars remaining in downtown Providence. October 30 is known as the Devil’s Night, so I’ll be playing songs about the devil. That seems appropriate for 2020. To keep this a safe and socially distanced event, I’ll be DJing in the mausoleum of 38 Studios, possibly on Curt Shilling’s desk — worth every penny of that $75 million bond. So wear a costume or don’t, but wear a fuckin’ mask and let’s get weird. It starts somewhere around 8 and lasts till 11 or when they pull the plug. So let’s come together and celebrate the Devil, QAnon and whatever else doesn’t exist!
Spook Power will go down at Muldowney’s Pub on October 30 starting around 8pm. Free!
2020 has been rough for everyone, but music venues have had it as bad as anyone. They were the first to close and will be the last to reopen. Some estimates say that up to 90% of venues will not survive. We are lucky to have some gems in Providence. Askew, Dusk, Nick-A-Nees and Platforms are doing live music. So let’s keep these great soldiers alive!
RIP Eddie Van Halen. I grew up when time “Jump” hit MTV. I finally got to see him in 2007 in Boston on the day of the Red Sox victory parade, and had to crawl over some zombies to get into the Garden.
RIP Walter Lure from Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers — the original Heartbreakers and I love Tom Petty. I just finished his book To Hell And Back, which was a great quick read. The sub-title had the words “The Last Man Standing,” though — apparently not a good idea in 2020.
I feel like I’m forgetting some others, the singer of The Outfield for one, but blessings to anyone who has lost someone that was dear to them.
Email music news and fantasy football tips to email@example.com