From the word go, Toronto's Deadly Snakes were a big band.
While most high-school rock aspirations begin with groups of friends playing in trusty three- or four-piece lineups, the Snakes got off the ground as a six-piece ensemble. Kid rockers with a horn section, for Christ's sake. Start young with that kind of firepower at your disposal, stick with it six long years-practicing, playing out and digging deep into the Rolling Stones, electric Bob Dylan and the entire canon of soul music-and, yeah, you
do earn the word "deadly" in your name.
It doesn't hurt when a guy from the one modern group your whole band loved decides it'd be cool to play with you. In a sense, the Deadly Snakes modeled themselves after the Compulsive Gamblers, an early '90s Memphis band whose tough rhythm and blues didn't shirk from expansive instrumentation.
So it must have been a thrill when former Gambler Greg Cartwright agreed to record the Snakes' first record. Fate then stuck that recording session in the heart of the worst Toronto snow storm in a century, virtually trapping all involved inside the studio. When they dug themselves out, they had a blustery, blown-out rocker called Love Undone in the can, and one of their heroes signed on as second guitar player.
The Snakes followed Love Undone with a few tours, then returned to the studio with Cartwright to record I'm Not Your Soldier Anymore. That record, even hotter than their first, refines the Deadly Snakes' attack, with galloping rhythms, weeping turns to gospel and a horn section that leans into New Orleans funk. These guys have got a Memphis soul-gone-punk rock sound nailed.
Now, as the Deadly Snakes slither our way, their reputation as a blazing live act precedes them. Make no mistake, the Deadly Snakes can really belt it out. Sam Dodge Soule
The Deadly Snakes play Saturday, March 9, at Satyricon, 125 NW 6th Ave., 243-2390. The Catheters, the Nerves and Electric Eye also appear. 9:30 pm. Cover.
MUSIC & CLUBS NEWS & GOSSIP
Hiss and Vinegar
PEACE MAY BE A PIPE DREAM BUT--
--at least Ozone Records is about to live again. Music addicts wept bitter tears when the longtime record shop shuttered its West Burnside HQ in January. Now, though, Bruce Greif, one of two partners in the old Ozone, is reviving the "brand" at a new location at 701 E Burnside St. Ozone Mark II will apparently come complete with a cafe.
SO YOU WANT TO GET INTO THE MUSIC BIZ, EH?
Willamette Week can help! (You're thinking...sure, whatever, you assheads totally savaged my last band AND spelled my blasted name wrong...) But really. In April, we're publishing our first-annual Musicians Directory, and we want to stick YOUR band in that sumbitch. Give us the information--like what you sound like and how to get ahold of you--by visiting www.wweek.com/web/ musicdirectory.html and filling out a handy digital form. It's FREE, and for once you're guaranteed a mention in this rag without having John Graham's two cents on the matter shoved down your throat. Questions? Email power-mad music editor Zach Dundas (zdundas@ wweek.com).
GOD SAVE THE FIRST AMENDMENT!
A couple of new alternativey "media outlets" are set to hit the streets in the near future. Distorted Times debuts next week with a St. Patrick's Day theme--no surprise, since beer-crazed, Hiberno-philic WW contributor Abram Goldman-Armstrong has his manly hands in the deal. A group called the Blackthorn Collective is also looking to launch a new title, and invites interested parties to email email@example.com for info. The Blackthorn smartypants consider themselves way too cool to talk to WW, so we assume their zine will blow up like a daisy cutter.
TODAY'S SENSATION, TOMORROW'S TRIVIA
H and V notes with extreme displeasure that Linkin Park is popping up on jukeboxes at some of our favorite watering holes. What kind of moral degenerate plays that crap on a jukebox? They should be frickin' beheaded...Curtis Salgado's Soul Activated has been nominated for a W.C. Handy Blues Award for Soul/Blues Album of the Year. The Blues Foundation rips the envelope May 23 in Memphis...Indefatigable local riddim'n'blooze maniac Natron reports the equally unstoppable label In Music We Trust will release a Natron album in the next little while, exact dates TBA...Reliable sources claim the next big indie-rock genre could be "gangsta emo"...Brian Applegate of the one-man freakshow Reload reports he's just been appointed Deputy Medical Examiner for Washington County. "It's like...you make crazy shit, offensive songs, and the state rewards you," he says...We're sure you'll be really excited to learn Mudhoney is back on Sub Pop...England's estimable newspaper The Guardian points out that J-Lo hit No. 1 on the pop charts by moving 102,000 units in one week; three years ago, that would only have garnered No. 4. The Industry sez album sales fell more than 10 percent in '01, with further declines expected this year. The Corporate Bigwigs blame the Internet. After all, decades of mismanagement, wasteful spending, free-for-all consolidation and moronic artistic decisions couldn't possibly be to blame...Is it mere coincidence that the O Brother, Where Art Thou? comp, awarded the Grammy for Album of the Year, was the nominee with the least "industry buzz"? These are the questions that keep Hiss & Vinegar up at night.
Hiss me with your best shot. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.