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These days tribute bands are as plentiful as Twitter updates, but Hell's Belles' all-female take on Australian bad boys AC/DC caused a stir when the band formed in Seattle in 1999. That was "before the tribute thing really caught on," notes Adrian Conner, who dons Angus Young's famous schoolboy — sorry, schoolgirl — threads as lead guitarist.
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Conner now resides in Austin, where she also fronts occasional Rudyard's/Dan Electro's visitors Adrian & the Sickness, and has been saluting those about to rock since September 2001. "It was a really big deal to join Hell's Belles, she told Chatter last week while taking a break from her taxes, "because I knew I would be able to quit my day job and do music for a living."
Chatter: What was your first AC/DC experience?
Adrian Conner: I was in a high-school assembly at Kennedy High School in Burien, Washington, and they played "You Shook Me (All Night Long)." I was 14. I didn't know who they were at the time.
C: What was the first album of theirs you bought?
AC: Back in Black. Yeah.
C: This is a band that has too many racy songs to mention, but do you think any of their songs are downright misogynist?
AC: Well, yeah, like "Givin' the Dog a Bone" (laughs). Brian Johnson has some of those lyrics, and Bon Scott's kind of more gallant, like, "Ladies..." He's more about romancing the ladies, and Brian Johnson's a little more rough.
C: Do you steer clear of those kind of AC/DC songs or do you take them on?
AC: Nah, we play 'em. We play all of that stuff. We're not easily put off by that. We think it's hilarious. It's just fun. It's guy music. I went to the tour that they did for the latest album [Black Ice]; that was the first time I'd ever seen them live. The whole set reminded me of little boy stuff — a train, a big blow-up lady doll. They're all about fun boy stuff.
C: Be honest: Bon or Brian?
AC: I like Bon Scott's lyrics the best, but I like Brian's attitude. He's just a really easygoing, fun type of person.
C: Has being in Hell's Belles affected the way you play and sing in Adrian & the Sickness at all?
AC: Definitely. From getting to be Angus all the time, I've gotten comfortable doing that. I get a lot of positive feedback from the audience, and it bleeds into my live show — the whole headbanging thing. We just put out an album, and there's a song on it called "Turn It Up" that was specifically written with an AC/DC-like feel in mind, like a rock anthem-y, fist-pumping thing. I wanted to show that I really appreciate Angus's and [rhythm-guitarist brother] Malcolm's songwriting.
The landlords of Wired Live (1503 Chartres) locked owner Anosh Ahmed out of the Old Chinatown venue last week, citing more than $50,000 in unpaid rent in a notice posted on several doors of the building. Jeff Barry, attorney for SG Properties, took over as the venue's general manager, and the venue remains open. Barry said SG Properties exercised its landlord's lien in the Texas Property Code, and that "I'm going to keep his stuff until he pays me. I anticipate an amicable resolution to everything in short order." Ahmed, meanwhile, claims the unpaid rent actually went toward building improvements, and he "decided to walk away and not get any deeper into the project." The lockout came less than a week after Mike Kelly, who produced most of Wired Live's shows under the banner of his Onstage Events company, announced he was effectively leaving Wired Live (though still promoting occasional shows there) and opening The Warsaw next month in the old Engine Room at 1515 Pease.
1. Triptykon, Eparistera Daimones (CD)
2. War Master, Thrones of Tyranny (7")
3. Strange Boys, Be Brave (LP/CD)
4. Overnight Lows, City of Rotten Eyes (LP/CD)
5. Darkthrone, Circle the Wagons (LP/CD)
6. Joanna Newsom, Have One on Me (3XLP/CD)
7. OV Hell, The Underworld Regime (CD)
8. Circulatory System, Signal Morning (2XLP/CD)
9. Sun Araw, On Patrol (2XLP)
10. Heather Leigh Murray, Jailhouse Rock (LP)
2. Usher feat. Plies, "Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home)"
4. Monica, "Everything to Me"
5. Mary J. Blige, "I Am"
6. Melanie Fiona, "It Kills Me"
7. Trey Songz, "Say Aaah"
9. Yo Gotti, "Women Lie"
10. Usher feat. Nicki Minaj, "Lil' Freak"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)
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