If you're in this business long enough, you learn how to spot incipient trouble. Here's how to tell if your band is/has been...
Telltale Quote: "Does anyone have something to help wake up/take the edge off/revive the guitarist?"
Vinal Edge Records
Best Case: Get famous for your excess, then clean up, reunite, film your Behind the Music episode, write the tell-all book, and cash in on subsequent comeback album (Mötley Crüe).
Worst Case: OD and see your bandmates / widow cash in on your cred and popularity with posthumous releases while you become the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question — or, worse, no one remembers you at all (The Germs, G.G. Allin).
Been There, Done That: "You've got to know the difference between being a drug user and a used druggie," says recovering junkie Al Jourgensen of Ministry.
Telltale Quote: "Hey, dude, where's our van?"
Best Case: Your fans pitch in through Paypal to help replace the equipment, replenishing faith in your chosen calling (Film School) and possibly get it returned years later (Sonic Youth).
Worst Case: A homicide charge against the guitarist for killing whichever band member left the keys on the dash.
Been There, Done That: "You don't think when you pull over in a van with tinted windows, locked doors and an alarm system for ten minutes in the middle of the day on a busy street, that's where you're going to get robbed," recalls Pelican guitarist Laurent Schroeder-Lebec of the headbangers' recent mishap in Rome. "If you're not vigilant at all points, someone is going to get you somewhere."
Spending Too Much Time Together
Telltale Quote: "If you don't stop making that clicking noise with your tongue, I'm going to pull it out through the back of your neck."
Best Case: Take some time off to decide if a lineup change is necessary, or whether it's time to pursue that solo career you've always dreamed of (Sting).
Worst Case: You build a band of animatronic robots to replace your unreliable bandmates, only to have them enslave you. (Captured! By Robots)
Been There, Done That: "Anyone that you spend that much time with is going to annoy you. Even your best friend's probably doing something annoying to you ten to 15 percent of the time," says Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull, after 300 nights on the road last year. "Being on the road is essential, so if you're sick of your bandmates, you're probably doing something right."
Notsuoh owner Jim Pirtle, beset by Hurricane Ike damage and a recent burglary, said last week on his MySpace blog he's considering an investment banker's$2.8 million offer to buy the property. Considering. "I'm not giving up the place just yet," he told the Press...Fitzgerald's hosts the second annual Jerry Lightfoot Memorial Concert 2 p.m. Sunday, with proceeds benefiting one of the late blues guitarist's frequent musical partners, Big Walter "The Thunderbird" Price. Performers include Trudy Lynn, the Shadowcasters, Tommy Dardar and Bayou Monster. See www.houstonbluessociety.org for more details... Heroes Hip Hip Hooray wants to turn your tots into rock and roll fans. The band consisting of Captain Kim, Nurse Nancy, Fireman Frank, Ranger Rita, Police Officer Patty and mascot Bernard the dog releases its self-titled debut at 10:30 a.m. next Saturday, November 29, at Cactus Music. See www.meandmybrotherproductions.com for more.
Vinal Edge Records
13171 Veterans Memorial Dr., 281-537-2575
1. Bohren & Der Club of Gore, Dolores
2. Earth, Bees Made Honey (double LP)
3. Gore, Hart Gore (LP)
4. Gore, Mean Man's Dream (LP)
5. Dungen, 4
6. No-Neck Blues Band, Clomeim
7. Slayer LP reissues
8. Of Montreal, Skeletal Lamping
9. Mount Eerie, Lost Wisdom
10. Fucked Up, Chemistry of Common Life
The Night Train with Natalie J
KCOH (1430 AM), Sundays 7 p.m.-12 a.m.
Selections from DJ Natalie J's November 9 playlist
1. Night Train introduction
2. Dinah Washington, "Blue Gardenia"
3. Dizzy Gillespie & Orchestra, "A Night in Tunisia"
4. Donald Bird, "Cristo Redemptor"
5. Etta James, "Embraceable You"
6. Frank Sinatra, "The Way You Look Tonight"
7. Gato Barbieri, "Europa"
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8. Hoagy Carmichael, "Stardust"
9. Abdullah Ibrahim, "Earth Bird"
10. Barbra Streisand, "Somewhere"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)