Muck and the Mires
Dana Stewart & The
@ The Middle East downstairs
May 29th, 2004
~review by Basim
(photos from each band's
website - see links at the end of this article)
This evening, Dick’s guitar smashed into
the audience like an eleven foot wave breaking over the sea bed. That jangly
surf rock sound is as carnal as an aggitant can be; we all yelped and
hollared our voice boxes shot trying to match its intensity. You know that
reverb heavy, fist pouding rockabilly guitar sound? Dick invented it. Reverb,
and LOUD rock owes it’s health to Dick’s Surf Rock daycare center. 9 out
of 10 mansonites asked, “Is this some kind of evil surf music?!?” when
I tried educating them with Dark Entries. And besides laying the bedrock
of rebellion, Dick’s still reinventing the way we look at writing and producing
sounds. Portions of the set were spent with Dale using drum sticks to pound
power chords out on his bassist’s strings. There was also drum solo which
featured some nice call and response between Dick Dale clicking his tongue
and the skin basher’s kick.
I’m noticing more and more that when artists
persevere in one band and keep writing quality music, their fanbase expands
indefinetly. The Cramps are a good example, but Dick Dale is an even worthier
contender to smash the record industry’s view on “cornering demographics”.
There’s a point where music can’t be described by name dropping subcultures
consisting of upper to middleclass white kids trying desperately to be
unique and “down”. There’s a point where you go home and put all the music
you own into two piles: “Good” and “Bad”. Dick Dale is good, and worthwhile
people realize this. This isn’t a matter of having different tastes, this
is a matter of being mature enough to see beyond a horizon set by fashion
driven subcultures. If you can’t go to a Dale show and feel shaken up you
have some very rudimentary growing up to do. The Rock is ineffable.
It has been proven by the diversity of
the crowd: well-over middle-agers bouncing along next to youthful psychobillies.
I’ve never seen so many “Demented are Go” patches and pompadours in my
life. I wish I had used my pomade.
The two openners were alot of fun too.
Muck and the Mires are one of those trendy retro bands, who I probably
wouldn’t be caught dead listening to. At a rock concert their music is
another story. There’s some serious thematic punch to four guys dressed
in the same red and black getup with the same bowl haircut, playing agreeable
yet fun pop rock. It’s three minute long bursts of nostalgia that I think
alot of us could use in our life. For fans of the 60’s garage sound; the
soundtrack to American Graffiti, Buddy Holly or Moulty and the Barbarians.
Wanna know who really were breath taking?
Dana Stewart & the Old Howards.
This was a loud rockabilly racket done
well. Dana Stewart’s punchy drumming and lead vocals made us all shout
along. Guitarist Jeff Herring’s approach to soloing really harkened to
the classic solos of old, the kind that make you wince once they’ve reached
their peak. It was a cross between the variety of Wayne Hancock and energy
of Chuck Berry.
This is a band that needs to be seen live,
they’ll make you pull your hair out and blow your lungs. Watch your livers
Muck and the Mires
Dana Stewart & the Old Howards