Cowboys and cowgirls 

Ol' gravel throat himself, Bryan Adams, sounds a lot better live than he ever did on the radio. His show at the Auditorium Theatre on March 9 brought out more stonewashed jeans and mullets than there were in the summer of '69 (sorry, I couldn't resist --- cuts like a knife, doesn't it?) Adams looked and sounded lean and mean and bluesy with a loud yet decipherable (this frequently is not the case at the Aud) band.

          Opener Jen Chapin --- that's right, Harry's daughter --- belted out some stripped-down soulful jazz accompanied only by a string bass. It was super tasty, sexy, and just a wee bit too heady for the 1,500 or so honkies who came for some rock 'n' roll. Watch for this chick, she was really cool. The cat's outta the cradle now.

          I missed The Purrs last show. I guess I just wanted to remember them how they were. But hey, I heard El Destructo is gonna start a girl band next. Cool.

          Two Saturdays ago it was Mid-Air Collision's last show. JJ says he's out of material. I hope he puts together something soon. I really liked this band. They were unique to this scene and drew from obscure rock references --- some so odd, in fact, that they haven't even heard of them.

          Openers and crowd favorites The Veins rocked melodically hard and sweet with the addition of a second guitar player. This added to the group and thankfully didn't crowd the sound. They just sounded more like the album. Jett is still God.

          Cleveland's Red Giant played tight, jolly, and hard, sporting three guitar necks operated by two guitarists. Some call it stoner rock. I just call it heavy. Maybe 'cause I wasn't stoned.

          Harmonica tip of the day: Rob Cullivan says use the first four holes only.

          Friday night I heard spaghetti-western twang swirled up through the Jamaican palms via the Canadian tundra as The Reggae Cowboys took the Montage stage. Deep one-drop grooves with synchronized stage stepping --- these guys were cool and enthralling.

          Saturday afternoon you could hear 1,000 hearts breaking as Rochester drummer-scenester-social studies teacher Ernie O said, "I do." It's the end of an era. Am I the only one left who believes in the institution of bachelorhood?

          Yeah, the blues is all right but John Mayall is a big baby. I think when an artist shows up in really comfortable shoes and a fanny pack, it's not going to be a good show. Mayall was more keen on hawking his wares from the merchandise table or finding out who stole his peanut butter than he was in rockin' the joint. The packed house dug him, but I found him to be pretty lame. The opening act was cute, but acted like a bunch of jerks too.

          It's Monday night. Do you know where your Thundergods are? That's right, somewhere on stage rockin' it right. This is simultaneously Rochester's best and sloppiest band --- often in the same song.

          A false start or a little song list confusion doesn't sway these guys. Their rock fandom shines through. They're the ones responsible for my Close'n Play blowing up after I spun their "Soulcrusher" seven-inch years ago. Thanks, guys. It cost me eight bucks at the Blessed Sacrament sale.

          The T-Gods opened Monday night at the Bug Jar for LA underground rock legends The Lazy Cowgirls --- who were anything but. Looking like a quartet of dads, the band rocked hard with awesome guitar tone blaring from both sides of the stage. What?

          And for all you morons who teased me for diggin' Maroon 5 --- "Oooh, they're just a boy band" --- they're huge now. Told ya. And their song, "This Love," is great. So up yours.



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