Fistful of Lonely
Linda's Doll Hut
Sunday, April 9
A holdover from last week's Square/Wonderlove bill, but one we need to expound upon. Fistful of Lonely's Bearden Coleman once fronted the hot North County alterna-country band Shuffledown, which we unfortunately caught just once before their untimely demise. Shuffledown were terrific, an outfit well-versed in Steve Earle- and Uncle Tupelo-isms. Hang your head in whiskey-sopped depression if you never got to see 'em—and then utter a prayer of gratitude: Fistful of Lonely are just as superb (that name alone is a gem) and just as Tupelo-influenced, a crunchier combo who've rolled themselves into a ball of Telecaster Ecstasy. While Shuffledown satiated Coleman's Son Volt/Jay Farrar muse, Fistful of Lonely seems bent on appeasing his Wilco/Jeff Tweedy jones, while still leaving room for the occasional lap-steel sojourn (always our weak spot; even the worst bands sound sublime with a lap-steel). Coleman tells us Fistful is his "screw off and play loud and sloppy" band and announced to the Hut crowd, "I think you gotta be a lot drunker to like us."
Naaah—Fistful of Lonely and their barroom anthems go down just fine sober.
The White Kaps/Hey Stroker
Friday, April 14
From what we've heard, Hey Stroker have a mess of labels after 'em, like Sony and Capitol. 'Scuse us as we retch into our jackboots, but is this what the likes of Blink-182 have spawned? Lame, generic, disposable, novelty punk? How sick is that? This sick: Hey Stroker apparently thought they were being cute by doing that fucking "If I Could Be Like Mike" jingle (stretched out to much more than 30 seconds, of course), but it sort of got thrown back at them when the rather indifferent crowd actually skipped around the pit. They also did a song about titties and dicks because that's "naughty," and it's what all the kids who'll coo over them on TRL will go for, so long as the label marketing department approves. The kids will fall for it, though—they always do. Hmmm . . . what's another phrase for "Stroker"? Jerk-offs!
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The White Kaps started out nicely, with some decent punk to skateboard by, and seemed to be all about community and spreading the love, bellowing, "Why doesn't everybody come down here and sit Indian-style?" somewhat cheekily at the start of their set ("Come in here! Feel safe! Be one with us!"). Once the band found its groove, though, the moshing minions were unmoved—all they did was walk around in a circle at a quick clip, like it was a cakewalk at a church carnival. The band was fun, for a while—not Vandals fun or Drain Bramaged fun, but still fun. Until they got boring, which happened really, really fast. Their lunkheaded singer started demanding beer (hellooo? It's an all-ages room—unless he meant "root") and coerced a young lass onstage to flash her breasts. Then he exclaimed that he wanted to fuck his bassist, but ha-ha, he was just kidding, but not before mumbling something about "faggots" (silly breeder! Doesn't he know that being openly queer these days is vastly more "punk" than these old "punk" rockers ever were? Ask our friends in Pansy Division!). Then things got even uglier—the crowd kept shrinking and shrinking, the singer berated a poor soul who was trying to leave (or escape), the silences lingering after each song grew deafening, and the sound guy working the back booth actually mooned the band—the first time we've ever seen someone put an ass in a Kap! Near the end, they were reduced to doing "Bad Moon Rising" covers. It was that sad.
IT CRAWLED FROM THE MAIL BIN: Caddy Wampuss (three-song taster). Get past the little factoid that Caddy Wampuss' singer is named Toad (that, and the "Let the poetry pour from our soul in music!" quote on the back of this CD—at least they don't have any songs about titties and dicks), and there's some pretty good stuff here. "Rain" is very Adult Album Alternative—kind of like Hootie as fronted by that moaning Creed guy. "Lost My Mind" inserts nice, scraggly guitar parts and hurls them alongside some catchy melodies, while "Funk on the Water" appears to be their "message" song, seemingly about vile crud floating in the ocean, with enviro-friendly lines like "Mother Earth, she cried, when she saw that dirty sea." Awww. Does Caddy Wampuss surf Aliso Creek after rainstorms?
Info: (714) 967-3882.
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