July 21, 2010
Written by Dege Legg
GRANT ST. 30th ANNIVERSARY
The legendary Grant Street Dancehall celebrates it’s 30th birthday on July 23 with Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys and the Pine Leaf Boys. It’ll be an all Cajun and zydeco type of night with a lot of dingo boots kicking around on the dance floor. This is another in a long line of ripping shows happening at Grant Street courtesy of Bodacious Brothers Productions — the new team manning the ship in the talent booking department at Grant Street. Be there. July 23. To celebrate.
GREEN MONKEY VS. OIL SPILL
The Green Monkeys are at it again. This time they’ve organized Cans for the Coast Fundraiser for the Gulf. All donations will go toward rallying a 40-person crew to aid in cleaning the coastline in Grand Isle. There will be games, prizes, a raffle, darts, ring toss, egg hunt, green monkey Olympics, twister, skits, face painting, and live music by Sam Rey, Al Guilliot, Diego Martin, Matthew Amy, Brett Vidrine, El Domania, Foul Stench of Youth, Lil Pop & the Zydeco Chas Chas, and the Viatones. Be there at Artmosphere on July 25. Show starts at 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
You say The Independent doesn’t cover hip-hop? Peep this. Boom! Here it is. The Crown Room on Johnston Street hosts a Surge Fest production featuring rappers Tedashii and Sho Baraka on July 23.
STRINGS ON STRINGS
The Nouveau String Band and The Dream of the Marionettes Cabaret team up for “a special cabaret performance” where they’ll tear into a few numbers from the play, The Dream of the Marionettes. Bang. You heard it here. Music, chicks, strings, fancy puppets (marionettes) and acting! Do it while you still can at Artmosphere on July 24.
They’ve done Jazz Fest, they’ve done Current TV, they’ve played around, and now they’re back again to woo the Lafayette club scene. Rotary Downs returns to Lafayette with their proto-mod Malkmus and indie rock revue in full sonic force to play Blue Moon on July 22 with Emelie Guidry and the Picardy Birds opening the show.
Corey Ledet + Ryan Brunet & The Malfecteurs bring the Cajun and the Creole on July 23 at Blue Moon…The Picardy Birds, The Black and Blues, and Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes play Gulf Brew at Parc International on July 24…Joel Savoy and friends play Café des Amis on July 21…On July 23, Pine Leaf Boys and Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys play Grant Street…On July 22, Commie Hilfiger and Black Feratu play Sadie’s… On July 25, from 1-4 p.m., Sheryl Cormier & Cajun Sounds play Vermilionville… Richard LeBouef & Two Step play Whiskey River on July 25…On July 24, Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes and Luna Matto play Blue Moon…Las Vegas band Stereo High bring their mod-rock-reggae thing to Artmosphere on July 26.
The Freetown Hounds bring their double barreled, Walpurgis grind to Grant Street on July 22. Recently featured on Fuel TV’s American Misfits, they’ll be slamming through a set of slow-core, S.S. Hammerhead, beef burger strangeness that runs the gamut from deconstructed punk metal to bizarro theatricality. Rumor has it that The Hounds will be playing a version of the infamous “Robot Song” — a freaky mix of rotund hardcore and absurdist Guerilla Theater. For that alone, this gig should not be missed. The southern grooves of The Botanist open the show. Be there on July 22.
Not a lot of people know that Ricky Williams, frontman for The Freetown Hounds, is one of Lafayette’s most notorious punks and pranksters. Growing up a teenage hardcore punk in the ’80s, back when the scene numbered only in the dozens, Williams and his best friend — local legend, skater, musician, and prankster Danny Hall (R.I.P) — were two of the most notorious jokers to ever prowl the Lafayette streets, predating the antics of the Jackass crew by more than a decade. Tales of their exploits still make the rounds.
You and Danny Hall did some crazy stuff of the years. Gimmie three stories off the top of your head.
1. On a dare, we drove from Kona skate park in Jacksonville, Fla., to Lafayette naked. Rolling nude down I-10 like some Sunday truckers, totally nude for 10 hours.
2. We went to the McKinley Strip early and stashed two Burger King meals in the water meter outside of Nite Caps. Then we went back later than night around 2 a.m. when people are standing around before going home. Danny and I walked up, pulled the lid off the meter. Roaches running over the bag. And we ate the burgers in front of them, totally poker faced, no smiling or laughing.
3. We cruised down the Strip on a Friday night going 2 mph with the song “Homosexual” by the Angry Samoans cranked at full volume, getting bad vibed by the jocks. We made the block and did it again with radio static turned all the way up — like when you’ve got it tuned between radio stations. We got some crazy looks from people.
Who were the dudes you looked up to when growing up in the Lafayette punk scene?
Old school punks like Chris Cart, Larry Sorehead, Cecil Doyle, Ronnie Stevens. We were the next generation: Wess Bennett, Chris Simon, George Brown, Mike O’Brian, Ronnie Dronet, Bernard Morris, and more. Not a lot of us back then. Way before punk was on TV or the web. The cool local bands were Chaos Horde, Reality on Trial, No More Fun, Burnt Eclipse, Graveyard Rodeo, Shell Shock.
Tell me about seeing the Circle Jerks during their prime in the mid-80s?
We were teenagers. The Circle Jerks played at a place called Jacy’s in Baton Rouge. Keith Morris came out in a full upper-body brace, sat on a stool the whole show, and floored the place. One of the best shows I ever saw. Another good show was Shell Shock and Chaos Horde in New Orleans with a surprise guest. We were skanking in the pit. People were throwing fire crackers and beer bottles. It was nuts. A huge chunk of glass got stuck in my hand. Then GBH came out and played. They were the special guest. It was pretty insane.
Tell me about seeing the Butthole Surfers at John’s (old Lafayette club near Four Corners that hosted a handful of legendary punk shows).
We saw some great shows there: Offenders, Die Kruzen, Black Flag. Just to name a few. It was a gay club with a large transvestite clientele. Strangely enough, the punks and transvestites got along — Henry Rollins mentions John’s in Get in the Van. Winter of ’85. Only about 20 people showed. Before the Surfers went on stage, a large woman drank a whole bottle of cough syrup next to the microphone and out of nowhere grabbed the mic and screamed the longest, most high-pitched scream for about five minutes. Gibby freaked when he found out how little they were getting paid and proceeded to walk down the street stripping off his clothes, hollering, “What the f**k is going on? I don’t know where I’m at! I don’t know where I’m going!” It was the funniest thing we ever saw. I am sure he was on some hallucinogen.
Tell me about seeing Black Flag at the Triangle Club in Scott in ’86?
Danny booked that show. The owner of the club wore a gun and holster on his belt like a sheriff from the Old West, keeping watch over this invasion of punk kids. During Black Flag’s set, Danny was heckling Rollins a bit, in good fun, throwing ice around. Rollins looked right at Danny and said, “How would you like it if I put an ice-pick through your skull and told the cops it was an accident?!” We laughed about that for years.
Your old band Otis played with Fugazi in ’88 or so. How was Ian MacKaye?
He was kind of standoff-ish and aggravated when anyone asked about Minor Threat. He only wanted to promote Fugazi and was really harsh to some fans. Otis was like this organic industrial band — no keyboards or eyeliner. Just guitar, bass, and Danny’s drum kit, which was made out of 55 gal. plastic barrels, giant metallic O-rings, a Kentwood water jug, and a grinder that would shoot sparks. He was going for different sounds. When MacKaye heard Otis play, he was kind of puzzled, but cool.
What’s up with The Freetown Hounds?
They are a bunch of really cool whiskey drinking, panhandling, toothless chicken farmers. The band consists of x-pro skater and guitarist extraordinaire Shannon May, two drummers — Rob Rushing and Chris DeShazo — Mardi Gras Roy on bass, and my old buddy Wess Bennett, creating crazy sounds from the dark abyss. I have a good time playing with these guys.
Any advice for younger punks coming up and starting bands?
Don’t try to impress or sound like anyone. Just play the music that comes from within even if it doesn’t sound like orthodox “punk rock.” It may be more punk rock in spirit than whatever style is currently in vogue. Let it flow.
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