Three Chords and the Truth By Ronnie Narmour firstname.lastname@example.org
Metal Shop woo’d the girls at their show at Brewster Street last weekend. The Spazmatics… Metal Shop is the 80’s hair band equivalent of the wildly popular 80’s nerd band, the Spazmatics. They are the products of a nationally syndicated company who assembles theme bands that are part nostalgia, part theatrics and part family night out. But, to Brewster Street Ice House they are money in the bank. I covered a Spazmatics show a few years back out of curiosity and brother did I ever get an eye opener. There are several handfuls of these franchised bands around the country that call themselves the Spazmatics and its big business. They dress as nerdy character and play 80’s top 40 radio hits (Devo, Depeche Mode, Men at Work, Flock of Seagulls, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, etc). There’s about eight or ten of them across the nation and Austin provides our regional product. All of the bands essentially look and sound exactly the same. At Brewster the Spazmatics hold the coveted title of being their “go to” band and have the honor of playing New Years Eve and all the big holidays and weekends. (They will be there on February 1st.) The band usually sells out every show and plays about seven or eight times a year. It’s amazing how many people pay decent money to see this novelty act. And according to the marketing wizards at Brewster, Metal Shop is a close second to the Spazmatics and the similarities are no coincidence. Corpus Christi apparently loves cheese.
Once bitten, twice shy… So I gathered up a few of my island pals and we went to have a look-see. My little entourage consisted of music enthusiasts in four generations: 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and me… a most recent inductee into the 60’s club. My thirtysomething buddy, Roberto Feldino, was the youngest of our group but actually had the most experience among us with hair bands since he lived in L.A. when bands like Guns and Roses dominated the air waves and every young girl’s heart. Personally, the 80’s usually found me in a seedy blues or country bar with absolutely no interest in any of the commercial successes of the day. I never cared for hard rock bands like Van Halen or Motley Crue… and cared even less for those sappy milk toast top forty acts like Madonna, George Michael and Cindi Lauper. But, everyone has an opinion and if it sells million of records, who am I to judge.
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Metal Shop, Inc…
there that at one point I thought someone might I did my research actually lose an eye if on Metal Shop and they weren’t careful. discovered the name is Also present was a bevy trademarked and there of swooning groupies are many wannabe crowded together in the 80’s spoof bands out front of the stage starring there… their website warns not to be fooled Terri Hendrix and Lloyd dreamily at the band members (the guy with by lesser imitators… Maines will play the the cod piece seemed to I guess you could get Bob Schneider will Third Coast Theater on have the most dreamy a rash or something. play Brewster Street on Feb. 2nd. eyed groupies in tow… It turns out the Metal January 26th. shocker.) One of the Shop production groupies helped Ginger company is the same with his blow dryer so he one that produces the could still play his guitar Spazmatics (PWE and look good doing Productions out of Los it… kind of heavy metal Angeles) and all of multi-tasking. They went the sanctioned “Metal through the hair metal Shop” performers, song book and sounded in each of the eight just like the records: different markets Iron Maiden, Judas around the country, are Priest, Ratt, Tesla, “carefully selected and Def Leopard, AC/DC, Keith Sykes will play the directed to perform, Ozzy, Van Halen, Guns Third Coast Theater on sing, and produce the and Roses, Motley backing tracks, and Feb. 16th. Larry Joe Taylor and have been specifically Richard Leigh will play Crue, Twisted Sister, Whitesnake, etc. I directed in costuming, the Third Coast Studio on actually recognized choreography, scripted Feb. 18. some of the songs from comedy and other when I worked on schtick since it’s debut construction crews in San in 1997.” Antonio.
Please excuse my banging head, sir…
I was impressed that Brewster sold nearly 1000 tickets for this show. The dichotomy of the crowd ranged from complete family units (including young children) to a majority of forty and fifty-something local guys wearing Megadeath t-shirts, plus at least as many headbanging hotties (if not more) of every age who looked like they might work day jobs as secretaries, teachers or nurses. I saw the same similarities at the Spazmatics show… lots of big groups of friends and families who came to party in mass… it wasn’t really a big singles scene. I also observed that when I tried to wiggle my way to the front of the stage to get take some photos, everyone was surprisingly polite and accommodating. That doesn’t always happen. It was like a big crowd of friendly aging headbangers with manners.
Is that a blow dryer in your spandex or are you just glad to see me? The band looked and played like a well seasoned machine. They were all actually pretty strong musicians but I’m not sure how much of what I heard was recorded tracks. One thing’s for sure, it was ear bleeding loud. The bass player, “Ginger”, kept a hand held mirror and hair dryer going on stage and spent considerable time primping his blonde waste length fake ratty hair. The lead singer wore skin tight spandex and sported (I’m assuming here) a cod piece. They all wore skin tight spandex pants but the singer was the only one who left no doubt as to his gender. His junk was pretty much on display. The guitar player wore bright red lip stick and thick blue eye makeup and liked to purse his lips like he was blowing kisses. There was so much turbulent hair flipping going on up
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And now something a little different… This week I decided to step outside my usual rootsy box and attended a Metal Shop show at Brewster Street. It’s not really my usual cup of tea but I thought I’d check it out just for fun. I’m glad I did.
January 24, 2013
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There are a few shows I’d like to recommend in the near future. Bob Schneider (Austin, TX) will bring his bad boy ballads meet a funky Latin groove with a little rapid fire X rated hip hop thrown in to Brewster Street this Saturday, January 26th. I previewed this show pretty thoroughly in my column last week. The Third Coast Theater in Port A has announced three outstanding shows. Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines will perform on February 2nd. I recently saw these two remarkably talented artists open for Robert Earl Keen at Christmas. I’ve talked about them many times and couldn’t recommend a show more highly. The Third Coast Theatre is one of the warmest listening rooms I’ve ever experienced and I know Terri and Lloyd adore playing there. On February 9th, Richard Leigh (Nashville, TN) will play a song swap with Larry Joe Taylor (Stephenville, TX). Leigh is one of Nashville’s most prolific songwriters. I sat down with him at Shorty’s one time and he walked over to the jukebox and played something like eleven of his songs. His most famous is probably, Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue. LJT of course, is everyone’s favorite around here. He pretty much invented Island Time. On February So what, acting goofy is 16th, singer-songwriter extraordinaire, Keith Sykes, will play the Theater. good clean fun! Sykes has a vast body of work and is I realized that the crowd had Carolyn Wonderland will probably best known for writing the come to relive their youth volcano song for Jimmy Buffett. And and if bobbing your head to play the Rialto Theater lastly, the absolute baddest mama I’ve on Valentines Day. deafening rock guitar makes ever known, Carolyn Wonderland you happy, then go for it. (Austin, TX) will play the Rialto Nobody got hurt and nobody went to jail. To be Theater in Aransas Pass on Valentines Day. I’ll honest, I did get a little caught up in the moment investigate that and let you know what the deal and actually had a good time. I’m glad I went. is next week. And that’s the truth!
Thursday, Jan. 24 Free Beer Band @ Tarpon Ice House John Eric @ Island Italian Antone & the All Stars @ Dr. Rockits Local Licks @ House of Rock John Cortex Band @ Scuttlebutt’s William Clark Green, Midnight River Choir, Blue Broussard @ Brewster Street Ice House A Cappella Corpus Christi Concert @ UTAMCC Performing Arts Center
Friday, Jan. 25 Carol Elliott (5-7) @ Tarpon Ice House Samantha Aiken @ Coast Club Ray T & the City Crew @ Flats Lounge Scarecrow People @ Executive Surf Club David & Barbara Brown @ Coffee Waves Chris Saenz @ Scuttlebutt’s John Cortez @ Dr. Rockits Five Card Draw @ Brewster Street Ice House Al Amin Shrine Circus @ American Bank Center Cruise Control @ South Texas Ice House Saturday, Jan. 26 Stevie Start @ Coast Club Killamora @ House of Rock Bob Schneider, Zack Walther @ Brewster Street Phil Pritchett, Matt Hole @ Executive Surf Club Gary Moeller @ Coffee Waves Blake Sparx @ Scuttlebutt’s Mike Williams @ Hemingways Rockport Pride & Joy @ Dr. Rockits John Wolfe @ South Texas Ice House Bertha, Vegatron, The Blind Owls @ The Texan Jon Wolfe, John Eric @ South Texas Ice House Sunday, Jan. 27 Open Jam @ Tarpon Ice House Tumble Dry Low @ Bernie’s Beach House Beneﬁt for Lynn (8 bands) @ House of Rock Mike Dillon @ Dr. Rockits Open Jam @ Neptune’s Brian Permenter @ Scuttlebutt’s Open Mic w/ John Eric @ South Texas Ice House
Monday, Jan. 28 Mike Williams @ Tarpon Ice House Open Jam w/ Antone Perez @ Doctor Rockits John Eric @ Scuttlebutt’s
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Tuesday, Jan. 29 Fabian Rivera @ Scuttlebutt’s Open Mic @ House of Rock Party of Three @ Dr. Rockits Wednesday, Jan. 30 PA Rockers @ Bernie’s Beach House HOBO @ House of Rock Echo @ Dr. Rockits Uel Jackson @ Scuttlebutt’s Open Mic @ Executive Surf Club Thursday, Jan. 31 Free Beer Band @ Tarpon Ice House John Eric @ Island Italian Wade Bowen @ Brewster Street Antone & the All Stars @ Dr. Rockits Mike Guerra & Trisum @ Scuttlebutt’s Friday, Feb. 1 Mike Williams (5-7) @ Tarpon Ice House Samantha Aiken @ Coast Club Ray T & the City Crew @ Flats Lounge Shakedown @ House of Rock Spazmatics @ Brewster Street Ice House Time Pilots @ Executive Surf Club Dark Energy @ South Texas Ice House Saturday, Feb. 2 Stevie Start @ Coast Club Terri Hendrix & Lloyd Maines @ Third Coast Studio Mike Williams @ Hemingways Rockport Eclipse @ Executive Surf Club Cirque Du Soleil @ American Bank Center Abrams Brothers @ UTAMCC Performing Arts Center Bri Bagwell, John Eric @ South Texas Ice House Sunday, Feb. 3 Open Jam @ Tarpon Ice House Tumble Dry Low @ Bernie’s Beach House Open Jam @ Neptune’s 7th Generation @ Dr. Rockits Monday, Feb. 4 Mike Williams @ Tarpon Ice House Winter Sounds w/ Shirley Fischer @ PACT Open Jam w/ Antone Perez @ Doctor Rockits