Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Joe Dodge's "Hell Outta Dodge" CD!

Joe Dodge, after all of these years, has released a new CD! It's a heavy metal psychedelic pop rocker. It has a real commercial sense about it; Joe knows how to write a song. Overall, the sound has a lot of the '80's hard rock in it. I don't want to name all of the associations that this reminds me on in this first paragraph; truss me!

And it is excellent!  It's also recorded really well. It's got a real, full sound. Lotsa power.

Tucsonans will remember Joe from Jonny Sevin and Yard Trauma. Joe's a solid songwriter, and he's also a very good singer. He's not a screamer, and he's not punker...he actually sounds more like Stan Ridgeway from Wall of Voodoo (similar type of voice).

The cover of this CD shows him looking like a real bad ass dude...I wouldn't want to mess with him! He's got a picture of himself looking looking very tough and scary, leaning against a wall with his geetar.  Other images that adorn the cover are dripping blood lettering, a picture of a grinning devil, and a cover photo of billowing rain clouds.  

The lyrics and the liner notes would lead you to believe that Joe has has gone off the deep and, and that his life is basically over...he's even used a creepy dripping blood font for the albums title...but this this album is a solid work of rock n' roll! Catchy licks! Hooks! Harmonies! Clear enunciatoion of lyrics! There's a really attention to the songwriter's craft here. 

The album as 10 songs on it. Let's review each one, briefly....
1. Rainy Afternoon: Starts out brooding, ominous metal...then it turns into psychedelic metal when Joe starts singing. Lots of layered vocal; Joe harmonizes throughout with himself. I can't get over the feeling that this is psychedelic rock (from the '60's) with heavy metal drums and '70's hard rock noodling leads. It's quite good!

2. My Demons Are Chasing After Me:   starts out with some throbbing pounding metal (ala Van Halen or KISS).  I keep thinking of Stan Ridgeway(from Wall of Voodoo) singing with Van Halen. The chorus is "I live in fear when they get near". Great lead solo!

3. Into My Hand: Starts out with some heaving riffing. Sounds like a hardcore break, with the  counting off the tempo on the high hat before going into the song.  On this tune, the singer/narrator details all of the way that his life has gone wrong, and how he's always ending up with a drink in his hand. The subject matter is rough, but hey, this stuff was written for the dance floor! It's impossible to not start playing air guitar to this song! Very catchy!

4. My Addiction: Nice acoustic intro. Nice acoustic rock tune. A "slow song".  Well put together. Harmonies on the chorus! Catchy, with lots of hooks: "Myyyyyyyyy Addiction!"  Joe does a great job harmonizing with himself.

5. Evil Spirits: Starts out really cool; pounding and understated, like a toned down Iggy Pop. Has a restrained, ominous feel to it. Starts out a bit paranoid: "They watch me from the shadows..." Builds up intensity as it goes into chorus, "I've got evil spirrrittss!!" Another great lead solo. Van Halenesque once again. Joe also knows how to end a pop song! These are very well put together (insert cheering crowd noise)

6. The Eyes of Spanish Girls:  This tune has a touch of "Zorro" in it; Spaghetti western surf fuzz...
It really starts sounding like Wall of Voodoo on this tune. There's also this "backwards masking" sound that's shows up here..."Shhhhhhhhhh-oop!"   Very cool

7. The Lonely One: This one is homage to the early Beatles! Complete with the clacking on the wood block. Sounds sorta like "Till there was you" from "Meet the Beatles", and the lead solo sounds like George Harrison made a guest appearance. And the best yet: the " la la la!" background vocals! Obviously, Joe Dodge is a fan of the early Beatles! Boy, was this one a surprise! The CD cover leads you to believe that you're about to get stuck in a rainstorm...and what a surprise! Fun in the sun, and love on the beach! The lyrics are sad, but the music sounds like hot coco. Sweet! Innocence is back!

8. Johnny: This song is built around some crunchy Neil Young -styled riffing. Reminds me of Neil Young's "Ohio" in places, but with a little more rust. The song is about a 17-year old dreamer; a kid who later in life ends up being a has-been. A guy who gives up on life.  Depressing stuff, but again, the band and the song writing are great. Another really good lead break too. It's odd listening to this music, because lyrically, they're often about a guy who can't get it together. But musically, they are very together. Great stuff, especially for an overcast day.

9. Mystery To Me:  This sounds like a hit! Reminds of something that Jonny Sevin might've done, with that creeping riff, that reminds of something that Dr. Dre might do; very contemporary! This is solid songwriting. Great performances by everybody. (Joe, send this one to Jonathan L!)

10. Running Out of Time: Powerful riffing intro. Choppy riffing predominates throughout.  Joe's message in this song is that "we're running out of time, time is running away". So true! This song has a real urgency to it, but it also cares a lot about being a great rock pop tune.

....and that's it, in a nutshell! Joe Dodge has put out a really great album. Every song has hooks, great riffs, energetic playing, and some winks at some of the greats in rock's past.  Solid, all around. Great work, Joe!

(I have now idea where to find this album, however! But it's out there, and rocks, with real musicians playing real instruments!)

story and illustrations (c) 2013 by Howard Salmon

Friday, December 30, 2011

Exclusive Interview Al "Dick" Perry...2012 Presidential Candidate!!

Tucson singer-songwriter Al "Dick" Perry has thrown his hat in the ring as Republican candidate in the upcoming U.S.Presidential election. SLIT music fanzine is fortunate enough to have been granted his first interview with the press! Read on....!

from the front page of Al Perry's presidential nomination papers

SLIT:  In your songs, you've talked about "Losers". Does President Al Perry have anything to say to "Losers"?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: President Al Perry has absolutely nothing to say to "Losers".  President Al Perry is a "Winner" who is devoted to winning, and victory.  Losing is not an option.

SLIT: What's the most important problem facing America today?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: There are so many problems facing America today.  I think our system of "campaign contributions" and "lobbying" constitute LEGALIZED BRIBERY.  You don't hear of any candidates talking about  the issues.  Instead it's all about fundraising.  This puts our representatives in the position of being beholden to corporate interests, instead of the citizens.  A reform of this system would go a long way in terms of changing things.

Another snip from Al "Dick" Perry's nomination papers

SLIT:  Which Arizona politician is your mentor or inspiration? Have you met?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: A couple obvious ones: Gabrielle Giffords, and Raul Grijalva.  I've met both of them. Arizona is rightfully proud of them, and they continue to inspire me. We're fortunate to have them.

A couple other  favorites are Ev Mecham, Sheriff Joe, and that good ol bumbling Mayor Bob.  They are not a source of inspiration, but rather a source of comedy. They show what NOT to do.

SLIT:  What are your plans for stimulating the economy?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: Besides my answer to #2 above, I believe the corporate charter should be immediately abolished.  This states that a corporation is legally obligated to produce maximum profits for the shareholders. They can be sued if they don't. I think this is largely responsible for why many of our jobs have been outsourced. Also, let's get a fair tax structure going. The corporations and the wealthy are not paying their fair share of taxes. It's pretty easy to figure this stuff out, though our elected representatives just don't seem to get it.  They don't get it because they are all bought off.
Most idiots think that our problem is the unions and the unnecessary regulations that force companies to get out of the country.  They move to other countries because they don't want to pay American workers a living wage, and they want to obtain obscene profits.

SLIT:  Is Circle K sponsoring your campaign? If no, why not?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: No, but that's a good idea. Except then I'd be beholden to them.  I have certainly put enough Circle Ks in my watercolors!  Good of you to give me this question, cause I've been so serious up until now.  The thing is, people expect me to take this as some sort of joke, but my campaign platform is deadly serious. I have some proposals that will change the course this country is on.  I am not trying to be zany and tacky here.

SLIT: What's your campaign slogan? Does it rhyme? If no, why not?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: Don't vote for Rick! Vote for a Dick!  My name on the ballot will be appearing as Al "Dick" Perry.  Homage to another Dick, Richard Nixon.  If anyone can think of a better slogan, though, let me know.

SLIT:   Should politicans "rock out"?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry:  I think you know the answer to that. Of course they should "rock out"!!!! Music has been a source of inspiration to me all my life. Everyone should ROCK OUT!!!!!

SLIT:  Do you have any plans to record a campaign album? Any ideas for a theme song?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: No plans.

SLIT:  So who's your First Lady? (Go on! Just pick one!)
Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: Heck I don't know! Shawna Forde?

SLIT:  How big a role do the arts play in Al Perry's America?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry:
The arts are EXTREMELY important in my life.  We all benefit from the arts.  Our lives are enriched by the arts, no matter what branch of the arts you're referring to. I feel that education, and the arts should be partially subsidized. Of course we have much more important things to spend our tax dollars on like useless wars and Wall Street bailouts, right?
Good ol Obama ended up with "Obamacare" which in 2014 mandates that every American must purchase health insurance or face a fine.  I propose "Perrycare" which states that all Americans are mandated to buy a turntable and a few Beach Boys albums. Maybe some Buck Owens too.  No CD players, no mp3s. There is a reason why vinyl (and analog in general) is a superior form of music delivery.  I am doing this for the mental health of the nation.  Listen to "All Summer Long" and you'll see why.  If you like, I can explain the physics of it, and I can also recommend some good turntables and stereos to purchase.

SLIT:  President Obama has recently stated that "laziness is his worst fault". What do you see as your biggest fault?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry:
I don't concur w/ George W. Obama on much, but laziness is likely my worst fault.  Plus I am kind of stupid and a doofus.

SLIT:  President Obama was recently described as "Spock-like" due to his cool controlled demeanor. Do you think it's fair to compare politicians to space aliens?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: I certainly can't compare them to human beings!

SLIT:  What's your opinion of the "Occupy" Movement? Is it an effective vehicle for creating economic fairness?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry:
I agree with their points, I don't think the method was appropriate.  Pitching a tent in the park and having a drum circle while they claim that the Constitution trumps basic laws, I think is pretty doggone silly. I think my candidacy is likely pretty doggone silly too, in a certain way.  However I do feel I am participating in the political process.

SLIT: Is pepper spray good for the country?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: I am not sure about that.  I had this problem recently:  Every time I had sex, I would get a horrible burning sensation in my eyes.  Turned out it was the pepper spray causing it. So, maybe it's not good for the country.

"I propose 'Perrycare...for the mental health of the nation"

SLIT:  Any creative ideas about how we could use cactus to promote tourism in Arizona? ("We Got Cactus!")

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: That song, which was written by one of my greatest pals, Bob McKinley of Bloodspasm is the finest song ever written about Arizona.  I can't stress that enough.

SLIT:  What's your foreign policy? Who's for us, and who's against us?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: I do not think we should be invading sovereign nations.  These costly military adventures have destroyed our reputation as proponents of democracy, freedom and liberty.

SLIT:  FDR said "the only thing to fear is fear itself". Is that true?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: I'd say so, yes.  If that were not true do you think a doofus like me would put his name on the primary ballot?

SLIT:  Are there any formative experiences you've had that have made you the politician that you are?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: Hard to pin something like that down.  I come from a family of Republicans. I'm not rebelling or anything, but I've always been exposed to both sides of the political fence. I just got back from the holiday festivities, and they all love that I'm doing this.  Despite any differences I might have with them politically, I really love my family. I think if you read my campaign platform paper you'll see that my simple suggestions for getting this country back on track appeal to anyone of any political stripe. I use logic, common sense and basic human decency when I evaluate an issue.

SLIT:  Are Arizona's best days yet to come?

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry:
Well, I sure hope so! 

SLIT:  Thank you candidate Al Perry! Please add anything else you'd like to say to our readers!

Candidate Al "Dick" Perry: I know a lot of people are gonna expect me to be funny and zany, and I could easily do that and make a joke out of this whole thing.  However I have some valid points that I'd like to be heard.  People have told me for years that I am the "unofficial mayor of Tucson" and that I should run for something.  So I guess I could run for, I dunno, city council, then mayor, then governor, representative, the Senate, etc... But there are too many problems facing our country that if they are not addressed in a timely fashion, we'll go right down the damn tubes.  So, I'm starting at the top!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Howe Gelb and Thoger Lund at Pioneer Hotel Lobby...12 NOV 2011

half of Giant Sand...rockin' a hotel lobby on a Saturday night...
As I was checking out "2nd Saturdays" in downtown Tucson last night, I was walking down Stone Ave, and I saw a cluster scraggly looking people hanging out in the lobby of the Pioneer Hotel. At first, I thought it was some sort of shelter for those without homes to come in from the cold...but when I got a closer look I saw that it was the audience for a musical performance! I recognized Howe Gelb and Thoger Lund on center "stage" (see photo), so I walked right in...

I caught about three songs (stuff from their recent "Blurry Blue Mountain" album, I think), as I leaned against an elevator door.  Howe was the last musical act that night; others included Tom WalbankChris Black (who had framed artwork from his just recently recorded CD on the walls)., and Gabriel Sullivan,   Infants were crawling around the lobby, squealing and boucing to the music. The atmosphere was very odd and surreal.

I think that this event was hosted by the Tucson Pima Arts Council, since several of their people were there (with their kids). Artwork from each of the musicians adorned the wall (you can see some of it in the background), with Howe Gelb having created a large piece of "folk ark" (which was actually five pieces of butcher paper on which Howe told a story, drawn with a Sharpie, about a mishap with woman he'd had several years ago outside a Texas nightclub).   This gig was definitely off the beaten path, but very enjoyable for those who happened to discover it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

CD Review; THE SWIGS: "Johnson Family Values" (Sapient Records)

The Swigs' new CD "Johnson Family Values"
I really am enjoying listening to the new album by Tucson's The Swigs, called "Johnson Family Values".  The focus of this album is really on creating a certain '70's-era band sound, with lots of lead guitar noodling (with a variety of effects pedals), combined with virtuoso musicianship. But it also goes beyond those initial models, by doing remakes of classic songs by Bowe, the Bee Gees, and the Rolling Stones, that (in my opinion) surpass the originals.

The eight songs are evenly divided between covers and originals. It's really nice to hear solid musicianship, and it's nice to hear such loving tribute given to the hard rock bands of the '70's.  Listening to this album, I'm hearing shades of some of my favorite ball-yankin' rock n' roll bands, such as Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy -- but it's done with respect. There was a time when whenever anyone quoted a '70's-era hard rock band, it was for comedic effect. The Swigs play straight-ahead 70's-inspired rock n' roll, without irony, and it sounds great.

The first track, an original tune called "Transmissions",  starts out with a punk sound ala The Saints or Thin Lizzie, and then goes into a musical jam that contains a keyboard riff that sounds right out of Deep Purple, Hammond organ and all. This is followed by a cover of David Bowie's "Let Me Sleep Beside You", although the Swigs turn Bowie's 1967-era bubbly pop song into a psychedelic distortion-filled rocker, sounding a little like Free.

Next is another original tune, "Raw Little Animal", which has a funky ball-yankin' sound reminiscent of Aerosmith, but at the chorus, has a sound reminiscent of the layered guitars of Rush.  This is also a great showcase piece for Kevin's virtuoso guitar noodling, which is a central part of the Swig's sound.

The fourth song, "Alone", is a Bee Gee's cover. When the Bee Gee's did this, it was slow paced syrupy pop (that sounded like overproduced Beach Boys in places), but after the Swigs have their way with it, it sounds more like The Clash in their early years. Just as they did with David Bowie's "Let Me Sleep With You", the Swigs take a a sweet lush pop song and turn it into a rock grunge anthem by speeding up the tempo and adding layers of guitar fuzz. Personally, I prefer The Swigs versions of both of those songs just mentioned, because they give them more grunge and earthiness.

The fifth song, an instrumental called "Omas Ludvig", is a showcase piece for the band, especially for Kevin Henderson's guitar work.   The bass and drums do a great job holding the song together. The drummer (Mike Troupe) is a great drummer; he know all kinds of of rock licks that sound just right, and Eric Syder does a fine job on the bass.

"Downtown Lucy" (the 6th song here) is one of my favorite cuts.  Just as with the Bowie cover, and the Bee Gees cover, the Swigs do it again! They take an old Rolling Stones song (from their "Metamorphosis" album) and actually improve it! The original has a down-home lazy feel, with the Stones all singing along to a single acoustic slide guitar (before launching into a rock jam). The Swigs turn it into something that sounds like T-Rex playing through a stack of Marshall amps.

"Fire Ants" is another instrumental, written by bassist Eric Snyder. Starts out sounding like Hendrix on "Voodoo Child", but then goes into an extended jam that sounds like U2 playing Hendrix's "Third Stone From The Sun", with the chorus sounding like the wall-of-guitars sound of  Rush. At least that's the best way I can describe it. You can get lost in the layers of sonic texture. Pure pleasure!

 The last song on the album, "Wasted Waitress Waltz" is another showcase piece for the band. First of all, it's not a waltz. Second, this song features a lot of frenetic strumming combined with effects pedals, along with driving drums and frentic bass. This song is instrumental, and everyone in the band shines.

What I really like about The Swigs is that their sound is firmly rooted in the sounds of classic hard rock; they've got a sense of roots. I also like they value musicianship, as is evidenced by the number of instrumental numbers on the album.  They embrace the bands and sounds that punkers outright rejected a few years later (with the advent of quirk pop and punk sounds of "New Wave"), making making them sound fresh and interesting again. "Johnson Family Values" is an album that grows on you. There's no bad cut on the album. There are musical layers that keep it always interesting to listen to. They did a really great job on this disc, and I look forward to seeing them next time they play a gig.

"Johnson Family Values": a great album from The Swigs!!

Sapient Records website

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fish Karma & The Love Beowulf Alley Theatre (27 March 2011)

The Beowulf Alley Theatre great place to see a band, especially in the middle of the day. This gig took place just before noon, on a Sunday, as part of the Tucson Fringe Festival. The venue is very nice, and is set up for the theater. Great acoustics, comfy seats, and not a bad seat in the house. It looks like it holds about 75 people, and today, it was about half full.
2/5 of the Love Generation, rocking out
I was surprised to see that the Love Generation, this morning, attracted a wide range of people, from punkers, to little kids in diapers, to hippie chicks, to little old ladies. Fun for the whole family; It was actually kind of funny watching Fish (Terry Owen) singing some of his rude and hilarious songs with his lyrics flashing the  large screen in a PowerPoint presentation, while the little old lady in front of me watched with rapt attention. 

Musically, the band can really play:  sometimes heavy metal, sometimes country twang.  Fish was standing center stage, reciting and ranting his lyrics, while dressed for business, wearing matching coat and pants.  The songs are from the bands "Halloween in America" album, and as a whole, they comprise a "rock opera", which were popular in the early 1970's. Come to think of is, that band's sound does make a lot of allusions to rock music from a bygone era.  They're like a hyper-literate garage band, except instead of songs about cars and girls, they sing about existentialism, angst, ennui, despair, and  current events.

At today's show, the band embraced the fave audio-visual tool of the corporate world: the PowerPoint presentation, using it to good effect to help the audience understand the lyrical content (by projecting lyric sheets above Terry's head), and also to add a few visuals (mostly Terry's photos of abandoned storefronts, or other imagery that illustrated his lyrics). I hope that Terry noticed the irony in all of this: while at odds with much of consumer-culture (in his lyrics), he does make an exception for PowerPoint!  Did I mention that Terry is also a great cartoonist? Hey Fish, next time you do a PowerPoint presentation, add some of your drawings!

Fish Karma & The Love Generation & PowerPoint

 On a corner of the side of the stage, local singer/songwriter Al Perry served as narrator. Reading from a script on a music stand, Al read a script that linked together all of the individual songs into a sort of patchwork story.

As a "rock opera" (a very mid-60's, early-'70's thing to do) the approach was pretty straight-forward: each song was separated by a narrative interlude by Al Perry. The lyrics to each song flashed behind Fish in a PowerPoint presentation. I got to thinking about how the "operatic" qualities to this show could be enhanced even more: add a mime? Have sound effects (and thus turn the show into something of a radio play)? Have the band members speak some lines of dialogue, and and thus "act" out some of the script? The idea of a "rock opera" is intriguing, and Terry has a natural theatrical bent. So who knows where Fish Karma & the Love Generation will take take this, should they choose to continue with the rock opera format!

For the last song, (a rousing version of "Sugar, Sugar" by the Archies) Terry wrapped himself in a "Snuggie", and lounged on the stage like Roman Emperor (with his "Snuggie" as his toga) as the band cranked it up behind him. When the song ended, he was flat on his back, looking like Darby Crash (of the Germs) on the album cover of "The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization".

Singing "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies

 I'm not sure that this what the little old ladies in the seats in front of me expected when they entered the theatre, but they stayed the for the entire 90-minute concert, and applauded at the end.  Pretty incredible feat for this band, to create politically edgy garage rock music that appeals to such a wide cross-section of people!  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New Single by Howe Gelb on Fort Lowell Records

Howe Gelb's New Single on Fort Lowell Records
“Spiral” / “Cordoba in Slow Motion”
Release Date: April 16 (Record Store Day)

I really enjoyed this new single by Howe Gelb.  Both sides are different in so many ways, but they are united in having a similar tempo, energy, and feel; they both give a feeling of buoyancy in an overcast world. 
The cover is a black and white photo of a cluster of birds in flight, viewed from within the cluster . Side A features a live version of “Spiral”, recorded with an understated and somber sounding choir. Howe’s even cadence on the piano is the start of “Spiral”, and combined with the background choir, and his hopeful lyric about a “new form of decency” makes a song about despair soar.  “Spiral” is actually good blues: it’s a sad song that makes you feel spiritually uplifted.  Howe’s piano playing is excellent, and played with real feeling.  His piano trills and and accents bring to mind myriad associations, from Bob Dylan, to Billy Joel (early years), to Rachmaninoff.   At the end, though, you’re startled out of your reverie by a rousing ovation from the audience.  Great version. It comes off so easy, that it feels like a hug.
 Side B features Howe’s jazz combo, “Melted Wires” playing a tune called “Cordoba in Slow Motion”, which saunters along at about the same tempo as “Spiral”. This tune is very cool jazz, with lots of brush work up high in the mix, and Howe’s tasteful piano filling out the rest. It sounds very improvisational. About halfway through, we hear the sounds of a trumpet, further back in the mix and with a bit of reverb, so that it sounds like it’s coming from across the room.  It’s great; that trumpet really fills out the group. In my opinion, this song could have gone on for a lot longer, but I guess that means that you’ll just have to play it again! 
I like how both Side A and Side B complement each other.  Both have very different musical approaches, but both have a feeling of joy at their core.
A great single from Howe Gelb, on the Fort Lowell Records label!
--Howard Salmon

Here's some additional info from Fort Lowell Records:
Fort Lowell Records celebrates it’s inaugural year with Record Store Day 2011 and the "godfather of alt-country,” the "elder ambassador of desert rock," Howe Gelb. Combining two of Gelb’s projects onto one 7inch record, ‘Sno Angel + Melted Wires lend a voice of comfort in a time of need. ‘Sno Angel, featuring Gelb with his Canadian based touring band backed by the Voices Of Praise choir, provide encouragement to the listener with their track “Spiral,” recorded in 2006 and taken from their live CD ‘Sno Angel Winging It (OW OM Records, 2009), presented here on vinyl for the very first time. Meanwhile, the previously unreleased track “Cordoba in Slow Motion,” recorded nearly three years later during Gelb’s Melted Wires sessions, tactfully, without lyrics, compliments it’s counterpart by providing the necessary space for meditation.

Friday, January 28, 2011


...and opened for Jonny Sevin as a young pup! 
He's replaced his snare with an African conga drum!

SLIT: How did you first get interested in drums?

TL: I was in first grade when a kids dad was a drummer had just killed himself.(Should have been a red flag?)The kid brought his fathers gold sparkle snare drum and ride cymbal to show and tell. He was a juvenile delinquent named Rocky Nichols. (Another red flag) he was not in my room so I missed his presentation but after school he set it up on the playground and kids were playing on it. I was completely blown away by this. When it came my turn, I just started playing a surf beat, never having held a pair of sticks before. I still remember it like it was yesterday,a cute little girl with a red coat on turned to her cute friend and said ''he's really good''. And here we are.

SLIT:  How did you learn to play? Did you take lessons? Who were/are your favorite drummers?

TL: In 2nd grade they would give you lessons from Haskel Harr drum books, basic rudiments. I was in the school band until 9th grade when they made it mandatory to go to the football games. Ahhh no! There was pot to smoke and Hendrix records to listen to. That was the end of my formal training. But the beginning of my self exploration in the back seat of cars listening to all kinds of exciting music.

SLIT:  What kind of drums do you play? What's your set like? How do you hold your sticks?

TL:  I have gotten real bored with the standard kit that has been around for almost 80 years now. Go out to any club today, or in my case, watch the late night show and see the new bands.The drummers are still playing that same tired setup, to me it's boring. My job has allowed me to play whatever I want, and I've taken full advantage of it. I don't even use a snare drum anymore. I have an 80 year old african conga for a snare, a timbale for a floor, broken cymbals, it gets wackier all the time.

SLIT: Do you play any other instruments other than drums? How many bands have you drummed for? Who are you drumming for now?

TL: I have pretty much supported myself playing all these years so I have played in a million bands and situations. I am starting my 18th year playing full time with Jonathan Richman. Don't do anything else. I would do other things but no one ever calls. I asked a promoter friend in Canada,why don't people call me to do stuff when I'm not working? He said "when you're in a steady relationship for a long time, nobody asks you out on dates''. But it could be because I suck, I don't know.

SLIT:  What's the latest in your drumming/musical life?

TL: Like I said, 18 years, that's the latest.

SLIT:  How did you get started with Tucson's music scene?

TL: Wow,I moved here in 1979. I started playing in country bands right off the bat.There use to be maybe 20 places in town that had live country band alone, some 7 nights a week. I use to go to the rock cover clubs on my nights off and would get a kick out of those scenes. I would see Bruce Halper, Johnny Ray and Winston and other people playing in these places, it looked like fun and I'm sure everybody was getting laid. Then I started going to Tumbleweeds and "New Wave'' nights at the
Night Train and other places, they were always on Tues. nights for some reason. I was shy then and never talked to anybody. Jefferson Keenon said he remembers seeing me hanging out and wondered what my deal was. Then I got a call to play a gig with a band and we opened for Johnny Seven at Dooley's. It was a big gig all the hipsters were there. The band bombed but someone said there was this drummer(that were in short supply) there that had a cool drumset and didn't have a mullet and I started getting calls to do cool stuff.

SLIT: What's your favorite style of music?

TL: I listen to everything, don't have one.

SLIT:  Is there anything with music that you've haven't done that you'd like to?

TL: be on Austin City Limits, Jonathan has been offered it, but he does'nt want to fly out there.

SLIT: Do you have any favorite drum licks?

TL: I told someone once ''I have no chops but I've loaned money to guys that do'' no.

SLIT:  What was the best drumming you've ever done? Is there a recording of classic Larkins drumming?

TL: Every time I play something really great and earthshattering the tape is never rolling or something breaks, I guess I just work with a bunch of fucking idiots. no.

SLIT: What keeps drums interesting for you?

TL: Richard Gere said it best in An Officer and a Gentleman , I HAVE NO WHERE TO GO.