Category Archives: Pop Culture

RIP Dave Blood of the Dead Milkmen

I was hanging out with David Lee Beowulf last night at Vinny “Beany” Cecolini’s Wrestlemania party, and Dave told me that Dead Milkmen bassist, Dave Blood (born David Schulthise) had just died on March 9th. Apparently, he took his own life. What a drag.

I met the guys in the Dead Milkmen once when they were staying in an apartment in the same complex I lived in while they played some shows in Southern California. This was at least a million billion years ago, but I remember it really well. All the guys, Dean Clean, Rodney Anonymous, Joe Jack Talcum, and Dave Blood, were very sweet and cool guys who loved meeting their fans and loved making stupid funny punk rock that kicked ass. I just feel sad that Dave must have been in so much pain to take his own life. Please visit the Dead Milkmen’s website and post a nice message. RIP Dave. “Punk Rock Girl” and “Instant Club Hit” will live forever.

CD Review: More B.S. by Bree Sharp

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Bree Sharp More BS CD Cover

Artist: Bree Sharp
Album: More B.S.
Release Date: August 13, 2002
Label: Ahimsa/Union

NYC singer/songwriter, Bree Sharp’s promising 1999 debut, A Cheap and Evil Girl scored a minor hit with an aural mash note to X-Files hunk, “David Duchovny.” On Sharp’s cleverly entitled follow-up, More B.S., there’s more folk than rock going on in this mixed bag of exceptional pop tunes, with the maturity of her songwriting suggesting a 20-something Joan Jett disciple exploring her Fiona Apple side. Among many stand-out tracks are the thoughtful new-age lullabye, “Galaxy Song”; the understated hilarity of “Dirty Magazine; and an engaging “Bonnie & Clyde” style tale of two doomed outlaws — “The Ballad of Grim & Lilly” — which mixes woozy trip-hop beats with lyrical fatalism, revealing Sharp’s flair for storytelling that’s a cornerstone of great songwriting. It’s on “The Last of Me,” a hauntingly direct tune about the promise of revenge in the aftermath of a failed relationship, however, that she really hits her stride.

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This article was originally written for Rolling Stone’s Online Magazine. Though Rolling Stone remains in print and online, this article is no longer a part of their archive and has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.

Touring News: Supagroup Will “Rock Across America!”

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Supagroup Band Photo
Supagroup “Rock Across America!”

New Orleans based take-no-prisoners rock and roll traditionalists, Supagroup, are in the midst of a brief tour across the southeast – including two shows in New York City — before returning home for the annual Mardi Gras festivities. Following a short break, Supagroup will head to Austin, Texas for the South By Southwest Music Conference, then return to New Orleans for a performance at Jazzfest. It’s just business as usual for a band that spent half of 2003 on the road with bands like Queens of The Stone Age, Supersuckers, Fu Manchu and Drive By Truckers in support of its critically lauded, self-titled fourth album.

If you believe early predictions that rock and roll will be this years’ hip-hop, then Supagroup might just do for the genre what Outkast have done for 70’s funk. On Supagroup, the quartet mix the classic blues rock of early Stones and Humble Pie with the guitar ferocity of Motorhead and AC/DC, the Supersuckers’ sly humor and the “drink-and-rock” good-time vibe of the late, lamented Unband. The result is a fairly potent elixir. “With us, you have to start with Bon Scott-era AC/DC,” explains vocalist/rhythm guitarist, Chris Lee from Supagroup’s van, somewhere in Georgia. “AC/DC is my favorite band of all time, but my second favorite band is DEVO. Freedom Of Choice was the very first record I bought with my own money. What I liked so much about DEVO was their sense of humor and really subversive view of the world, which gets a bit into what we’re doing. If I were to describe us I’d say we’re AC/DC meets DEVO.” Supagroup includes Lee’s younger brother, Benji on lead guitar, drummer Michael Brueggen and bassist Leif Swift.

The band’s mission is simple: Supagroup is here to rock you senseless. “So many people claim to be ‘Rock’,” says Lee, “but when we say ‘Rock,’ people understand we’re guys that listen to a lot of Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.” Lee also emphasizes that Rock is not a complete equation without the Roll. “The ‘Roll’ is the part where it swings,” he says. “Without the Roll, you’re a metal band that’s really stiff, or you’re a technician; you’re not feeling it.”

In 2004, Supagroup has its sights set for success across the pond, where rocking artists like The Darkness, Andrew W.K. and Jet have been embraced by the UK media and fans alike. And with Supagroup now represented by Sanctuary Management, this could be a break- through year for the band that originally formed in 1996, finding their voice with the music they love hearing as well as performing.

A video for the band’s new single, “What’s Your Problem?” is currently generating some buzz and Supagroup’s relentless touring schedule has made their song “Rock and Roll Star” something of an unofficial band anthem. “People always ask us to play “Rock & Roll Star,” he says, “which is just a song about being on the road, not getting anywhere, playing rock music when nobody likes it, and not giving a f**k. The thing is,” he continues, “despite anything I could complain about, being in a rock and roll band is awesome! When you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t matter whether you’re successful by other people’s definition. When you’re happy, that’s what matters. What makes us happy is rocking for people.”

When they’re not touring, members of Supagroup can often be found at The Saint, a New Orleans’ bar co-owned by Chris Lee with several partners, including former White Zombie bassist, Sean Yseult. “Benji, Michael and I all work there, and Leif works at Juan’s Flying Burrito a block away,” Lee laughs. “The Saturday before Mardi Gras, Benji’s working from midnight to 8 AM. Come on down, we’ll be there.”

Supagroup Tour Dates:
2/04 – Jacksonville, FL, Jack Rabbits
2/05 – Miami, FL, Churchill’s
2/06 – St. Petersburg, FL, The Emerald Bar
2/07 – Tallahassee, FL, Beta Bar
2/11 – New York, NY, Sine’
2/13 – New York, NY, Plaid
2/14 – Richmond, VA, Canal Club
2/20 – New Orleans, LA, Tulane University

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This article was originally written for Rolling Stone’s Online Magazine. Though Rolling Stone remains in print and online, this article is no longer a part of their archive and has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.

CD Review: Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence by Dream Theater

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Dream Theater Six Degrees CD Cover

Artist: Dream Theater
Album: Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence
Release Date: January 29, 2002
Label: Elektra

The music of Dream Theater — a prog-metal blend of Styx drama and ELP grandeur — generates little gray area when it comes to appeal. Listeners either love the band passionately or hate them. (God knows I’ve had my issues with them, having walked out on one of their shows three years ago when the Siegfried & Roy aspects of the Las Vegas-style Rock Extravaganza got out of hand. That is to say, I was bored). The band’s sixth album, an ambitious double CD entitled Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence is unlikely to alter that dichotomy. But here’s the thing, with Dream Theater, you know what you’re getting when you sign on: musical virtuosity and technical perfection. Here’s an example of what I mean: You’ve got Vocalist James LaBries’ narrative command of each song; Drummer Mike Portnoy’s effortless ability to demonstrate as many double-bass-triplet-rudiment-fills as possible from the top of a song to the bottom; Guitarist John Petrucci’s astoundingly fluid, classically influenced playing; Jordan Ruddess’ swelling layers of Rick Wakeman-esque keyboards; and bassist John Myung, who, like John Entwistle, lays down a solid groove and says out of everyone’s way. One can hardly fail to be impressed with any of that.
Continue reading CD Review: Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence by Dream Theater

My Top Ten CDs List of 2003 for Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone Top Ten By Gail Worley

1. Pre(thing), 22nd Century Lifestyle (V2): An acid-rock masterpiece predestined for obscurity by the untimely death of lead vocalist/guitarist Rust Epic just weeks before the CD’s release date.

2. Steve Morse, Major Impacts 2 (Magna Carta): A legend of instrumental guitar rock pays homage to his own influences. Absolutely essential listening.

3. Ambulance LTD, Ambulance LTD (TVT): Penny Lane is in their ears and in their eyes.

4. Audio Karate, Lady Melody (Label): LA Punk Rock revivalists blend disarming melody and authentic grit with a little help from producer and punk rock legend Bill Stevenson (ALL, Descendents).

5. Josh Todd, You Made Me (Label): Ex-Buckcherry front man and his eponymous new band made one of the year’s best albums while keeping Rock & Roll in the gutter, where it belongs.

6. The Killers, Hot Fuss (Island): This Sin City foursome validated its advance hype, combining the hipster synth-pop of Duran Duran and Ultravox on the most original sounding album of the year.

7. VAST, Nude (FourFiveSix): Arena-worthy Thinker Rock for the Modern Progressive.

8. Jonny Polonsky, The Power of Sound (Loveless): Audiot savant Jonny Polonsky graduates from the School of Rock with straight A’s to show all the whiny brat rockers how it’s done.

9. Doug Gillard, Salamander (Pink Frost/Big Takeover): Flawless Beatles-esque pop that sounds like The Lemonheads meet Guided By Voices without all the substance abuse issues.

10. Green Day, American Idiot (Reprise): Ever wondered what The Who’s Tommy would sound like recorded by Green Day? Here’s your answer.

Reissue: The Clash, London Calling (Sony Legacy): Two words: Bonus DVD.