Think pink for fashionable fun


The band Velveteen Pink poses for a promotional photo.

Special to The Sun
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 12:52 a.m.
I loathe fashion music with a passion.
Luckily, I "missed out" on the '70s and a good portion of the hair-metal/new wave era.
There are only a few bands in history that have been able to produce music so great that it makes me forget the fact that they spent as much time getting dressed for the show as they did playing it.
But I do realize that half of the music business is the entertainment factor, and "entertained" is a rather weak word to describe the reaction a Velveteen Pink show evokes.
Tomorrow at Common Grounds, there will be no room for highfalutin tomfoolery when Velveteen Pink takes the stage along with Alphabet City and . . . and this is my odyssey. Just a dance, a smile and a drink, thank you.
VP is the K.C. and the Sunshine Band of our era. It's pure, no-nonsense funk and sound at its finest. With that on their side, they can wear whatever they want.
With my mainstay being older punk records, I get enough politics and anger in my ear. This type of thing is for fun. I'm not saying it puts my brain completely on standby - I've still got walking and breathing to do. But despite the tendency towards emotionally-based lyrics, the sound itself almost forcibly puts you at ease with the surrounding world.
Velveteen Pink is no longer the diamond in the rough that they were in the group's infancy.
People all over are developing a respect and admiration for this innovative throwback, landing them gigs with major international recording stars and even catching the eye of my arch-enemy, MTV. Even though it was a subdivision, mtvU, that showed these boys respect, it at least proved that Viacom still has one or two employees not deserving of a public flogging.
While their presence alone is more than enough to secure my recommendation of this show, VP's fun-and-entertainment vibe will be balanced with the more technically-driven skill of Alphabet City.
Alphabet City can easily be categorized in the ever-growing "indie" category, but, listening closely, I pick up hints of something that came well before that classification ever existed.
In their first album, "Beautiful Machines," their semi-shrill, emotional vocal outbursts and multi-layered, rolling guitars are a stark reminder of what The Cure sounded like in 1985.
It's a rather bold comparison - and if Alphabet City can mimic The Cure by still having sold-out shows after 30 years, I'll eat my hat. But it's simply the truth, and I'd gladly sit down to some Fedora au gratin if that would make their current quality keep for the next three decades.
Before you say it: Yes, I realize I'm referencing The Cure after proclaiming disgust at bands who take oodles of time to dress for their shows. They fall within the caveat, just as Alphabet City would if they went hour-for-hour with Robert Smith on makeup and hair.
Third on the bill is . . . and this is my odyssey. Musically, it's fairly safe to say that they represent the middle ground of the musical spectrum for the night.
However, in my intolerably un-humble opinion, that's also precisely where they tip the talent scale. This group won't send people running to or from their shows, unless those people have an insatiable love for bass lines - a ground the band covers solidly. I wouldn't call them mediocre, but nothing jumps out and gets me.
You can very easily do a lot worse than . . . and this is my odyssey, and it takes some work to do better, so there's no reason not to go out and see if they tickle your particular fancy.
Hey, if it turns out we disagree, that just means more fun for you.
  • n n Just when you thought that pirate-popularity trend was over, The Alaskan Pirate and His Salty Seamen are coming to The Side Bar on Saturday, along with Oh Sanders, Fightero and The Most. Hey, we can still milk some entertainment out of that whole thing. These guys come in full garb and plant a ship's wheel on the stage, so at least it's realistic (except for them not being at sea).
  • n n Also on Saturday, Dear and Glorious Physician will drop in to The Atlantic. Believe me, the name "glorious" is not too far off base. Modern Skirts will be coming down from Athens to back them up. The Skirts may be lesser-known around here, but that shouldn't last for long the way they play. Barnacles and Band Marino will also be there.
  • n n Skip ahead to Tuesday, also at The Atlantic, where The Beat Buttons, Whiskey Binge McKinney, Young Livers, The Riot Before and New Bruises are playing a birthday party show. Who's birthday is it? Well, if you were a friend, they'd probably have mentioned it already. Either way, it's tradition to have a bunch of random strangers show up at your birthday party, so everyone should come on down and help out.
  • n n Last, but far from least, The Ones to Blame will be down at The Side Bar on Wednesday next with The Kissers and Lauris Vidal. These first ladies of straight Gainesville country are highly unlikely to disappoint anyone, so I can't think of a better middle-of-the-week break from the grind than this.
    Reach Kyle Mitchell at quieteidolon@gmail.com .
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