Bring Grandma to the Mamaw Menagerie's show


Published: Wednesday, August 1, 2007 at 8:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 1, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Though science can't explain the cause, some people will tell you that older people smell.

Some think it's related to body deterioration and lipids in the skin breaking down. The Japanese cosmetic company Shiseido says it's due to a chemical they call "noneal" - and they're all too happy to sell you a line of products to fix that right up.

Me, I think they're just old, and could care less what you whippersnappers smell or don't smell.

So why would anyone want to go to the Mamaw Menagerie on Saturday at 2nd Street Bakery, with the looming threat of geriatric odor on the horizon? Because it'll be a fine shindig, that's why. That, and there probably won't be a big turnout of AARP members anyway.

Taking a cue from the grandma parties that have sprung up in Orlando in recent times, this isn't just another entertaining pretense for a couple bands to show up and play. It's an entertaining pretense to get a whole bunch of bands to play, and have a lot of other fun as well.

Mamaw Menagerie will be a full-on fest, hosting vendors, a dunk tank, kids games, craftwork and other art, as well as DJs to keep the party rolling between band sets. And I'm not talking junk from someone's apartment and crocheted men's bikini underwear. Vendors include F.I.A., Anarkin Records, Paper Dolls and Etoile, to name a few.

And oh, that's right, a few bands will be there as well.

Grandma doesn't want to leave any of her kiddies out of the fun, so there's a rather large selection of different bands coming to the party. Namely, Creepy Youth Choir, Cyne, The Ones to Blame, Morningbell, Laserhead, Hydra The Sea Serpent and Indian Teeth, among others.

For my money, the first three on that list would be just fine to do the job on their own, but you won't catch me shaking a stick at any of the others.

The most definable characteristic of Creepy Youth Choir is that their songs are extremely catchy - minus all the negative aspects of a traditionally catchy tune. There's no cheap hooks or cheesy chanting choruses. It's just solid rock and roll that's easy to get caught up in because they play as if their very lives depended on it.

Cyne isn't an outfit I have a lot to say about, simply because there's not much that needs to be said. If you've yet to have the pleasure of seeing them perform, please, for your own sake, take this opportunity. If you don't get completely lost in the intelligence and cadence of their lyrics, you will surely be swallowed up by the fluidity and depth of the rhythms. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: In a more perfect world, this is one of the groups we'd see plastered all over the television and being played constantly on the radio.

Though they've been given the "alt-country" label, The Ones to Blame isn't an alternative to anything except bad music. The .44 Magnum-like recoil one gets from some people when those three letters are prefixed is very much unwarranted. This is down-home pickin' that's just good. Despite the high visibility of the men involved, a trip back in history will show that ladies like these have been the backbone of country music for decades on end. Even if they weren't singing it, they were giving those guys something worth singing about.

There's just one last portion of Mamaw Menagerie that I've yet to mention. It's at a bakery, and a good one at that. Food won't be an issue.

Since the fest opens at 9 a.m. - with bands going on at noon - it's a perfect setting to grab a cup of joe, eat a pastry or two, and enjoy the goings-on until the sun goes down.

Tonight 1982 brings in New Jersey's own The Cryptkeeper 5 to play with No More, The Monistats and Snow Child. These Jersey boys have an interesting thing going, bringing in a heavy '50s rock 'n' roll influence under a punk/rockabilly front. Two things: First, don't underestimate how old-school Cryptkeeper 5 will get on you, because these guys take the Chuck Berry era seriously. Second, at their current rate, Snow Child may be under a different moniker by this evening - having been called both No To Clocks and Attack Rabbit in the past couple months - so don't blame me if things change again.

Old fans of 18-months-departed Dasi will want to be down at Wayward Council on Friday night for their return, which will be under the title Prince Rama of Ayodhya. Helping to welcome them back to town will be Cara del Gato, Snare and a Chair and Kathleen & K-Flow. It's a rather relaxed setting, combining Waylon Thornton's original rock with some post-minimalist-ness from the others on the side. Either way, it's good to witness when music wins the war against time and distance.

Saturday night, Common Grounds is hosting a pair of pop-punk performers, Left Alone and Mad Marge and The Stonecutters.

Personally, I have to give the nod to Mad Marge, out of the two. Their sound is tighter and much less poppy all around. Besides, much respect is due to a band that would name themselves after a "Simpsons" reference. Hop in your Canyonero and head on over.

At the Atlantic on Saturday is a dose of metal health. Local group By The Horns will be joined by Black Tusk, The Holy Mountain and Skeleton Witch - and the thrashing shall ensue.

Metal - particularly the nastier stuff that you never hear on the radio - doesn't have a whole lot of friends these days. Actually, they've never had a lot of friends. But I advise everyone to give it a shot, at least this once.

Reach Kyle at quieteidolon@gmail.com.

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