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Demo derby
Emery Vesch, Sibling Rivalry, and Flav Martin
BY BOB GULLA

Itís truly encouraging to see all of the ballots, electronic and paper, come pouring forth in an attempt to influence the 14th annual Best Music Poll. In fact, the total vote count is the strongest ever, so all of you who got out the vote, be congratulated. Stay tuned for the results!

Emery Vesch (Self-released CD EP)

Released earlier this year, this six-song effort, the bandís debut, is a fine slab of heavy rock with a pop vibe. The Taunton, Massachusetts-based EV, led by Michelle Castro on vox and Gary Rego on super-overdriven guitar, showcases some powerful performances and songs that are wound surprisingly tight. " A Mile Away, " for example, has a Heart feel, with throttling power chords mixed deftly with some sparkling arpeggios. At points, Castro sounds tough and gritty, as on the opening " Yours Is Mine " ; at others, sheís desperate and vulnerable ( " Ring Out " ); still others, sultry and anything but weak ( " A Mile Away " ). Drummer Herbie Correia pushes the beat throughout, especially on the breathtaking " Now What, " under a skilled and fleet rhythm track from Rego and solid bass work by Paul Gonyer. Whether itís full-on crash or semi-delicate with harmony vocals, this project proves that EV has the chops and a sense of style unique enough to compete with the biggies. Recorded and mixed by Jim Foster, produced by Foster and Rego, Emery Vesch certainly puts EV on the map ó and emphatically.

Sibling Rivalry: Haiku (Self-released CD EP)

Providenceís own Sibling Rivalry run hot and cold on this promising four-song EP. Despite a plodding opener that doesnít veer much from its one-chord premise, SR bounces back pretty quickly with the old-school punk of " Laconia Death Suite " and the eerie feedback and melodic shuffle of " It Runs Wild. " The vocals, off-key in a monochromatic way, hinder the overall power of the performance, but quite a few instrumental bright spots and some nice creative moments help give it strength, particularly on the excellent closer, " Nocturnal Emissions, which not only changes the key of the EP, but heightens the drama of Sibling Rivalryís spooky, psychedelic rock.

Flav Martin (Wellspring Media Group)

Fingerpicker Flav Martin weighs in with this five-song EP, recorded at the Dining Room and represented by the Wellspring Media Group out of Westerly. Martin, an incredibly dexterous guitar player, complements his playing with a gruff, romantic folk voice a la Cliff Eberhardt. " Colors, " the opening track, features Martin comfortably alone with his acoustic, as does " With You. " Both have Kottke-esque intros before plunging into more conventional folk-pop fare. " Not What It Seems, " " Chameleon, " and " Boundaries " have more fully fleshed-out arrangements, and while they have a sweet, Dave Mason-type quality to them, the solo acoustic tunes have a more visceral sense of style and hit their target more directly.

SCENE OF THE CRIME 3. Good Cop/Bad Cop Records presents the third installment of the semi-legendary punk compilation series, Scene of the Crime. As many of you may know, the SOTC series involves a mission of uncompromising tenacity: to record 24 punk bands in 24 hours.

Hereís the deal. From noon to noon on Saturday, August 23 and Sunday August 24 at the Electric Cave studio in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, two-dozen bands will convene to record a full-length CD. Each band will have 40 minutes to record one previously unreleased original song. All bands will share gear, making it a real all-in-the-family type of experience. Time slots for recording will be chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. A $100 deposit is required to secure the slot.

Fine print: The cost is $600 per band. Each band will get 200 CDs. They should sell for no more than $5 each, which will help you recoup expenses. Obviously, the idea is to get as many of these CDs in the hands of the fans as quickly as possible, with the goal of turning over 5000 people on to the varied sounds of local and regional punk. Each band will have a nice chunk of real estate in the accompanying booklet to include lyrics, band info, and a mug shot (taken at the recording session). The next obvious goal would be to gang together in true punk fashion and book Scene of the Crime bands at your own gigs whenever possible.

The marathon session will be produced by Jim Tierney, Huck Bennert, and Meat Depressedís Peter Walsh, and mastered by David Locke at JP Mastering. The front cover art will be executed by John Holmstrom (of Punk magazine fame). There is also a film crew that is interested in doing a documentary on this major event. The label is planning a holiday release and will shop the finished product to national labels.

If you have any questions or youíre interested in submitting your music for consideration at this most excellent endeavor, send a demo to Peter Walsh at Good Cop/Bad Cop Records, PO Box 653, Foxboro, MA 02035. Or you can e-mail Pete at goodcop_badcoppr@hotmail.com. Check out www.goodcopbadcoprecords.com for even more info on the whole deal.

WANDERING EYE. Slim Cessna, singer for the local band the Blackstone Valley Sinners, has a side project called Slim Cessnaís Auto Club. Theyíve been around for about 10 years and have two albums out on Jello Biafraís Alternative Tentacles label. Oddly enough, the Denver-based outfit has never played Providence, even though Slim has lived here for the last three-plus years. Until now. SCACís Providence debut will be at the Call tonight (the 22nd). Also playing will be Barn Burning and the íMericans.

On Friday (the 23rd) at the Blackstone, Object Permanence plays with Mutha Ugly. The show starts at 9 p.m.

The Brotherhood of Groove is by all accounts a high-energy band that has taken hold of the New Orleans funk sound, fusing the influence and elements of old-school funk, modern and traditional jazz, reggae, and rock with soulful brass band vocals. Their debut album, Pocket Full of Funk, was voted in the Top 10 Louisiana albums of 2002. The BOG will perform on Friday and Saturday (the 23rd and 24th) at the Wheelhouse Pub in Narragansett.

On Saturday (the 24th), Grammy-winning songwriter Julie Gold will take the stage from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Blackstone River Theatre, but not to gig, per se. Gold, best known for " From a Distance, " has written hits for many singers, including Bette Midler and Nanci Griffith, and thus has developed an expertise on the subject. She will host a workshop to entertain and educate about songwriting, performing, demo-pitching, and the music business in general. The event is presented by the Rhode Island Songwriters Association, Hear In Rhode Island (hearinri@ids.net), and BRT. Call (401) 725-9272, or visit www.riverfolk.org.

On Sunday (the 25th), the Microphones, Landing, Karl Blau, and Black Forest Black Sea will make an team up at AS220 at 8 p.m. The Microphones and the Landing record for the ultra-suede K label, if that gives you any indication of the musical credibility of the eve.

Please e-mail me with any music-related news at big.daddy1@cox.net and Iíll do my best to get it in this column 


Issue Date: May 23 - 29, 2003
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