CLOWNVIS PRESLEY, THE TRIPWIRES, THE BAD THINGS
SAT APR 01 2017
DOORS: 8:00 PM / SHOW: 9:00 PM
$18.00 – $20.00
THIS EVENT IS 21 AND OVER
influences range from the likes of George Jones and Carl Perkins to Ike Turner, Howlin’ Wolf, James Brown and Big Joe Turner, all blending into a sound that ignores the lines between Rock & Roll, Country, Blues and Rockabilly. “Fun On Saturday Night” (Rip Cat
Records) is the Blasters’ sixth and latest studio album, featuring twelve tracks that extend the band’s legacy of classic recordings. Fronted by Phil Alvin’s powerful vocals, the band follows through with spontaneity, power and grit that make their live performances into experiences not to be missed.
The brothers, along with Bill Bateman on drums and John Bazz on bass, grew up in Downey California, in the shadow of Disneyland. Their musical education involved hanging out with musicians like Lee Allen, Marcus Johnson, and T-Bone Walker, all of whom tipped the band to the ways of blues and R&B. Ironically, by the time they were ready to work in Los Angeles clubs, the punk rock explosion was in full swing, and they found an audience for their rough-and-ready sound among the punks, particularly fans of X with whom they frequently shared the bill. American Music (1980) was a collection of roots covers and like-minded originals. Followed by The Blasters (1981, Slash), the band had added veteran pianist Gene Taylor, baritone saxophonist Steve Berlin and mentor Allen on tenor sax. Amazingly, the album reached number 36 on the charts. In 1982, they recorded the live EP, Over There for Slash, followed by 1983’s Non-Fiction. Less focused on rockabilly revivalism, Dave Alvin had become the band’s chief cook and songwriter. Berlin had since left the fold to join Los Lobos. Hard Line followed in 1985. The band called it a day after that, though several years later Phil Alvin reformed the group as a live act without Dave. The current version of the Blasters is a phenomenal live band, featuring all original members except for Dave.
Jim Sangster holds down the thunderbroom (and How!) in the legendary Young Fresh Fellows, and also served mightily behind the regular guitar with The Picketts. Brother Johnny, ear popping lead guitarist, formerly with European fist pumpers The Sharing Patrol among many others, moved back stateside in the late nineties and began an illustrious career as a recordist. Friend and fellow groover Mark Pickerel, he of The Screaming Trees, came along on traps, much to their delight.
Two fine albums followed, “Makes You Look Around” released in 2007 on the Paisley Pop label, and 2010’s “House To House” on Spark and Shine. The band has graced many a beer soaked northwest stage, never failing to share their special brand of “get high” with the delighted throngs.
2012 brought a new wrinkle into the band’s workshirts. After parting amicably with the impeccable Pickerel, the combo lucked into a new skinsman; none other than the great Dan Peters of Seattle fuzz royalty Mudhoney. Still having a blast and sounding ship shape as ever, The Tripwires are ready to roll you.
Upon the demise of the Choir, members Jimmy the Pickpocket (accordion, vocals) and Mad Wilcox (upright bass, musical saw) began playing new songs on the wet, Seattle sidewalks under the “Bad Things” moniker (a name taken from the Midnite Choir’s ode to alcohol DT’s “Physical Withdrawals”), eventually growing into the 6-piece ensemble that you see today.
They recorded their first CD with the legendary local producer Kearney Barton (The Sonics, The Ventures, The Kingsmen, etc.) which was released on their own label Silent City Records. The Bad Things quickly gained a reputation for “drunken debauchery” and “feverish dancing” at their live shows, and their theatrical aesthetic sealed their reputation as Seattle’s premier “Junkyard Cabaret” band.
The group has built up a large and ridiculously devoted cult following through their reputation, three successful West Coast tours, and hundreds of local shows – including shows with national bands like DeVotchKa, Balkan Beat Box, Firewater, Woven Hand, Slim Cessnas Autoclub, Stephin Merrit and the Gothic Archies, Johnny Dowd, Jason Webley, Baby Gramps, Circus Contraption, Calvin Johnson, Man Man, World/Inferno Friendship Society, Faun Fables, Morris Teper, and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum.
They’ve also been featured in popular festivals like the Nortwest Folklife Festival, Bumbershoot, The Georgetown Music Festival, The Seattle International Cabaret Festival, Seattle Weekly’s REVERB Festival, and their annual Halloween showcase of the hottest acts in the cabaret underground: Cabaret Macabre.
The Bad Things have been highly active in the rich Seattle cabaret scene providing soundtracks to dozens of theatrical, burlesque, aerial, and cabaret shows including “The Breaking” – a live theatrical production based entirely on The Bad Things’ music performed by The Can Can’s Castaways and directed by Armitage Shanks of Circus Contraption. They provided the soundtrack for a documentary about the Seattle burlesque scene as part of MTV.com’s $5 Cover web series and even provided the soundtrack to a Dunder Mifflin paper commercial!
In 2010 The Bad Things collaborated with Danbert Nobacon, the co-founder of UK anarcho-pop legends Chumbawamba. The album was entitled “Woebegone” and was released in the Fall of 2010 on Nobacon’s Verbal Burlesque Records. Nobacon has become a semi-regular guest in Bad Things shows since and the band has added his song “Evolution 9″ to their setlist.
After losing their practice space to fire in the spring of 2012 and losing two musical compatriots in the Cafe Racer shootings of that same spring, The Bad Things spent the rest of the year recouping their losses and playing benefit gigs.
Since late 2012 and early 2013, the band has been hard at work on the fourth Bad Things record. After such a long silence, they plan to return to the public eye with their finest, most mature work to date. You have been warned!.