Thursday, July 19, 2012

Evil Wine Season 2 Premiere @ the Red Room (7/16/12)

Although I might not have written about it here, I'd have gone to this even if there wasn't any live music.  For one thing, I dig The Evil Wine Show--if you're down with absurdist, satirical raunch, you can't do better around these parts.  For another thing, this show doubled as a birthday celebration for Wes Malvini, one of the two deviants behind Evil Wine (the other being Dustin Jones) and the man in charge of booking at the Red Room.  Wes does a good job on both fronts and is a decent guy besides, so I wanted to show my support.

Happily, a lot of other folks apparently felt the same way.  According to the Boise Weekly, about 100 people showed up to this shindig.  You can read the article that I linked to for details on the episode; I'll just stick to the music.  Actually, before I begin, I have to share this video, which appeared in the episode.  It'll give those unfamiliar with Evil Wine an idea of what to expect.

Watched it?  Good.  Don't worry, the scars won't be that bad.  Moving right along...

Opening the evening was Oakland-based musician Flip Cassidy.  Even if he hadn't opened with "Tango Til They're Sore" from Rain Dogs, I'd have guessed that this dude has listened long and hard to his Tom Waits records.  Cassidy joyously belted his blues/murder ballad/gospel-based original songs in a friendly, phlegmy voice.  The clanging tone of his energetically strummed guitar evoked a merry jaunt through a scrapyard.  Damn good fun.

After Flip Cassidy came the San Francisco-based folk-rock band Dum Spiro Spero.  Their Celtic-flavored music had a strong beat and sustained the irreverent tone established by Flip Cassidy's set.  Driving guitar and banjo joined with haunting fiddle, solemn accordion and agreeably straightforward vocals.  In a way, it was too bad that this group played so early in the evening: a lot more folks would have probably danced if they'd had more time to drink.

After Dum Spiro Spero finished their set, the first episode of Evil Wine Season 2 premiered. After that, local one-man act The Sneezz kicked off the after-party.  His performance this night was a bit more relaxed than the one that I caught back in May but no less enjoyable.  His mind-boggling bass playing channeled Les Claypool, and his drum tracks got the people dancing.

Cerberus Rex played next and delivered a solid, ear-and-shin-vibrating set.  Drummer Jake Hite was in particularly good form, and Z.V. House's raw, kick-out-the-jams solos complemented Pat Perkins's cooler, more contained guitar work.  Listening to this band a second time, I found something downright cathartic about their music.  It seemed designed to shoot straight into the id and blast out any dark desires lurking within.  In that way, it tied in nicely with The Evil Wine Show's m.o. and provided the perfect ending to the night.

You can look up info on these bands on Facebook and elsewhere online.  For episodes of The Evil Wine Show and more, go to

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