WEDNESDAY, OCT. 9
Show starts at 8 p.m.Crash Into JuneA Memphis band that's blatantly Big Star-inspired and as Mike Nichols says, "very Replacements-y."
"I really wanted someone local to do Beatle covers," and these local guys cover the AM dial circa 1963-70: Chris Chamis (drums), Andrew Edwards (keys), John Covach (guitar), and Paul Cole (bass).Holden RichardsSwami Richards will go the acoustic solo route. He has a CD project in the works with John Chumbris, Lynne Blakey, Dave Spencer, Mike Nicholson, Brunson, Steve Watson and Ed Butler.The Rachel Nevadas"These kids from Richmond are into mid-'70s stadium rock----in a good way."PoprocketThis Charlotte power trio (read: drums/guitar/bass) uses part of the Lou Ford-in-flux galaxy of players. Mike is more succinct, "Singer/songwriter stuff that's really, really freakin' LOUD."
THURSDAY, OCT. 10
Show starts at 9 p.m.KingflyThis power trio escaped from New York City to Winston-Salem. Notice how their drummer plays standing up.ConshafterMike enlists another young band from Richmond who "rock in a Weezer-y kind of way."Saving GracesProminent Winston-Salem music guru Michael Slawter's new band. Has a record produced by Ben Folds' ümlaüted guitar player, Snüzz.John BrodeurThis singer/songwriter ventured out from upstate New York to play L.A.'s International Pop Overthrow fest and now this.Jerry ChapmanThursday is starting to feel like Winston-Salem Night. Jerry's half of the duo Life In General, a huge college circuit phenomenon. Specifically speaking, he'll rock.Ed JamesMike's trying to find the words to describe this Charlotte-an. "Don't kill me, but he'll remind you a little of Dennis DeYoung of Styx ..." A crystal-clear choir-boy of a voice, eh? A must-see.Dan BrykMike refers to this transplanted Canadian as a "quirky songwriter who's really great. If you like Ben Folds, you might like him----a lot. And he lives in Durham."The BreaksAnyone remotely familiar with the Chapel Hill music scene may want to be here at 8:45 p.m. Once upon a time, a band called What Peggy Wants had a drummer named Tom Maxwell, who also played in Teasing The Korean. He later went places with a nationally successful troupe called the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Now he's drumming in a trio with Steve Carr on guitar and fellow former Teasing The Korean singer John Ensslin. A very promising assemblage.
FRIDAY, OCT. 11
Show starts at 6 p.m.The Grip WeedsThese New Jersey popsters sound decidedly contemporary as they seem to write and play with a copy of the Nuggets CD boxed set under their arms. It's here live and on their latest release Summer Of A Thousand Years (Rainbow Quartz).
This Yayhoo banged skins, wrote songs and has been disturbing the peace in The Fabulous Knobs, The Woods and has a resumé too long to mention. He also helped The Georgia Satellites get their hit by writing "Battleship Chains." ShaliniShalini Chatterjee and Mitch Easter's musical alliance is among tonight's "must-see" acts. Mitch is a N.C. pop legend, while Shalini's work with Floor Model show her to be a great singer/songwriter, and rocker. Glory FountainA local outfit that flirts with folk but seems to be more prone to hook-laden tunes. It'll be a treat to hear Lynn Blakey's lovely voice propel their songs. If anything, check out The Beauty of 23 (Lovejoy Records).Robbie RistRobbie's Wonderboy CDs, sung and written by him, simply kicks pop ass. Not only is he a genuine pop culture character, feel free to otherwise ignore his Hollywood roots and enjoy a musician who simply loves to rock, whenever, however and with whoever he can. He's a nut, you'll love him. Some folks hope he'll do his cover of The Foundations' "Build Me Up Buttercup."Walter Clevenger & The Dairy KingsAccording to Nicholson, "Walter's something of a West Coast version of Terry Anderson."The Anderson CouncilIf you've ever spent an entire evening listening to The Who Sell Out, you can't miss this New Jersey combo. Peter Horvath can keep pitch only when he sings in a British accent. I'm not making this up.The WindbreakersTim Lee and Bobby Sutliff will have Mitch Easter to sit in with their re-formed Windbreakers, one of the first "Southern Jangle Pop" bands of a by-gone and warmly-revered era. VelvetHere's a band that left Wilmington just to live and work in Chapel Hill. Yes, people still do that. From their Web site we note their list of influences ends with "... and The Replacements."Holden Richards(See Wednesday)
SATURDAY, OCT. 12
Show starts at 6 p.m.The ShazamBlame them. It's because of this band from Tennessee that Mike Nicholson got into the music fest game in the first place. They must be worth the fuss. Their Web site declares "Hopelessly out of step with the times. Timeless. Heavily influenced by the era from '64 to around '79, but by no means slavishly retro--yet at the same time undated by this year's drum loop." The MockersWritten up in the Wall Street Journal's Smart Money Magazine and huge in Spain, get ready for this Virginia Beach combo and their newest release Holland Tunnel (One Eye Open).The LolasMike: "A three-piece with punky energy and pop-y songs. Loud and fast!" Their record Silver Dollar Sundae (Jam Records) was on Robert Christgau's Pazz & Jop 2001 Poll. From Birmingham, Ala.Paula KelleyNortheast 90's college rock veteran. Her new stuff has some of that '60s Dusty Springfield/Sandie Shaw feel. Mike enthuses, "Local 506 bartender and member of Leadfoot, John Dzubak, just loves her. A sweet and delicate voice."JeremyRuns the Jam Record from his home in Michigan. A do-it-yourself kind of guy with a small recording studio who never gives up. Mike adds, "An unbelievable guitar player." His label just released a George Harrison tribute.Kenny Howes & The YeahKenny is a Sparklefest regular, albeit not the luckiest regular. Last year his band quit on him before the show. "Very much into The Move and The Who. He kinda looks like Jeff Lynne, the best hair and sideburns in rock."Sparkle*jets UKThe buzz is that they are a crazy band. "One of the best rock voices I've ever heard."Cockeyed GhostA "punky" West Coast combo. Front man Adam Marsland is a Beach Boys fanatic.Eight EyesTheir new CD Dust (Neon Pie) has J.B. "Brad" Newell, Chris Chamis and Amy Pattee churning out a dynamic set of Tom Petty/Byrds-like tunes and a very unusual cover of "Livin' La Vida Loca."Cliff HillisCliff's originally from Rehobeth Beach, Delaware. Was in the John Fay Power Trip. "Power-pop-y with jangley guitar."
For more information and artist links, see www.sparkle fest.com.