Monday, August 07, 2006

‘Spy Vs. Spy’ A mix tape by Chip Kinney

Friday night, fashion designer Cheryl Wiegert and I met up with Weather Dave and Coup Delicious for a few drinks at Natty Greene’s before hitting the Flying Anvil. Our station is downtown and within walking distance of both establishments, so parking wasn’t an issue for us.

When we walked into the Flying Anvil, I was pleasantly surprised about seeing Wesley E running the door. Wesley E is the host of ‘Flava Lab’ airing on Guilford College’s WQFS on Thursday nights. The cat is good and he knows his stuff. Seeing him caused the feelings of missing my old college radio show there called ‘The Non-Conformist Cult Radio Show’ (Chip Kinney, the producer of today’s musical choice, gave me that title).

When I asked Wesley E about my club membership that I signed up online for, I was told that the Anvil no longer has liquor sales, so I didn’t need it. That was cool with me because I tend to stick with beer during the summer anyway.

I didn’t know if I should wear pants or not because I didn’t know if the Anvil was air-conditioned. I went on the safe side of comfort over style and chose shorts along with my Jim Beam Black Robby Gordon T-shirt. Cheryl made me look like I had it going on with the ladies with her modified Led Zeppelin T-shirt and its plunging neckline. Boy Howdy!

We were there checking out Black Book Romance and I must say that I was disappointed. Musically they were good, but they seriously need to work on their image and stage presence.

First of all, unless you’re Anthrax, you cannot play hard rock n’ roll looking as if you’re going clam digging after the show. Shorts and T-shirts just don’t give the audience the idea that you’re about “rocking”. The very capable singer was sporting a white “wife beater”, shorts, white socks, and very comfy slip-on Rockport looking shoes. I commented to Cheryl that he looked like a beach vacationing old man leaving the house in pursuit of a Sunday morning paper. Neither he, nor the rest of the band looked “rock n’ roll”. And to make matters worse, during the instrumental break of one song, the singer stood there with his arms crossed. That gave me the impression that he isn’t very passionate about their music. Black Book Romance’s drummer could get away with wearing shorts simply because he’s a drummer. And the guy was damn good and the highlight of their performance.

Black Book Romance are better heard and not scene until they get their act together. If I were to grade them, I would give them a C because they do have good music.

As the next band was setting up, I noticed a drum set-up that would make Neil Peart of Rush envious. Several people were used to put this monster together and I became excited when I saw a strat-like guitar sporting a Floyd Rose tremolo. I love my whammy bars, baby!

The band took the stage and quickly won me over from the bar to where I had to sit directly in front of them. I had to take these guys in. They were all wearing pants, two of them were dressed in leather pants. That, my friends, is rock n’ roll!

Cheryl and I thought they were a band called Innuendo. After the second song, they corrected our thinking and told us that they were TK-421 from Roanoke, Virginia. They weren’t even on the bill!

TK-421 knocked us on our jaded asses! These guys commanded the stage like 15-year veterans who had been performing in front of thousands of people. If they were thrown in to open up for the masses of Rolling Stones fans, I’m sure they could easily win them over. I nodded my head to the beat along with my tapping foot. The lyrics were thought provoking and the music was tight. Their eyeliner glam rock style mixed in well with their hard rock/grunge style of music.

The singer had the swagger of Lenny Kravitz backed with a strong voice similar to Chris Cornell of Soundgarden/Audioslave. He commanded your attention as the rest of the band surrounded him on the their assault. I cannot stress how much you should see these cats the next time they’re in town.

TK-421 get an A+ out of me!

Next up were Innuendo. They had fans there because just about every third person you saw in the crowd were dressed in an Innuendo T-shirt.

Innuendo were all right musically, but the monotone singer had the delivery of Ben Stein from the Clear-Eyes commercials. Cheryl told me that the girls in the audience didn’t care because he was “cute”. I found myself checking out those girls as I became bored by Innuendo’s performance.

The high point was a cover of Monster Magnet’s “Space Lord” that beautifully segued into a hard rocking version of Phil Collins’ “In The Air”. I grade them with a C+.

We didn’t stick around for Mudjunkie because quite frankly, I had seen them before and I wasn’t impressed.

Kim Thore had told both Cheryl and I about TK-421 a year ago. She was dead on the money with those guys. I implore you to see these guys where and when you can. Visit their website…

When I Googled them, I found out that they got their name from a Storm Trooper in Star Wars. Not only do they command the stage and rock your face off, they also have a hint of “geek-factor”.

I will most definitely let you readers know when they hit the Triad once again.


  1. Anonymous7:40 PM

    Eugene! Pants, especially when in public are always the best option. Pants are usually good for band members as well.

    OH! Did you mean long pants? ;)

  2. Okay... Long pants. Now go and fix some more margaritas... STAT!