Excerpts from Electric Degeneration, Degenerate Press' semi-weekly e-zine, free and ad-free. A full episode contains sections for music reviews, upcoming events, blasphemy, classifieds, and anything else we feel like saying. If you'd like to subscribe just contact us.
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THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
Only a few days left to get your gear together for this weekend. Despite
the absurd amount of stress and work that comes from organizing this mess,
I'm actually looking forward to it instead of just waiting for it to be
over. I don't get to see many of you in person often enough. Others I've
never seen in person at all so it's like an extended family reunion, except
without ol' senile Aunt Martha and her latest story about her oozing sores
and without Uncle Bill's irritating rug rats wrecking the place like a
Mongol horde out of control.
No, it's nothing BUT a Mongol horde for this gathering!
The Indicators have been added to the bill and we're still checking on
another act or two so the actual lineup of acts is still flexible but even
if they all suck (and they don't) you'll have fun!
I've mailed or handed out around 200 invites and have more yet to do so
there should be plenty of degenerates in attendance. Hopefully you'll be
one of them, otherwise you'll have a whole year of regret, wishing you
hadn't skipped for the lame alternative you chose.
degenerate LF sent us this report that made us regret missing the Kenny
was at the release party for Kenny Howes' CD "The Right Idea" at the Echo
Lounge last Thursday (June 22), and if you weren't there, you suck. Kenny
and his band The Yeah! rocked through all 14 songs on the CD, in order, all
of which is a Good Thing if you've ever heard any of these songs. The thing
is, Kenny Howes knows how to write a great song, which is something most
people simply cannot do. But, rich and melodic and full of hooks and
harmonies as his songs are, they are never too precious to rock the house
down, and this Kenny and his cohorts (Jason NeSmith, 2nd guitar; Kyle
Harris, bass; and the incomparable Kelly Shane, drums) do as if the world
might end tomorrow. The band are all frenetic, joyous energy, with
eardrum-shattering Rickenbacker guitars and shimmering cymbals and much
cavorting around the stage. Had the show ended after those 14 songs, we'd
have all gone home more than happy.
BUT... it didn't. At the conclusion of the CD set, NeSmith announced, "All
right, we're gonna do one more." Howes' Rickenbacker chimed out a four-chord
progression instantly and hair-raisingly familiar to anyone well versed in
the history of rock: the overture to The Who's "Tommy." Everyone was more
than surprised and impressed as the band progressed through the overture,
with Howes and Shane playing Pete Townshend's and Keith Moon's parts to
perfection (no mean feat), and NeSmith chipping in on a synthesizer to add
John Entwistle's French horn parts plus the numerous keyboards. It was a
wonderful performance of a challenging piece of music, and both band and
audience were clearly delighted.
Except... they didn't stop there. The overture ended, and... well, the band
just KEPT GOING. On and on deeper into the rock opera they went, and
somewhere it began to dawn on each member of the audience that, impossibly,
they were going to perform THE WHOLE THING. And so they did. Yes folks,
believe it or not, there is a local Atlanta band out there who loves what
they do enough to learn and rehease all of "Tommy" just to perform it for
ONE gig, in front of a handful of people at one in the morning on a Thursday
night. And, even more impossibly, they pulled it off! NeSmith did a
wonderful turn as the evil Uncle Ernie, Shane was Keith Moon reincarnated
and Howes just played and sang his heart out with barely contained glee. I
confess, I had a big silly grin on my face the whole time myself, and most
of the next couple of days too!
Really, no matter how you may personally feel about "Tommy" itself (I
confess that I happen to be a rabid fan), you have to admire the immense
level of dedication (not to mention sheer talent of course) that it takes to
bring something like this off. It's downright inspiring in these cynical
times. In short, Kenny Howes and the Yeah! made my night, and if you go to
their next gig they can probably make yours too.
Any mention of tobacco always smokes out the rabid opinions from both ends
of the burning soapbox. Here's a slew of responses from the last couple
This was a Camel sponsored event. With Camel money, it's big tobacco
boys......if someone went to this event expecting any less than tobacco
marketing, that person is a moron..........the health issues are quite
obvious. If you attended this event, you were fully aware of the "moral"
dilemna because you supported it by just showing up.
There is all the difference in the world in excluding people from an
event based on their possession of something versus banning people from an
event based on REQUIRING their possession of an item. Especially when the
item in question is hazardous to one's health. If a company was requiring
everyone to show up and consume pork products
at its events, it would automatically exclude Jewish people and Moslems
who, because of religious/moral reasons do not touch pork.
No one was excluded from this event......there was an additional marketing
effort with initiatives....if you smoked or wanted to "pretend" because you
didn't care about lying, then you did the regulatory blah-blah and got a
pretty picture.........other than that, no one was excluded; therefore, I
really don't see a correlation between serving pork to a group of
First, if the editor hadn't snuck past 'the politics,' he couldn't have
written about it for the rest of us, could he? As an underground
journalist without press credentials, there is no way for a writer to
report about events unless he at times dodges the rules. It isn't so
much hypocricy as it is guerrilla warfare. The real question remains,
so far as I am concerned though, not whether people should sneak through
Camel's requirements to see an event, but whether Camel has any right at
all to require anyone to possess cigarettes as a passport into its
sponsored events in the first place.
RVI, the editor wasn't excluded from this sponsored event, nor anyone else
for that matter.....and Fred's mission wasn't to "bust corporate
tobacco"....he wanted a picture with Haji and Tura and he got
Here's two cents from the evil industry that's helping bring
everyone The Mondo Movie night.
There are "things" I'd like to see happen in Atlanta. These "things,"
tragically, cost money to make happen. I have an outstanding tax bill
from last year's Grand Moff Tarkin "thing" because it's expensive (I used
savings, and I'm an independent contractor, and pay my own social security and
unemployment as well as taxes) to throw an event of that caliber and scale.
instead of going even deeper in debt to do some different and unusual crap
I got another job... a job that I could use to do these things. I wouldn't
care if I
was using money made from throwing kittens in a river as long as we turned
and did something positive with it. The history of corporate earnings and the
onus that that bears is never going to be a popular "alternative" subject,
could care less. As for the criteria you had to meet, you have to jump
through the "hoops," it's the Federal Government's requirements, not mine,
not my employer's.
I'd be happy to tell you how difficult it is to convince a Fortune 500 company
it's a good idea to spend $10,000 to bring the stars of a minor cult hit to a
Drive-In in Atlanta and give away BBQ, but that's lost in the debate. There
months, weeks and an afternoon of 150+ degrees out there setting up the
Movie night, I was there for them all, I'm sorry that law dictates you be
of age and a certain adult product consumer to get a free meal and $20.00
There's a way to change that. You do it.
(Editor's note: Hope to see you Saturday!)
I wasn't going to say anything, but I have to agree
with the "blasphemous" commentary in your last degen.
mail. It is illegal for folks marketing for big
tobacco to make even their product name visible to
people under 21 when sponsoring an event, (thus, the
tent). They also can't solicit cigarettes to anyone at
such an event unless they see the person with a pack
of cigarettes. It was unnecessary for you and your
friends to lie that you were smokers and borrow a pack
of cigarettes in order to meet Tura and Haji. The tent
was only closed to non-smokers until the movie
Your editor's response:
I wasn't attacking this event in itself, but the strategy the tobacco
companies are using to get around the latest round of regulations. I
enjoyed the event immensely and can't wait for next month!
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