For those of you out there who may be considering starting a rock band as a means of supporting yourself a word to the wise: making a decent career off playing music in bars and at parties is one of the toughest things to attempt.
The pay is more often than not abysmal, the hours are long and odd, plus youre constantly surrounded by the copious amounts of alcohol, tobacco smoke, and a host of other exceedingly unhealthy diversions.
And thats just at rehearsal.
There are those brave few, however, who will let nothing deter them from their dream of earning a living wage by playing a musical instrument and making people dance. Many of them realize that the most easy and lucrative way to accomplish this goal is to play cover songs proven hits with a guaranteed appeal instead of foisting their own dubious creations off on unsuspecting crowds.
Thats all well and good, and it usually does the trick. It keeps you in demand, keeps you solvent and can even keep you on the road for months at a time if youre good enough at what you do and dont mind taking a lot of crap from obnoxious bar owners and society types.
But eventually, most of these folks (those with a smidgen of ambition, that is) yearn to make it on their own, and try to incorporate their own material in with the pop tunes that are their bread and butter.
This difficult proposition is usually met with overwhelming indifference, but McFly, a full-time road band from the Atlanta area that specializes in high-energy renditions of a wide variety of pop and rock hits from the 1980s, seem poised to become that rarest if creatures an in-demand cover band turned in-demand original band.
With a setlist that ranges from Bon Jovis Livin On A Prayer to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper, this wackily-attired group covers a lot of ground. And thats the approach theyve taken on their debut CD Mighty McFly.
The originals run the gamut from Bryan Adams-esque heartland rock to scorching hair-metal that sounds like Ratt-lite. in between, theres boppy singalongs that torn from the Go-Gos songbook, and as bonus cuts, covers of tunes by Huey Lewis, Joan Jett and Kiss.
McFly doesnt beat any of these stars at their own game, but with their infectious stage antics, checkerboard shirts and skinny ties, and fingertapping guitarist Nikki Lixx (who looks like an extra from Corvette Summer), theyve probably got what it takes to make all their dreams come true. Thurs., Deja Groove.
The Army Concert Tour is bringing in this modern rock double-bill, and fans of mainstream hard pop must be awfully pleased with the lineup.
Train was recently nominated for 2 Grammies for their latest smash Calling All Angels off of their 3rd CD My Private Nation the latest since 2001s Grammy-winningDrops of Jupiter.
Opening the show will be the Graham Colton Band, a melodic guitar-pop act thats getting rave reviews for their debut album and for live slots supporting The Wallflowers, John Mayer and Guster.
Advance tickets are available at the Savannah Civic Center, Oglethorpe Mall, and other locations. Thurs., 8 pm, Fort Stewarts Donovan Field.
The Luminescent Orchestrii
Fans of the gloriously fiendish and provocative Bindlestiff Family Cirkus that rolls through town about once a year, will likely enjoy this NYC quintet more so than the average person but thats just because they get the frame of reference right off the bat.
The group (some of which used to be part of Bindlestiff) brings classically-trained and self-taught players together to revel in off-kilter harmonies, frenzied picking and nuttiness that equals anachronistic minstrelsy.
Using such rarely-seen instrumentation as bullhorn harmonica, resophonic guitar and melodica, this world-traveled group makes a ruckus not unlike The Paris Combo on amyl nitrate. If you dig the tango, bawdy sea shanties, or even Camper Van Beethovens faux-Balkan rave-ups, youll love these gypsy punk rockers. Fri., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean.
The Swingin Medallions
One of the longest-running and most popular of all the original hit-making shag bands, The Medallions long ago morphed into something of an all-purpose Southern party act. They still play the old nuggets that made them (or actually their fathers) famous, but those are not bookended by more mainstream boy-band and modern-rock-style radio hits.
Whenever they come through the area, folks turn up in droves to see a professional and polished show band work the crowd as only they can. This show will no doubt be one of the biggest events of the summer, since its completely free and open to the public. Tubbys Sunset Parties are a weekly destination for many who enjoy live music outdoors by the water, and if youre unfamiliar with The Medallions, but they sound like something youd like - you definitely shouldnt miss this show. Sat., 5 pm, Tubbys Tankhouse (Thunderbolt).