The big orange–and–black falls on a Sunday this year, so your nightclub Halloweeny stuff pretty much happens Friday and Saturday nights.
Of course, there’s always The Rocky Horror Show at Club One, but for out–and–out musical madness, and Halloween decadence on a rock ‘n’ roll scale, check out Free Candy at Tantra Lounge on Friday the 29th. Ian Zimerle is on guitar and vocals, and the other three members of this brand–new garage/punk/surf band are moonlighting belly dancers! Britt Scott (who’s been doing lots of singing around town) is on guitar and vocals, Nicole Edge plays drums, and Alexandra Mitchell slaps that upright bass.
The fabulous Nickel Bag of Funk has the Saturday night spot at Tantra.
The Jinx welcomes the annual All Hallows Weekend gig from GAM, once the most popular band in Savannah (and beyond), now semi–retired because the guys are doing so many other things (like raising families, for a start). Keith Kozel, Kevin Rose, Ronny Kersey, Ricardo Ochoa and Josh Safer play theatrical, complex and dynamic music, and their over–the–top Halloween shows are the stuff of local legend. They’ll take the stage at 11 p.m. Saturday. As always on a Jinx Halloween there’ll be blood wrestling – bikini–clad babes grappling in fake blood between GAM sets.
At the Live Wire, Passafire – Savannah’s mondo popular reggae/pop export – plays a rare local show Saturday, and on Friday the Wormhole Bar’s bringing in Caltrop, Faun Fables, Convict Fiction and the glorious soundscapes of Sinister Moustache.
Saturday night, it’s the Wormhole’s fully–decadent Savannah Pagan Pride Halloween Ball, with belly dance performances, sets from the aforementioned Free Candy, Anitra Opera Diva and others, tarot card readings and full participation from the group called The Real Witches of Savannah.
At 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1
Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St.
“Indie rock” is such a worthless phrase these days, much as “alt rock” ran out of gas by the mid 1990s. What’s independent, and what’s alternative? Independent of major labels? Welcome to the contemporary music business, where 99 percent of the best stuff comes out on small, indie labels. And it’s been like that for a while now. Alternative to the old rock ‘n’ roll model? Hey, folks, it hasn’t been hip to be in Foghat or R.E.O. Speedwagon for a long, long time. I remember when U2 was considered an alternative band. Yesterday’s “alt” and “indie” is today’s vibrant music. Can’t we just call it “good”?
The Denver band Flashbulb Fires exemplifies what I’m on about. The band writes and plays lyrical, somewhat ethereal pop/rock music, with liberal and effective use of piano (from lead singer and songwriter Patrick McGuire) and acoustic guitar (from McGuire, again, and Michael James). And other weird stuff – whatever serves the song.
With Chris Sturniolo on drums and Brett Schreiber playing bass, Flashbulb Fires is road-testing new songs for its soon-to-be-recorded second album (the first, Glory, was rife with ghostly falsetto harmonies, brooding and atmospheric synth washes, freaky horns and McGuire’s bittersweet, from-the-heart vocalizing). It’s well-crafted music that doesn’t use craftsmanship as a replacement for musicality or subtlety. Can we use that description as an-inclusive substitute for the phrase “indie rock”? I’m just sayin.’ See flashbulbfires.com
KEVIN BARRY'S 30TH ANNIVERSARY
117 W. River Street
Music at 8:30 p.m. daily
Let's all hoist our glasses to New Yorker Vic Power, who first threw open the wooden doors of Kevin Barry's Irish Pub 30 years ago - it was Halloween, October 31, 1980.
From the start, Power meant to re-create the beloved cozy pubs of his youth - no TV, no video games, no frills. And there's a separate room, just for music. Says regular performer Carroll Brown: "It's Vic's theory that if live entertainment and good conversation, and a good choice of adult beverages is not enough for you, then you can go somewhere else."
The fact that it's stayed that way, and has remained a popular spot even though America's fascination with Irish pubs all but went out in the too-trendy 1990s - is testament to his vision. So here's to ya, Vic.
Barry's is closed Sunday for a private anniversary party, but onstage through Saturday is County Galway multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Donohue, who played both guitar and piano in the Chieftains' touring show, and thus appeared five times at Carnegie Hall.
"Vic is the aficionado of Irish pubs," he says. "Sometimes he knows more than the entertainers do about the music. He's a dedicated Irish pub owner. It's just a great room to play in because the focus is on the stage. Most pubs you go into, the music is an afterthought. You get these corporate container pubs, we call them - they come over in containers from Ireland and get reconstructed over here."
Power, of course, would have none of it: In 1980, he says, "I worked it myself. The rent was so cheap, and there was nothing else going on. I figured I could work the bar myself. I planned on building it up and then getting out of here, but it didn't work that way." See gabrieldonohue.tripod.com