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for March 20, 2002

Induct and Cover
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Surveying this week's Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Inductees list, one notices no Early Influences category for the last two years. Perhaps like the Donner Party, all the great dead blues musicians have been ... accounted for.

Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love has her doubts. The committees are composed of experts. We can rest assured of careful choices by concerned historians. While it's tough to imagine what Mensa Chapter inducted Rod Stewart before Little Willie John, the impending ceremony raises some interesting questions. How often have you stumbled onto bands your friends love and you'd love to shoot with flame throwers? Do we take really good music for granted? Ever found yourself trapped after appetizers with the worst band ever blasting through speakers next to your head?

Your Soft, Cuddly Bunny attempts to be a good sport. It's a mistake. At the first sign of trouble, like the Hall of Fame induction of Aerosmith, a diva ought to sense trouble and find a shady spot to wait out the storm. Or play Point & Laugh. In this case, we're talking about O'Connor's Beef 'N Chowder House in Somerset on the Saturday night before St. Patrick's Day. I know. You know. We both know. We know! Only a calamitously timed family occasion could induce us to go; the sole redeeming moment may be when 400 strangers sing Happy Birthday to 50% of one's sisters, saving your voice for heckling the band.

Four hours, one paragraph: the "stage" was a 10' x 10' bare surface visible from most places in the dining rooms. It was also the doorway between them. Irish dance school students riverdanced daintily between diners and the salad bar, causing consternation among the flummoxed waitstaff. Damien & the Irish Aliens mutilated traditional and original tunes, at what seemed top volume until a fancy musician in a kilt marched around the dining room. If your Sonicare is on the fritz and you need to jar plaque from bicuspids, try bagpipe music in a confined space. The band returned to murder more songs. During the second set, a brother-in-law returned after an (unnoticed) absence with a Damien & the Irish Aliens CD. Straw. Camel's back. Please tune the car radio to scratchy, ancient recordings of the Delta bluesmen for relief from tinitis and nausea.

Luckily, Saturday night included a rare show by supersurreal local retro stars The Whirling Dervishes. Smooth and insinuating, dancy in a piano-infused 80s guitar rock kind of way, The Whirling Dervishes are very, very funny. Picture six smiling men playing a paean to Norman Bates. Singer Don Dazzo's smirk reminds one of an underdrunk Dean Martin, ponying with fans, except we're all in on the joke. A brilliant reunion show by three-fifths of the guys now in equally stylish and silly Everlounge. Perhaps some in the audience were less enthusiastic than the girls cage-dancing minus cages, but those people should remember that the Kinks beat John Lee Hooker into the Hall, and I loathe the Kinks. Some people liked the fake Irish band. It's all a matter of taste. You don't need experts or committees to tell you that.

©2002 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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