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Fetchin' bones back in saddle

Could one-off reunion gig lead to more than just memories?QC Inferno

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Fetchin' Bones has reunion fever -- sort of.

"If every other '80s band was reuniting, why shouldn't we?" says front-woman Hope Nicholls, summing up her band-mates' decision to slough off the mothballs and play a pair of gigs, including one at Amos' SouthEnd on Saturday, June 30.

Nicholls now sings for the local band Snagglepuss, and was initially skeptical about the idea of Fetchin' Bones reforming. "I don't think so much of that band in the present tense as I think the others do," she says.

In the mid- to late-'80s, Fetchin' Bones was often mentioned in the same breath with Pylon, the B-52s, and other seminal Southern college rock bands shaking up the hair metal status quo. They toured with R.E.M., and eventually delivered three under-appreciated records for Sire during their 1984-89 lifespan. Their raucous, riff-heavy sound is cited as an early blueprint for the aggressive female-fronted bands that followed in the '90s.

Fetchin' Bones reformed for two shows in 2000, one a reunion paid for by VH1, which was developing an early reality show pilot and probably hoped the band would implode on camera (which it didn't).

But Nichols says this reunion -- which features the band's late lineup of Dana Pentes, Aaron Pitkin, Errol Stewart and Clay Richardson -- has a more pragmatic goal: Getting the band's music out into the ethernet for new generations to discover. The band hopes the reunion gigs will spur EMI -- which now owns the rights to its three major label records -- to finally put up its music on sites like iTunes, so listeners can access it.

"I would love for younger people to discover our music, because I like the music that we made, and I think it was kind of a missing link," she says. "I'm always interested in when music came out and how it fits into the creative/artistic time continuum."

She says reaction has been strong to the band's local reunion date, which she can't help but laugh about.

"No one ever liked us in Charlotte until we became popular in Atlanta and Athens, then people here suddenly decided that we weren't a joke," she says.

SHOWCASE SEASON: The Charlotte Music Awards will host a Gospel Showcase at the Charleston House Restaurant (3128 The Plaza) on Sunday, June 24. Performers include Mischeal Goldsmith & Soul Out, Lonisha Bryant, Kathy Duke and Shameia. The showcase will begin at 6 p.m., and the doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $15. For more information, visit www.charlottemusicawards.org or call 704-975-8874 ... The sixth NMX (New Music Xtravaganza), hosted by MoRisen Records, takes place Friday, June 22, at the Visulite, and features ex-Talk CR Rollyson, Chapel Hill's Schooner, up-and-coming Charlotte rockers Stone Figs, the Triangle's Bull City and the event's first hip-hop act, 99th Brigade. Tickets are only $5; doors open at 9 p.m.

GG ALLIN -- STILL HATED: June 28 marks the 14th anniversary of the notorious GG Allin's death from a drug overdose in a Lower East Side apartment, bringing an end to the life and career of what one writer called "the most spectacular degenerate in rock & roll history."

Though Allin hailed from New Hampshire, he was a fixture in the Southeast for years, recording in Charlotte with the Carolina Shitkickers and local anti-heroes ANTiSEEN. In conjunction with the anniversary, MVD Productions is re-releasing Todd Phillips' one-hour documentary on Allin, Hated with new fan-generated artwork and multiple bonus features, including interviews with brother Merle and the Allins' mother.

Phillips went on to direct mainstream fare like Road Trip and Starsky & Hutch, but Hated was his first film. It's an unflinching look at Allin's fucked-up life and live show, whose "highlights" usually included self-mutilation and, more disturbing still, his penchant for reversing the alimentary process (Allin was arrested over 50 times, usually for public indecency). This is where performance art, self-destruction, scatology and Punk rock collide, and though it ain't pretty, it's certainly compelling.

SEEKING SUBMISSIONS: The Novello Festival Press -- the publishing project of the Charlotte Public Library -- is seeking submissions for an upcoming book celebrating Carolinas' music.

The book "will honor the wonderful legacy of music in our region," says Amy Rogers, Novello Festival Press publisher. "We want to represent the diversity of music from folk to rock, gospel to soul, old-time to contemporary."

Rogers and former Loafing Arts Editor Ann Wicker, the book's editor, seek essays about the "people, places and musical traditions of the Carolinas, from the Appalachians to the Piedmont and the coast."

The book is scheduled for publication in April 2008. Contributors will receive $25 and a copy of the book. Submission deadline is Aug. 1. For more information, call 704-432-0153 or visit www.novellopress.org.

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