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Here's The Church, There's The Steeple

So shut up and listen, people!

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Installment One in the Artist's Bill of Rights, concocted after a quick hop into the Steeple Lounge to see local near-genius Todd Busch on Thursday night (more to come in a later column, maybe).#1: If I (the artist) am playing a slow, heartfelt number about the vagaries of unrequited love or the melancholy of youth, do not play f*@#$%@ Galaga or Golden Tee or whatever you call that damn annoying video game you played throughout my entire set. Do like the other people who weren't interested in my music and go sit in the Steeple's countless other comfortable rooms. Especially do not shout like you're on Girls Gone Wild on the rare occasion the game doesn't beat you in under a minute. As the artist whom people have paid good money to see, I reserve the right to rally them to my cause, and get them to spill drinks on you "by accident."

I have to give it up to Chuck Morrison and the MoRisen records folks for their Friday showcase at the Visulite Theatre. For five bucks admission, they gave folks a 15+ song CD, and about a dozen bands in a little under three-and-a-half hours. This was accomplished, I'm told, by everyone using the same general set-up of bass and guitar amplifiers and drum kit. Each act was supposed to do three songs max, but a few cheated and did four (when one or two would have been more than fine) and a couple (the excellent Marat) did only two.

To boot, the crowd was stronger than Bob Johnson's wallet, and seemed pretty enthused (drunk?) all evening long. Who knows if any of these MoRisen bands will do anything outside of Charlotte? The bigger point here may be that folks are willing to come out for shows like this if you make it economically feasible for them to attend. Not that performers should play shows like this all the time -- they'd quickly go broke. But putting aside class rank for a while to help out the "scene"? That sort of thing ends up paying you back in the end. We need more of it.

Early Saturday evening, the Gateway Village apartment complex threw a big ol' South Beach Nightclub Pool Party. Now don't get me wrong -- I like both Gateway Village and many of its residents. But a South Beach pool party it wasn't. South Beach is Brazilian bikini waxes. Gateway Village is sex only after showering and with candles on the endtable. South Beach pool parties have more drugs than Walgreens. Gateway Village? Dope-free, unless you count the Prozac. It's still a pretty damn cool place to live, but the debauchery's just gonna take a few years to kick in.Later that evening, I made a return visit to the Steeple Lounge for their regular art party, ARToxication, which usually manages to be a good time. On this night, The Pink Anarchists were spinning Peaches and all sorts of other tasty rock/electroclash/punk sides, and the bands Semi-Pro and The Dynamite Brothers each played flamethrower sets while a man to the right of the stage created live, on-premises paintings. Rather than the usual column-ending, overly sentimental moralizing, this time I'm reserving these last couple of column inches to tell you that you should run, not walk, to the next Charlotte-area Dynamite Brothers show. Musically, I suppose you could describe it as Delta-by-way-of-Detroit, with a Keith Moon clone on drums. It's more than that, however, when the band is all synched up and getting that glazed look in their eyes like they're entering a trance. At that point, it's less like a show and more like an experience, a sort of altar call to gettin' down. Go get yourself saved.

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