Mountain Consolidated learned an important lesson during their first nationwide tour: Use those rest stops! Three of the boys from the band wound up in a New Orleans jail last week after deciding to relieve themselves roadside rather than wait till the next exit. Another lesson? Ask your record label for a bailout clause in case of unforeseen touring dilemmas. Acid Blues Records, which recently released Mountain Con's debut, The MC Stands for Revolution, offered no such support, so the musicians used their one phone call to beg their parents for the $1,500 get-out-of-jail cards. Not very punk rock, the Gnome must say.
What is punk rock, on the other hand? Let's look to Courtney Love, who showed her cosmetically altered face in a surprise appearance Saturday at the Rockrgrl conference, spouting off about the scene—Olympia—and the genre—Riot Grrrl—that helped propel her Godzilla-like rampage through the pop culture landscape. And yet she was received as a beloved star, a role model for the gals-with-guitars set. Love's Q&A-style chat with 300 Rockrgrl conventioneers capped a busy weekend that also included noted writers (Ann Powers, Holly George-Warren), ex-groupies (Pennie Lane, Pamela Des Barres), and artists (Amy Ray, Ronnie Spector). Rockrgrl founder and magazine editor Carla A. DeSantis was getting props all over town for arranging thoughtful, well-attended daytime events. Too bad the nightly music lineup couldn't complete the coup. One of the few headliners, Bangs, dropped out and another, Ann Wilson, played prima donna at the Showbox. On Thursday night, the Heart chanteuse commandeered the main dressing room, reportedly hanging a sign on the door discouraging any intruders. She then took the stage late, played past her time slot, and bumped two out-of-town bands to the hardly sought-after late-night, up-against-last-call position, when most of the already thin crowd had left. Almost famous, indeed!
The Showbox cleared out the girls and went ahead with the three-day festival of peace, love, and trippy projections known as Terrastock. The Gnome could actually feel the good vibes when he slithered in on Friday evening; the music of the next three nights would be a mixed bag. Good: Seattle's Monkeywrench, Minus 5, and Green Pajamas put many of the out-of-towners to shame; Damon & Naomi made beautiful music with usually acerbic Japanese noise rockers Ghost; San Francisco's Tarental wooed with a gentle build-up and a spectacular crescendo. Not so good: the much-touted pseudo-Velvet Underground reunion with Doug Yule and Moe Tucker; Charalambides' droning, meandering, snooze-inducing set.
The Gnome popped in at the Croc for a Sunday nightcap with Broadcast, whose synth-accented pop bounced and bubbled and bloomed—sending us all into the peaceful autumn night. Awwww.
You can reach the Metro Gnome at firstname.lastname@example.org