party rock

Tragikly White: Ready to Rock the Polar Bear Party

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub

More Articles
Tragikly White: High-octane Party Style


Who: Tragikly White / Party Pants
What: Polar Bear Party (party-rock showcase, festival)
Where:
When: 2017-01-28
As sure as the winter solstice hits every year, so too shall the annual Polar Bear Party arrive this
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

words by Leah Williams

pictures by Tim Vahsholtz

As sure as the winter solstice hits every year, so too shall the annual Polar Bear Party arrive this coming weekend to create a jam-packed experience regardless of the temperatures outside.

The event will be held Saturday, January 28 in the Pinch Penny Pub complex, especially in the venue’s beer garden. Arkansas guitar group the Tragikly White, who will perform inside the Copper Dragon, are amping up to headline the party. Party Pants will also perform in the Dragon.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Rick Martin said the band specializes in a “high-octane blend of dance and rock” with a setlist of the best party tunes from the not-so-distant past. Martin has said the group covers tunes from the Bee Gees to DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean,” a blend of both AC/DC and Lil’ Jon.

The Tragikly White began in 1993 as a cover band that mostly performed party songs from the seventies and eighties. They include Martin, bassist and vocalist Jimmy Tomlinson, and drummer Byron Hayes. Martin said the Tragikly White were way ahead of their time. Hair-band tributes are a common draw for the current bar crowd, but were not when the Tragikly White started.

Martin said the band’s goal is to leave it all on the stage during every performance. Part of the Tragikly White’s charm is engaging with the audience and inviting the crowd to be a part of the show.

“We like to play like it’s New Year’s Eve every night,” he said. “We want people to come out and have a good time and dance to the songs that they know and enjoy.”

The Tragikly White had their own tragic event not long after their first show in Carbondale last fall. The band’s lead guitarist, Alan Hash, was killed in a car accident on November 20.

According to Little Rock, Arkansas, television station KATV, Hash was traveling on an overpass when the car left the roadway, went airborne, and crashed into a guardrail.

“It’s been hard,” Martin said of the loss. “We’ve had this [Polar Bear] show booked before the accident, and we try to get by the best that we can.”

Martin added that the band plans to continue on and honor their fallen friend because that is what Alan would want them to do.

“He wouldn’t have it any other way,” Martin said. “He was such a life force for the band, and he was my best friend. I miss him terribly.”

For more information, check out <http://www.TragiklyWhite.com>.

who: Tragikly White / Party Pants

what: Polar Bear Party (party-rock showcase, festival)

where: Pinch Penny Pub and Copper Dragon Brewing Company

 

when: Saturday, January 28

Boy Band Review: Holler Back to the Days of Pop Past

As millions of fangirls all over world can attest, there is no party like a boy-band party. Boy-band
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

As millions of fangirls all over world can attest, there is no party like a boy-band party. Boy-band parties are sure to elicit all the feelings and pandemonium associated with the boy-band era of yesterday.

The Boy Band Review provides a night of nineties nostalgia and pop harmonies Friday, December 9 at the Copper Dragon. (Those who wear their worst holiday attire might win prizes in the Dragon’s ugly-sweater party that night.) This tribute band brings in the best sounds from several eras of choreographed charisma that made audiences swoon over playing games, tearing up hearts, true-love emotions, and other boy-band staples that climbed the top forty.

Brian Bender said the band used to be known as Hot Sauce Committee, named after a Beastie Boys double album and specializing in 1990s-era hip-hop and other party jams. After a request for a setlist mostly consisting of boy-band throwback tunes, Bender said the group chose to go on a new trajectory and capitalize on a void in the cover-band market.

“That completely changed everything,” Bender said. “We decided to go a different way. There are hair-metal bands and other tribute bands, but no one was really covering the boy bands.”

The magic has not stopped there. Bender said the magnetic momentum has helped propel the Boy Band Review into a hot touring commodity. Their show, Bender explained, also throws in additional songs from the boy-band pop reign.

“We do songs from all different kinds of boy bands,” Bender said, “but we will also put in other pop songs, like from Britney Spears, and some nineties [rhythm and blues] as well.”

What type of suggestions the Boy Band Review receives correlates to when audience members grew up.

“We have some older crowds who want to hear New Kids on the Block,” Bender explained, “some others who are all about Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. They want to hear ‘Bye Bye Bye’ and ‘Quit Playing Games With My Heart.’ And the college audiences now want to hear Nick Jonas or One Direction.”

The Boy Band Review recently enjoyed a residency at the Planet Hollywood Casino, which has since capitalized on the boy-band craze by bringing in one of the original boy bands of the area as an act.

“Now the Backstreet Boys have signed on to do a residency there,” Bender said.

Bender said the goal for the Boy Band Review is to capture the excitement and energy that boy bands have generated on stages.

“I consider myself to be the Joey Fatone,” he said. “But it’s really interesting to see who gets the attention and who everyone wants to see after the show is over.”

And audiences at Boy Band Review shows are just as adamant about their fandom as the guys on stage.

“We get life-sized cutouts and old magazine clippings brought to the show,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

For more information, visit <http://www.BoyBandReview.com>.

who: Boy Band Review

what: party rock

where: Copper Dragon Brewing Company

 

when: Friday, December 9

Tragikly White: High-octane Party Style

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub


Who: Tragikly White
What: party rock
Where:
When: 2016-10-21
Get ready to cut loose this weekend as Tragikly White kicks it up a notch Friday, October 21 in Pinc
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Get ready to cut loose this weekend as Tragikly White kicks it up a notch Friday, October 21 in Pinch Penny Pub’s beer garden (with the rain location inside the Copper Dragon Brewing Company). The party band packs a wallop of a good time by featuring the beats that have moved feet for more than twenty years.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Rick Martin (like Ricky Martin without the y, he joked) said the band is proud of a self-described high-octane blend of dance and rock music with a specialized set of the best party tunes from the last several decades, including a few of today’s top-forty favorites sprinkled in for good measure.

“We do everything from the Bee Gees to ‘Cake by the Ocean,’” Martin said. “We’ve been told that we are kind of like a blend between Lil’ Jon and AC/DC.”

Martin said Tragikly White started in 1993 as a cover band playing mostly party songs from the seventies and eighties, years ahead of what has now been a trend among touring groups on the college and bar circuit.

“We started out doing retro stuff before it was really done by anyone else,” he said.

They have since added recent songs to the setlist by Usher, Kanye West, Chuck Berry, and Buck Cherry, just to name a few.

“It’s all stuff that people will know,” Martin said. “It’s something that they can all dance to.”

Tragikly White includes Martin, bassist and vocalist Jimmy Tomlinson, drummer Byron Hayes, and lead guitarist Alan Hash. The group has been voted the best band in Arkansas by a local radio station and the Arkansas Free Press and has been consistently listed in the Arkansas Times as one of the state’s best bands.

Martin said the band has been mostly a regionally touring band in Arkansas and Texas with few gigs in the northern part of the country. Tragikly White is making their first ever stop in Carbondale this weekend.

Audience participation is one of the charms of Tragikly White. Martin explained that going to a Tragikly White show is signing up for an evening where spontaneous things can happen. He said the band likes to cut loose and invite members of the audience to join in on the fun.

“I think that as a band of people, we like to party and drink and have fun with everybody,” Martin said. “We like to get the crowd involved and go get some shots and do them with them.”

Martin said that Tragikly White plans to “continue doing more of the same.” They just want to keep playing and performing in front of as many party people as possible.

“We’re not really the kind of band you just sit and listen to,” Martin said. “No easy listening here. Just partying and having a good time.”

For more information about the band, check out <http://www.TragiklyWhite.com>.

who: Tragikly White

what: party rock

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company

 

when: Friday, October 21

LouderNow: Emo and Pop-punk from the Aughts

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub


Who: LouderNow
What: emo and pup-punk tribute
Where:
When: 2016-08-27
A Chicago-based cover band is bringing back music from the early aughts’ emo and pop-punk scene.
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

A Chicago-based cover band is bringing back music from the early aughts’ emo and pop-punk scene.

LouderNow performs Saturday, August 27 in the Pinch Penny Pub beer garden (with the Copper Dragon Brewing Company as the rain location). The band brings back blasts from the not-so-distant past with a common interest in songs with which the guys grew up.

LouderNow includes Davey Carlson, Gary Weissman, Keaton O’Brien, Dan Zemanek, and Steve Zywica. Nightlife caught up with them before one of their rehearsals to talk about bringing back the music from the beginning of the millennium and how band politics and a fair-selection system helps keep a steady stream of music in their system.

The brainstorm behind the band’s concept comes from a night out. The five friends were within earshot of a fellow bar patron’s jukebox choices and almost immediately they had the idea of entering a setlist of their own.

“There was this kid playing a bunch of songs right in a row,” Zywica said, “and we were like, ‘Whoa! We haven’t heard that in awhile.’”

Carlson added: “We thought, ‘What if there were a band that played all of these songs?’”

The decision to bring back the glory days of skinny jeans, studded belts, eye liner, Vans, and screaming along to favorite emo and pop-punk songs featured on MySpace should satisfy a niche market thus far untouched on the regional touring circuit.

“There were a lot of cover bands playing songs from the seventies, eighties, and even some of the nineties,” said Weissman, “but we weren’t really hearing anyone play anything from this era.”

LouderNow performs tunes by Taking Back Sunday, the Used, My Chemical Romance, Panic! At the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Brand New, Good Charlotte, Paramore, Simple Plan, Jimmy Eat World, Sugarcult, the All-American Rejects, and Cute Is What We Aim For.

LouderNow band members say they developed a democratic system where everyone gets to choose a song to perform.

“That is one thing that is great about the free-pass system,” Zemanek said. “It gives us all a chance to have a say, and for the others it allows them to play something they might not have thought to include.”

LouderNow doesn’t plan to branch out. Even though the band’s members have a shared interest in emo and pop-punk, their other musical tastes diverge from there.

“It’d really be hard for all of us to agree on what to play,” Carlson said. “We differ that much.”

Up next for LouderNow are more tour dates, including in their hometown, Chicago. They all said they are excited about the upcoming show in Carbondale.

“We are all really looking forward to coming down,” Zywica said.

For more information about LouderNow, check out <http://www.LouderNowBand.com>.

who: Louder Now

what: emo and pup-punk tribute

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company

 

when: Saturday, August 27

Party Pants: Rocking the Polar Bear Party

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub

More Articles
Hello Weekend: Greetings to the Polar Bear Party


Who: Hello Weekend / Party Pants
What: Polar Bear Party
Where:
When: 2016-01-30
The opportunity to literally chill out starts this weekend with the annual Polar Bear Party in Pinch
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

The opportunity to literally chill out starts this weekend with the annual Polar Bear Party in Pinch Penny Pub’s beer garden.

Party Pants will warm up the crowd for Hello Weekend Saturday, January 30 inside the adjacent Copper Dragon Brewing Company. The five-piece band from Southern Illinois rocks up both typical party tunes as well as top-forty favorites with new and surprising takes on cover songs.

Lead singer Matt Davis said the group tries to add a signature, guitar-charged sound to each one of their covers.

“We basically take the same song and rock it up,” Davis said, “any songs that you typically hear at parties, just a little bit different.”

Party Pants consists of Davis, guitarist Matt Stanton, drummer Taylor Beninati, bass player Dillon Rushing and guitarist and keyboardist Steven Campbell. The band has been together the last two years.

Their set includes songs by AC/DC, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, Fall Out Boy, Maroon Five, Lady Gaga, Kiss, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Sublime, the Beastie Boys, Beyoncé, Weezer, Rick Springfield, the Black Keyes, Foo Fighters, NSync, Nicki Minaj, Poison, and Jimmy Eat World.

Davis said Party Pants puts their take on a party tune based on the structure and chord progression of the original version. Many pop tunes mesh well with others, he says.

“It depends on the song,” he said. “Some of the songs, we play them pretty straightforward. But others, like the Britney Spears covers, we add a cool guitar lick.”

Davis said he can’t easily choose his favorite song to perform because so many in the setlist bring different kinds of fun. Ultimately, it depends on the crowd reaction.

“The boy-band stuff is really fun to sing,” Davis said. “I also really like doing ‘Pony’ by Ginuwine. It makes me feel like I’m Magic Mike.”

Davis explains that Party Pants has experimented with mashup covers as well.

“We can start with maybe a Spice Girls song and then morph into some Vanilla Ice,” he said, “or maybe ‘Blurred Lines.’ Who knows?”

Party Pants is planning a special medley for the Polar Bear Party. Davis said that since they played at last year’s annual shindig, the band understands that there ain’t no party like the Polar Bear because it brings out the best kinds of party animals.

“We had such a good time last year, and we’re really looking forward to coming back and playing again.”

An eight-minute sample of the Party Pants experience is streaming on Soundcloud. The set includes amped up versions of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me,” Backstreet Boys’ “Larger than Life,” Beastie Boys’ “Fight for Your Right to Party,” Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” and Lorde’s “Royals.”

who: Hello Weekend / Party Pants

what: Polar Bear Party

where: Copper Dragon Brewing Company

 

when: Saturday, January 30

Wedding Banned: Rockin’ Down the Aisle

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub

More Articles
Wedding Banned: Getting Hitched


Who: Wedding Banned
What: party rock
Where:
When: 2015-10-24
Nearing their tenth year in the not-your-typical wedding-band business, the Wedding Banned cordially
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Nearing their tenth year in the not-your-typical wedding-band business, the Wedding Banned cordially invites party people to a reception Saturday, October 24 at the Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden (with a rain location in the Copper Dragon).

The band’s high-energy, electric show combines all the elements of a wedding party, including the kitschy fun usually reserved for actual nuptials.

The band started back in 2006 in Gas City, Indiana, but legend has it that the band was considered too wild and crazy for their hometown. When the band booked a regular gig at the Cubby Bear in Chicago, however, they packed the place and found a niche needed to get more bookings.

“We would see a lot of cover bands and they would come out dressed in their clothes and they would play,” bass player Bruce Winche’ll told Nightlife in 2013. “Not that there is anything wrong with it, but we wanted to do something more. We wanted to put on a show.”

The Wedding Banned set list includes “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes, “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang, “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot,” “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “Basket Case,” by Green Day, and “Creep” by Radiohead. Don’t be surprised to hear Journey, Cutting Crew, Whitney Houston, and even a Metallica medley.

During each show, the band assigns a bride and groom for the night’s festivities. More often than not, the “newlyweds” have never met, but that only adds to the fun.

“No show is exactly the same,” Winche’ll previously told Nightlife. “It’s very high-energy. We like to have a good time. We play songs, games, sometimes marry people right on the stage,”

The band now plays more than one-hundred shows a year, including at actual weddings. They are now one of the biggest cover-band draws in Chicago.

But Winche’ll has said that Pinch Penny Pub and the Copper Dragon are among the Wedding Banned’s favorite destinations. A blog post on the group’s website mirrors those sentiments, calling Carbondale a place that “never disappoint[s]” and that the Wedding Band always “expect the show to [be] extra crazy.”

“A lot of colleges want to be known as a party school,” Winche’ll has said. “We play a lot of college towns and we tell them, ‘Yeah, there is you— and then there is SIU.’ It’s one of our favorite places to play. No fooling.”

For more information, log on to <http//www.WeddingBanned.com>.

who: Wedding Banned

what: party rock

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company

 

when: Saturday, October 24

Jungle Dogs Reunion 2015: Still Kicking the School Year off With a Real Party

Bands
Jungle Dogs

MP3's
Jungle Dogs

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Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub

More Articles
Jungle Dogs Reunion 2013: A Quarter Century of Music, Memories, and Fun
Jungle Dogs Reunion 2014: A Wild Carbondale Party Tradition Continues
Jungle Dogs Reunion Concert 2012: Together Again for a Party, Nostalgia, and Cold Beer
Jungle Dogs: Returning to Reopen Their Own Back Yard
Jungle Dogs: SIU’s Party-school Image Incarnate


Who: Jungle Dogs reunion show
What: party rock, funk, ska, reggae
Where:
When: 2015-09-05
In Carbondale, few traditions are as anticipated or as celebrated as the annual Jungle Dogs reunion
Jeff Hale
Video Comentary

In Carbondale, few traditions are as anticipated or as celebrated as the annual Jungle Dogs reunion concert on Labor Day weekend. Carbondale’s favorite party band will once again come together Saturday, September 5 in Pinch Penny Pub’s beer garden. The rain location is the Copper Dragon Brewing Company.

“We’re really looking forward to this,” Jungle Dogs trumpeter and legendary frontman and party master D. Ward tells Nightlife. “This is the fifth year in a row that we’ve done it. It’s so great to have the people down at Pinch Penny that let us do this every year. It’s gotten to the point where everybody just knows it’s going to happen, and sets this weekend aside and looks forward to it.”

Fans are looking forward to the appearance of a legend and legacy on the Carbondale music and party scene.

In 1987, this group came together to create an infectious and unforgettable blend of ska, pop, reggae, and jazz that soon became as much of a weekend staple on the Carbondale bar scene as cold beer and pizza by the slice. Almost every Friday or Saturday, huge audiences would seek out the club where the Dogs were playing, and the party that ensued would make Mardi Gras look like a quilting class.

The legend and legacy that is the Jungle Dogs continued throughout the 1990s, with new legions of fans flocking to concerts every year. The Carbondale experience was not complete without at least one Jungle Dogs concert, and countless graduates celebrated educational milestones to the band’s music.

The Jungle Dogs party train surged down the tracks until 2004, when growing families and diverse career paths prompted the group— saxophone player Klaus “Rock the House” Bank, bass player Eddie Chapa, trombone player Larry Daly, trumpet and keyboard player Keith Huffman, drummer John Hunter, percussionist Matt Linsin, trombone and keyboard player Jim Owens, guitarist Dan Schingel, and D. Ward— to cease live performing.

Fast forward six years to Labor Day weekend 2010 at Pinch Penny, and the band that rocked Carbondale for seventeen years came back better than ever. The Jungle Dogs reunited, not only with each other, but with the fans that had made them a household name in Southern Illinois— not to mention some of their fans’ children, and in some cases their grandchildren. After that night, there could be little question that the Jungle Dogs Labor Day reunion show had to become a yearly event.

Although the band now only plays together once a year, for Ward and the rest of the guys in the band, their love for the music and the idea of seeing generations of fans keeps them coming back to Pinch Penny year after year.

“Time goes by so fast,” Ward says. “It seems like we’ve slowed down a little bit. Obviously, we don’t play as much as we used to. I wish we could get to play a little bit more, but obviously circumstances don’t allow for that. Like they say, time flies when you’re having fun. But the show at Pinch is always a great time for us.”

Ward likens the infrequency of the Jungle Dogs’ reunions to the time before video, when The Wizard of Oz could only be seen on television once a year.

“I know that I always look forward to it,” he laughs. “I still get a little bit nervous before we go up there to play, but that always seems to go away. Back in the day, we were playing just about every weekend, or at least once or twice a month. Now, with the once-a-year thing, I think everybody does probably look a little more forward to it. But I always looked forward to playing no matter how often it was. I always appreciated being able to get up there with the boys and do our thing. It was always a great time.”

A great time is the name of the game for the Jungle Dogs and what they have delivered to their fans for almost thirty years. Ward says that although the city that was the group’s creative birthplace has undergone many metamorphoses, the band’s original mission has remained the same. This continues to keep their legions of original fans, and their flocks of new ones, coming to Pinch every Labor Day weekend.

“Carbondale has changed a lot since we started, as far as the number of clubs that have live music,” Ward says. “I don’t think there are nearly as many as there used to be. I would love to be able to come back and play a little bit more, or even be back on the road a little bit. The main thing we had, and the original idea from the very beginning, was the idea of having fun— to break down that wall between the band and the crowd. We just wanted to be creative and do our thing, and it is always about having a good time, us and the audience. We have tried to keep that tradition going for the past five years at Pinch. I guess if you’ve got a good thing like that going, you just try to keep it going. Even if it is only once a year.”

One cannot help but marvel at how almost three decades have elapsed since the Jungle Dogs first took to a Carbondale stage. Ward finds it hard to believe that the years have passed so quickly, but says that their music has remained ageless, and that for the Dogs, the fans remain the driving force behind their love for performing.

“It seems like a long time ago, and yet it doesn’t,” he muses. “But that’s the way with everything. It’s like life— it just goes by so fast. What a great run we’ve had.”

It may be impossible for anyone who came of age or went to college in Carbondale between 1987 and 2004 to believe that people in town today have not heard of the Jungle Dogs, but no doubt they exist and are looking fun. Ward says they should definitely consider making a stop at Pinch Penny, because what they will find is not just a concert, but a party that draws in generations with music that will just plain make people feel great.

“Every year,” Ward says, “we always start out with the older crowd, the ones that have followed us over the years. Some of them stay for the entire night, and that’s great. But as the night goes on, you start to see younger and younger faces. Last year I noticed there were a lot of young people that were seeing us for the first time. They really seemed to get into the spirit of it, and that’s just the way it happened with us when we were all that age thirty years ago. If a bunch of old guys like us can win over a young crowd like that, you know there’s got to be something fun that’s happening; something that everybody can enjoy.

“I would just like to say that they should come out and see something different,” Ward concludes. “It’s not going to be your every-night evening at Pinch. If you really want to kick the school year off with a real party, there’s no better band to do it with, still to this day, than the Jungle Dogs.”

Find out more at <http//www.JungleDogs.com>.

who: Jungle Dogs reunion show

what: party rock, funk, ska, reggae

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company

 

when: Saturday, September 5

January Noise: Pack a Party Punch

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub


Who: January Noise
What: party rock
Where:
When: 2015-08-21
Leaving something familiar and safe for the unknown can be a scary endeavor. Some might even see it
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Leaving something familiar and safe for the unknown can be a scary endeavor. Some might even see it as foolish to give up a sure thing, but a Nashville, Tennessee musician said he had to make the right decision for himself, a choice he does not regret to this day.

“I wanted to be the captain of my own ship,” Blair Gilley said. “I needed a change.”

Gilley and his band, January Noise, rocks Friday, August 21 into the Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden in one of the first weekend party showcases of the fall semester. Specializing in a variety of good-time covers with a rock-driven pop edge, the fledgling band banks on finding something for everyone in the crowd to get up and feel the noise in every sense of the word.

Gilley said the beginnings of January Noise started earlier this year. Gilley had a regular gig playing guitar for up-and-coming country artist Chase Rice. Though he enjoyed this time, Gilley said he wanted to be a part of something where he could create more musically, something he could call his own.

“I’m not just a guitar player,” he said. “I’m also more of a rock guy. I just found myself wanting to do something more.”

Gilley is no stranger to rock, having toured with Field Day and GoodNight City in Atlanta before he came to Nashville, Tennessee, to pursue the second chapter of his music career: Flight Case for Sushi.

After recording and producing an album, Flight Case for Sushi was picked up by a label. When the deal fell through, so did the band, and the members went on to pursue other projects.

Gilley said that one thing he missed when playing country music was the camaraderie among fellow musicians that was more prevalent in rock.

“In country music, it is always about the one person,” Gilley explained, “whereas in rock bands, just about everyone has an equal say.”

Right in the middle of setting up January Noise, another opportunity came knocking. Gilley said he was called and offered the opportunity to play guitar for another rising country star, Jake Owen. After consulting and analyzing the opportunities offered in front of him, Gilley declined the offer and decided to continue what he started.

“Some might think that it is crazy, leaving arena tours and go back to playing clubs,” Gilley said. “But, for me, it was a necessity.”

January Noise, Gilley said, pulls up songs “from the seventies rock to Green Day to Taylor Swift.” The high-energy, something-for-everyone show packs a party punch where nearly any once or current popular pop rock artist might be featured, including Bon Jovi, Pharrell Williams, the Go Gos, Miley Cyrus, Prince, Jimmy Eat World, Five Seconds of Summer, P!nk, Queen, and Weezer.

“We’ve been known to play Billy Joel and then go straight into ‘Jealous’ by Nick Jonas,” Gilley said.

The passion project has since picked up steam, with a band lineup finalized just last month. And a recording project may soon be on its way. Gilley explained that some work funded through a 2013 Kickstarter campaign may end up fueling a debut album.

Gilley said it is his hope that January Noise will continue to grow as a band. By eventually incorporating more original songs into their setlists, he said he is also hopeful that the group will be involved in a rock ‘n’ roll revolution.

“Everything goes in cycles,” he said. “It will all come back again. Right now, country seems to be the biggest thing out there, but that might not always be the case. Rock will see a resurgence, and hopefully we can be a part of that. We’re just a baby band, but we’re ready.”

For more information, check out Gilley’s website at <http//www.BlairGilley.com>.

who: January Noise

what: party rock

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company

 

when: Friday, August 21

Mallrats: Soundtrack to the Nineties

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub


Who: Mallrats
What: party rock
Where:
When: 2015-06-26
Turn back to a time where grunge and flannel reigned supreme this weekend when Mallrats invade Pinch
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Turn back to a time where grunge and flannel reigned supreme this weekend when Mallrats invade Pinch Penny Pub Friday, June 26. The band consists of Chris Bobrowski on lead vocals, JET on bass, Chris Riccardo on guitar, Greg Rapp on drums, and Matt Rhodes on guitar.

Mallrats conjure up nostalgia for covers by Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, and the Stone Temple Pilots.

Nightlife exchanged email with Bobrowski and JET about the band and what is so great about everything nineties.

How did Mallrats start?

Both Chris Bobrowski and JET: Mallrats started in February 2015. All of the guys in the band have known each other for years. Musicians know musicians, and you find a mutual respect for one another. We are always busy with our own shows each week, but when we are not we try to hang with our peers.

Basically Mallrats is a coming-together of guys who have become great friends through that process. It’s always been: “Hey, we should start a band!” The planets don’t align often, so we kind of forced this one by making a commitment for each of us to part ways with previous bands in order to play with each other....

[W]hen you start a new band, you need to fill roles. Guys who can play guitar, guys who can sing harmonies; you need to be willing and able to travel and have the mental grasp that this job doesn’t start at 10 p.m. and end at midnight— it is truly a twenty-four/seven job if you want your band to be successful. There is a ton of stuff that goes on, off of the stage, so working with a lot of the major bands in our market is like have a stacked résumé. It may sound cliché, but in the music industry it is all about who you know.

What is your favorite song that you do?

JET: Well, for me, I love playing any of the tunes where we all get to sing. There is just something super-fun about getting a great four-part harmony to work— “Low” by Cracker is really a simple song to play, but we all throw in harmonies on it and it just raises the excitement level for me.

Bobrowski: [We] do a lot of Pearl Jam. Chris has an incredible ability to sound like a lot of the artists we cover. Eddie Vedder is right up his alley. Anything Pearl Jam for certain. One of our friends overheard a random comment during our show a few weeks back that the singer must be faking it because nobody can go from Pearl Jam to Radiohead and sound that good. We laughed at it, and we are flattered— that’s a pretty big compliment…. Mallrats doesn’t use any tracks— it’s all just magic tricks and energy drinks!

What do you think it is about the music of the 1990s that resonates with some people?

Bobrowski: I’ll tell you, for the longest time we have been astounded by the college kids requesting to hear Journey, Kansas, Zeppelin, et cetera. In all honestly, the eighties will never die, but in the last year the nineties has really become the focus of the world. Flannel is selling in all the hip fashion stores, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam are all playing in the malls’ overhead systems, and the kids who grew up on this music are just getting to the freedom years of going out and having a great time. Right now really is the perfect time to do this project!

JET: I moved to Chicago in the early nineties and I remember the huge impact Q101, [radio personality Erich] Mancow and the grunge era of music had on me. Also, if you compare it to a lot of the stuff on the radio today, the nineties really was the last major movement of real music with real musicians and not just a great singer who performs with tracked loops and samples. The real thing just can’t be matched. There is an energy there that people remember, that people loved.

What do you hope someone gets out of coming to one of your shows?

Both: Well, first off, we want people to have a great time— that’s why people go out and socialize to begin with. One of the coolest things about what we get to do is facilitate a reason for people to go out and be known in their community. As they said in Cheers, you wanna go where everybody knows your name. Well going to see live bands with other fans of music— that whole scene creates this magical environment where you know people who aren’t in your normal circle— and yet everyone is welcome, and missed when they don’t come out. It’s like having a second personality where you can be a different you than from the one you might have to be at work or at school— the you that has fun.

JET: Secondly, we want to spark those memories from the nineties. I know that every time I hear a Soundgarden tune I’m immediately transported back to ninety-four in my old truck listening to Q101 and working in a Coconuts record store! Man, those were some fun times.

Do you have any plans to record new and/or original material?

Both: Sure! It’s coming— we have other things to accomplish first. We have all written and recorded previously— some of us together in a band called AETH3R— you can find us on iTunes— but it’s not hard to see a collaboration of magic in the near future!

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Both: We love Carbondale! We have three shows coming up at Pinch Penny— June 26, August 1, and September 12. We have all played down here before in other bands. These will be the first Mallrats shows in this area and we are excited. The people out here are rowdy and uninhibited— just like us!

who: Mallrats

what: party rock

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company

 

when: Friday, June 26

Run Forrest Run: Nineties Nostalgia

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub


Who: Run Forrest Run
What: party rock
Where:
When: 2015-05-08
Slap on your slap bracelets, lace up those kicks, and get ready for that nineties nostalgia.
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Slap on your slap bracelets, lace up those kicks, and get ready for that nineties nostalgia.

Run Forrest Run runs the musical gamut of that decade Friday, May 8 at the Copper Dragon Brewing Company. As the band’s name suggests, this Windy City group wants to outfit the weekend with the kind of warm and fuzzy memories associated with the decade of literal and figurative whatever.

Lead vocalist and acoustic guitar player Patrick Kelleher said Run Forrest Run (formerly known as According to Sarah) is relatively new.

The group, he says, really enjoys evoking musical memories.

“We really like it when someone comes up to us and says, ‘Man, I haven’t heard that song in, like, ten years,’” Kelleher said. “It gives us a really good feeling.”

Their name comes from the 1990s Tom Hanks movie Forrest Gump, an iconic award-winning film that the band hopes is reminiscent of a time not so long ago.

“We wanted something that said nineties from the moment you heard it,” he said.

Other members of the band include Louie Rodriguez on guitar and backup vocals, Chris Smith on guitar and backup vocals, Adrien Covington on bass and backup vocals and Evan Fahning on drums.

Run Forrest Run’s repertoire includes Three Doors Down’s “Kryptonite,” Bloodhound Gang’s “The Bad Touch,” Smash Mouth’s “All Star,” Green Day’s “Basketcase” and “When I Come Around,” and Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life.”

Think that’s it? As if! Those songs only scratch the surface. Kelleher said the band also whips out a couple of nineties Disney and pop-music medleys.

“We can also play the Friends theme,” Kelleher said.

Run Forrest Run was born from the idea that bar crowds may be up for a trip down memory lane.

“We all grew up in the nineties,” Kelleher said. “We grew up on this stuff. We noticed that a lot of the crowd at the eighties bands were mostly an older crowd. So we thought that the college crowd might be interested in the things that they can remember.”

Kelleher said one great thing about the decade was the variety of music that could be pulled into a set list. Grunge, rock, pop, and rhythm and blues all found popularity during the 1990s.

“We had everything during that time,” Kelleher said. “A lot of different genres became popular throughout the decade.”

Kelleher said Run Forrest Run is a fun way for him and the rest of the band to fulfill a professional goal: to play music for a living.

“We are all dedicated to this project,” he said. “We all want to be working musicians. It’s all I have ever wanted to do. So we are going to see where this takes us.”

For more information about Run Forrest Run, check out <http://www.RunForrestRunBand.com>.

who: Run Forrest Run

what: party rock

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company

 

when: Friday, May 8

Hello Weekend: Greetings to the Polar Bear Party

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub


Who: Party Pants / Hello Weekend
What: Polar Bear Party
Where:
When: 2015-01-31
Hello Weekend takes the top forty to another level with a show Saturday, January 31 at the Copper Dr
Leah Williams
Video Comentary

Hello Weekend takes the top forty to another level with a show Saturday, January 31 at the Copper Dragon Brewing Company as part of the annual Polar Bear Party. Local band Party Pants will also perform.

Bass player Scott Steele talked with Nightlife about cranking up the tunes, relaxing the groove, and the beginnings of Bob the Bunny.

“That’s exactly what we we’re going for,” Steele said about the band’s name, “that feeling you get when the weekend is finally here.”

Hello Weekend consists of dynamite musicians, including Steele, Christina Bagby, Chris Brown, Ivan Dunki, and Conne Baltzell. Steele said that everyone comes from a different musical background, and together they fuse all their talents and influences into a power-packed celebratory punch whether or not a gig falls on a calendar weekend.

“We are basically a party band,” Steele said. “We wanted to do something where you could hear many of the current popular songs on the radio in a live setting.”

But a recognizable tune does not always a successful cover band make. Steele said it is the lively, high-energy style that keeps the party going.

“We want them to have as much fun as we are,” Steele said.

Some of the ready-made radio hit songs in the Hello Weekend repertoire are “Uptown Funk,” “Shake It Off,” “Timber,” “Titanium,” “Get Lucky,” “I Don’t Care,” and “Blurred Lines.”

Though the band only began about a year ago, Steele said Hello Weekend is starting to see many of the rewards for its hard work. The band has taken up with Double D Booking, which has helped push more tour dates and performances in various college towns.

One of the most unique elements of Hello Weekend is the group’s masked mascot, Bob the Bunny. Bob is no ordinary rascally rabbit; he likes to interact with the crowd, pose for numerous selfies with audience members, and otherwise cause mayhem on stage.

What began as a joke among band members has now moved beyond the originally intended gimmick, Steele said.

“It started when our guitarist [Chris Brown] brought it over as part of his Halloween party, and he has been showing up at gigs ever since,” Steele said. “It just kind of grew and took on a life of its own.”

“We’ve got some plans in store for Bob,” Steele added. “We want to produce these videos that give him super powers. Like, maybe Iron Man, when he shoots lights and lasers from his wrists. Something like that.”

Steele said Hello Weekend has toyed with the idea of putting original songs into their setlist, but they haven’t yet done so.

“Maybe eventually,” Steele said. “But right now we want to just focus on the music we have and want to make. We want to conquer Chicago and become the premiere cover band in that area. Who knows what’ll happen? Right now the sky’s the limit.”

For more information about the band, check out <http://HelloWeekendMusic.com>.

who: Party Pants / Hello Weekend

what: Polar Bear Party

where: Copper Dragon Brewing Company

 

when: Saturday, January 31

Jungle Dogs Reunion 2014: A Wild Carbondale Party Tradition Continues

Bands
Jungle Dogs

MP3's
Jungle Dogs

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Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Liquors

More Articles
Jungle Dogs Reunion 2013: A Quarter Century of Music, Memories, and Fun
Jungle Dogs Reunion Concert 2012: Together Again for a Party, Nostalgia, and Cold Beer
Jungle Dogs: Returning to Reopen Their Own Back Yard
Jungle Dogs: SIU’s Party-school Image Incarnate


Who: Jungle Dogs
What: party rock, funk, reggae, ska
Where:
When: 2014-08-30
Labor Day weekend is upon Southern Illinois once again, that time when people from across the region
Jeff Hale
Video Comentary

 

Labor Day weekend is upon Southern Illinois once again, that time when people from across the region make time for that one last blowout bash of the summer. For music fans in Carbondale, this means it is time once again for the annual Jungle Dogs reunion, which gets underway Saturday, August 30 in the Pinch Penny Pub beer garden. The rain location is in the Copper Dragon.

A Carbondale tradition since 2009, the Jungle Dogs reunion carries on a legacy that began in 1987, when a group of musicians, many of whom studied at the SIU School of Music, came together to create a trademark blend of infectious reggae, funk, ska, and urban pop. The Jungle Dogs— saxophone player Klaus “Rock the House” Bank, bass player Eddie Chapa, trombone player Larry Daly, trumpet and keyboard player Keith Huffman, drummer John Hunter, percussionist Matt Linsin, trombone and keyboard player Jim Owens, guitarist Dan Schingel, and trumpet player and frontman D. Ward— packed in crowds on stages across the Midwest until 2004, when changing job and family commitments compelled Carbondale’s favorite party band to retire. After that, the fun and good times that the band inspired during their reign as the region’s foremost live band were only a memory, to the bleak dismay of fans who followed the Dogs from stage to stage for sixteen years.

Five years later, with a desire to feel that on-stage camaraderie and the special magic of a live audience, the band came together once again on Labor Day weekend at Pinch. What happened on that mystical night in 2009 began a new tradition. For five years the Jungle Dogs reunion has attracted fans of all ages from all over the country, from those who first grooved to the band’s Caribbean-influenced sounds as college students to their children and even grandchildren who had only been exposed to the group’s signature sound via CD and aged cassettes and videos. Now, as Labor Day weekend approaches once again, the Jungle Dogs are preparing to relive old memories and help their loyal audiences create new ones.

Jungle Dogs bassist and original member Eddie Chapa tells Nightlife that the event is as much a reunion for the band as it is a chance for the group to connect and reconnect with old and new fans alike.

“It’s that time of year once again,” Chapa says. “We always start planning this thing eight or nine months ahead of time, and it seems like it’s going to be forever. Then, before you know it, the summer’s getting ready to be over and it’s right around the corner. We’re gearing up for our big preparty rehearsal the night before; that will be on Friday. That’s always a great time for us.”

After more than a quarter century of sold-out live shows and five years of reunion shows that continue to draw fans from multiple generations, one might wonder if the ongoing success of the Jungle Dogs ever amazes the men who have been making it happen in Carbondale since the late 1980s. Chapa confesses that it does.

“It always kind of surprises me,” he laughs, “especially with every year that passes by. Time marches on, you know, but people come up to me still. They always say they’re looking forward to the show, and they always make sure to ask me what time we’re starting. They always want to know if we’re starting early like we do every year. We always start early, because a lot of our older fans and close friends come early. People have already been buying T-shirts so they can wear them to the show; I’ve delivered some of them. It’s funny how it works. It’s almost like two shows built into one. Early on, it’s the older faces that we’ve seen for years and years. Then, later, the students start showing up, and it’s like a second wave. A lot of time the students will say, ‘Who are those old guys up on stage? Boy, they sure are a lot of fun.’ Then, they start partying right along with us.”

Though the Jungle Dogs reunion show has become a Labor Day tradition in Carbondale, another tradition, just as precious to the band members, is the annual preshow rehearsal, which Eddie Chapa always refers to as a party. Every year, on the night preceding the concert, the Jungle Dogs hold their own private reunion, which includes dinner, music, memories, and plenty of “Cold Beer.” One can almost hear the smile on Chapa’s face as he talks about the rekindling of that special Jungle Dogs brotherhood.

“I’ve said this before, but this is a reunion in a real sense,” Chapa says. “It’s a reunion for us as well. That’s the good stuff, because we get a chance to sit around and talk and hang out. A lot of times during a show, you’re up on stage and you’re playing and you’re busy. The night before is more personal. We share a meal together, we visit, we run through some tunes, and it’s equally as important to us. It makes for a whole reunion weekend.”

While the Jungle Dogs have been around Carbondale longer than many of their fans have been alive, the music and the memories created at each live show make for experiences that never seem to get old. The reunion show is particularly special to the Jungle Dogs themselves, who have never lost that passion for performing. Chapa credits that passion to the group members’ love for each other and the support of fans.

“We always look forward to this so much, mostly because it’s just the one show,” Chapa says. “It might be different if there were several shows built in throughout the year. It’s never really gotten old. Plus, I think a lot of it has to do with the dynamic of the band. It’s just so diverse, with all the different personalities. It’s like a big fraternity, not like these bands where it’s just three or four pieces. There’s nine of us at these reunions. It’s such a special event with such build up and anticipation for it. What do they call it when the planets align and it’s just one moment? It’s just fantastic every time, because we get to play all this great music and have all this fun. There’s just so many fun things. When you’re playing that music together, once you’re in that moment and you’re on stage, it’s almost an out-of-body experience. You raise the level, and you always appreciate that moment and the musical high. You see people smiling and dancing, and it’s just such an enjoyable moment.”

With twenty-six years having passed, Chapa makes no firm commitments about the notion of a brand new Jungle Dogs record, but tells Nightlife that the idea has been proposed and it’s an idea that is appealing— maybe for the band’s thirtieth reunion.

“Gosh, that is just crazy to think of three decades of Jungle Dogs,” Chapa says. “It always boggles my mind to think of how much time has lapsed. We have thought of new recordings. It seems like D. Ward is always instrumental in those conversations; it comes up every so often. He’s mentioned it to me a couple of times, and talked about new musical ideas. I would love nothing more than to be able to go back into the studio, even if it’s just to record one song. Anymore, in this day and age, with the single and the ninety-nine-cent download, people have kind of gotten away from the notion of a whole CD. But I would love to be able to record some new music. We’ve talked about it, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility.”

Chapa says that fans should not let any oppressive, late-summer heat dissuade them from coming out and enjoying another night of music, memories, and high spirits.

“We will definitely be on the stage at nine o’clock sharp,” he laughs. “We place a lot of importance on starting early. If you want to come and see a live band that likes to have fun and plays great music that is pretty diverse, come on out. The common denominator is fun— it’s all fun. It’s uplifting, positive music, with a festival-type band in a summer setting. Whether you’re seeing us for the first time or the hundredth time, it’s always enjoyable for everybody across the board. That’s the thing that makes Jungle Dogs so great. It’s just pure fun.”

For more about the Jungle Dogs, visit <http://www.JungleDogs.com>.

who: Jungle Dogs

what: party rock, funk, reggae, ska

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company

when: Saturday, August 30

 

Jungle Dogs Reunion 2013: A Quarter Century of Music, Memories, and Fun

Bands
Jungle Dogs

MP3's
Jungle Dogs

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Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub

More Articles
Jungle Dogs Reunion Concert 2012: Together Again for a Party, Nostalgia, and Cold Beer
Jungle Dogs: Returning to Reopen Their Own Back Yard
Jungle Dogs: SIU’s Party-school Image Incarnate


Who: Jungle Dogs
What: funk, reggae, party rock
Where:
When: 2013-08-31
If memories are like threads of gold, then the Jungle Dogs are keepers of a tapestry locked inside o
Jeff Hale
Video Comentary

If memories are like threads of gold, then the Jungle Dogs are keepers of a tapestry locked inside of Fort Knox. More than a quarter-century ago, a group of guys from the community and the SIU School of Music got together for two purposes-- to make a great, infectious mix of brass and rhythm-based ska, calypso, and reggae, and to provide a few hours of musical escape and fun both for themselves and for the audiences at Carbondale's favorite watering holes. The result was the Jungle Dogs, who would become a tradition on the Southern Illinois bar scene for the next seventeen years, until the band officially retired in 2003.

For five years the band left the music scene. That absence, coupled with the band's desire to reconnect with each other and their fans, led to what has become, in recent years, another of Carbondale's most anticipated late-summer traditions: the annual Jungle Dogs reunion concert, which continues Saturday, August 31 on the beer-garden stage of Pinch Penny Pub.

Although massive flooding in 2012 forced the Jungle Dogs to move their annual Labor Day blowout indoors to the Copper Dragon (which remains the rain location this year), founding Jungle Dogs member and trumpet player extraordinaire D. Ward tells Nightlife that the devoted fans who came out (some against safety recommendations) for the once-a-year tradition made it a night to remember.

"I almost didn't make it out of Carbondale last year," Ward laughs, "because the streets were just flooded with water. Hopefully, we'll have some good weather this year. We had a lot of fun last year, but I love being outside."

The true fun of the Jungle Dogs concert experience, of course, cannot be dampened by unexpected heavy rainfall. With more than twenty-five years of musical memories and two generations of fans (original Dogs fans are now introducing their grown children to the infectious musical extravaganza) who consider classics like "Cold Beer" part of the soundtrack of their college days, there is not much in nature than can diminish the spirit of the band or the scores of old and new fans who flock to the reunion shows. That devotion keeps Carbondale's most legendary bar band coming back year after year.

"It's always fun! When you only get a chance to play together once a year, you just gotta have fun; you can't help it!" Ward says happily. "It's always a great gig."

Something that surprises the legendary party boss of the band, known for his limitless stage energy and unforgettable hats, is how the annual reunion show has grown into nearly as much of an anticipated event as the first Jungle Dogs shows more two decades ago.

"I wasn't really aware that it was getting to that point,” Ward says. “But that's cool. That's a great thing. It's always good to see the people that come out. We see a lot of people who used to come who still come out, and we see a lot of new faces too. It's always a good time."

The energetic and ageless front man says the Dogs are excited as ever about the performance and the preshow rehearsal/jam session that never fails to recapture that brotherhood that was, for both the band and their audience, lightning in a bottle.

"We rehearse the night before and run the set,” Ward says. “That's always a great time. Everybody's pumped up. It's like riding a bike. Those lines and those tunes come right back, and it's almost like you never stopped playing. We're excited, and we can't wait!"

For more about The Jungle Dogs, visit them online at <http://www.JungleDogs.com>.

who: Jungle Dogs reunion

what: funk, reggae, party rock

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company

when: Saturday, August 31

Wedding Banned: Getting Hitched

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub


Who: Wedding Banned
What: party rock
Where:
When: 2013-08-17
You don’t have to walk down an aisle, promise to love someone forever, or even hunt down something b
Leah Williams Wright
Video Comentary

 

You don’t have to walk down an aisle, promise to love someone forever, or even hunt down something blue to have the kind of party others need a legal contract to enjoy.

The Wedding Banned hosts a party sans holy matrimony Saturday, August 25 at Pinch Penny Pub. The cover band specializes in live-instrument party music to amp up any evening.

Bass player Bruce Winche’ll explained to Nightlife that the band produces a high-energy show all by themselves. No synthesized solos here. All jam.

“It’s all us, for or better or worse,” he said. “We are what you get.”

The Wedding Banned began in Gas City, Indiana, but their first big break came after landing a regular gig at the Cubby Bear in Chicago. They packed the place with a crowd that enjoyed the band’s audience-interactive, high-energy shows.

“We would see a lot of cover bands and they would come out dressed in their clothes and they would play,” Winche’ll said. “Not that there is anything wrong with it, but we wanted to do something more. We wanted to put on a show....

“It’s very high-energy. We like to have a good time. We play songs, games, sometimes marry people right on the stage,” Winche’ll said.

Wedding Banned now plays more than 100 shows a year and headlines other Chicago clubs like Joe’s on Weed Street, 115 Bourbon Street, and Durty Nellies. The band has also performed at numerous Chicago-area street festivals, including the Taste of Lincoln Avenue, Belmont Sheffield Music Fest, Retro on Roscoe, and Downtown Palatine Home Fest.

The Wedding Banned also frequents many college towns. Winche’ll said many have tried but few can close to the kind of party atmosphere created here in Carbondale.

“A lot of colleges want to be known as a party school,” he said. “We play a lot of college towns and we tell them, ‘Yeah there is you, and then there is SIU.’ It’s one of our favorite places to play. No fooling.”

Songs in the Wedding Banned setlist include Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance,” and Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name.” There is even a surprising, self-described mish-mash of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s nineties rap tune “Baby Got Back” and a medley of Metallica tunes.

Part of any Wedding Banned show involves leading man Mayor Manaconda officiating a wedding ceremony between two random strangers. While he’s kept no statistics to measure how well these matches work out into real happily ever-afters, Winche’ll said the band has been welcomed back to real weddings for real couples.

“We’ve had people come up to us and say that they met at a Wedding Banned show and they want us to play at their wedding because that was where it all began,” he said. “That has happened twice now. It’s great.”

Getting such high praise from fans is a touching endeavor, Winche’ll said, because they are the reason why the band works so hard day in and day out.

“If it wasn’t for them, then we wouldn’t be here,” he said.

The hardest part of being in a highly sought-after band can be putting up with the odd schedules. But Winche’ll said once the group hits the stage, all the effort and stress melts away.

“The schedule can be kind of tough,” he said. “You are setting up, traveling to different shows. It would be different if playing was all you had to do. The playing part is the reward for all the hard work you do.”

For more information, log on to <http://www.WeddingBanned.com>.

who: Wedding Banned

what: party rock

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company

when: Saturday, August 17

 

Hot Sauce Committee: Heating up the Polar Bear Party

Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub


Who: Hot Sauce Committee / Rod Tuff Curls and the Bench Press
What: Polar Bear party
Where:
When: 2013-01-26
Every year about this time, scores of patrons take to the Pinch Penny Pub beer garden regardless of
Chris Wissmann
Video Comentary

words by Leah Williams Wright and Chris Wissmann

picture by Roger Jansen

Every year about this time, scores of patrons take to the Pinch Penny Pub beer garden regardless of the temperature.

The annual Polar Bear Party warms up Saturday, January 26 in the next-door Copper Dragon with a double dose of party-rock fun. The bill includes Hot Sauce Committee, a band that pays tribute to nineties hip-hop, and Rod Tuffcurls and the Bench Press, blaring out party tunes.

Hot Sauce Committee is named after a two-part Beastie Boys album, only half of which was released. Based in the Chicago area, the band consists of Front man Serv, guitarist and vocalist Bender, drummer Pauly C., bassist Roland, and DJ Kevin Phoenix. The group formed after Bender, who played in alternative and heavy rock bands the Branded and A Birdsong Valentine, went to an underground party in Chicago with Pauly C., where they heard Phoenix spinning 1990s hip-hop and thought about how fun it would be to play those songs as a live band.

Play, though, is sort of the wrong word. In a Nightlife interview, the word to which Bender keeps returning is interpret.

“We’re not playing it verbatim,” he says. “We pop things in from today’s music and media world to help them relate.”

Them, of course, is a college-aged audience that barely was born when hits like the Beasties’ “Fight for Your Right” or “Sabotage” or Run-DMC’s “It’s Tricky” broke new ground in music.

“Yeah, these kids who were born in ninety-four, ninety-three, they didn’t grow up with this [music],” Bender says. “Everyone’s an eighties baby in the band, so it’s fun opening their eyes to it. They’re always coming up to us and asking, ‘Is this your song?’”

Bender chuckles, then notes that he really appreciates the hooks and verse-chorus-verse structure of 1990s tunes, calling that period an extremely enjoyable era in music.

But Hot Sauce Committee is trying not to fall into the tribute-band trap.

“There’s a lot of hip-hop bands out there” covering songs while playing live instruments, Bender says, “but for a lot of them it’s a gimmick. We try to bring out the actual musicianship [of the band].”

Back to the interpretation concept, as a guitarist who studied jazz, Bender loves the punk and metal guitar flourishes in 1990s hip-hop, from the more pop-oriented artists to still-extreme groups like Public Enemy and NWA. And in songs without significant guitar parts, Bender enjoys coming up with harmony lines for keyboard or vocal melodies.

But Hot Sauce Committee isn’t stuck in the 1990s or that era’s hip-hop. They play newer songs by Sublime, Eminem, and Snoop Dogg, and have a blast playing boy-band material by 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. Of the latter category, Bender laughs, “The girls eat it up, and the boys get excited because there’s girls there.”

They also trade on audience participation, especially during Sir Mix-a-lot’s “Baby Got Back” and Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” when they encourage women to come on stage to dance.

“For me, it’s all about presentation,” Bender says. “You let girls get on stage and give them that opportunity, and they’ll remember that forever. If they knock one of my tuning pegs so I’m out of tune or grab the drummer’s drum sticks and hit the ride cymbal off rhythm, and nobody can see the band and their boyfriends are getting angry, as long as they’re having great time.”

Meanwhile, Hot Sauce Committee is testing out original songs. They aren’t playing them at shows per se, just dropping snippets and choruses into their covers to see if they can generate some call-and-response from the audience and otherwise how they go over. Their goal is to figure out what’s working, then to record a few singles this summer, all while they build an audience.

“We all come from performance backgrounds and play in original rock bands,” Bender says. “In a market where nobody knows you, you need to be very engaging with the audience, and even then you still have people yelling ‘Freebird!’.... It’s challenging to an independent artist who’s just overwhelmed by everyone with a Reverb Nation page.”

Eventually, though, they’re hoping for a time when they can give an honest affirmative when someone from the audience asks them, “Is this your song?”

For more information about Hot Sauce Committee, search for them on Facebook.

who: Hot Sauce Committee

what: Polar Bear party w/ Rod Tuff Curls and the Bench Press (party rock)

where: Copper Dragon Brewing Company

when: Saturday, January 26

Jungle Dogs Reunion Concert 2012: Together Again for a Party, Nostalgia, and Cold Beer

Bands
Jungle Dogs

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Jungle Dogs

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Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub

More Articles
Jungle Dogs: Returning to Reopen Their Own Back Yard
Jungle Dogs: SIU’s Party-school Image Incarnate


Who: Jungle Dogs
What: reggae, ska, funk, party rock
Where:
When: 2012-09-01
For anyone who lived, worked, attended school, or just hung out in and around Carbondale from the la
Jeff Hale
Video Comentary

For anyone who lived, worked, attended school, or just hung out in and around Carbondale from the late 1980s all the way through the first decade of the new millennium, there was no stronger fabric in the tapestry of Carbondale’s party soundtrack than the Jungle Dogs. While Carbondale has certainly seen more than its share of insanely popular bar bands, few reached iconic status and remain on the lips of people who remember the good times, good drinks, and good friends almost ten years after playing their last official concert.

Starting in 1988, the Jungle Dogs-- whose lineup changed throughout the years but eventually solidified with saxophone player Klaus “Rock the House” Bank, bass player Eddie Chapa, trombone player Larry Daly, trumpet and keyboard player Keith Huffman, drummer John Hunter, percussionist Matt Linsin, trombone and keyboard player Jim Owens, guitarist Dan Schingel, and trumpet player and frontman D. Ward-- took to the stage almost every Friday and Saturday night in bars and beer gardens all over Carbondale, and eventually into venues throughout the tri-state region. Weekend after weekend, anyone who ever attended a Dogs show tuned out the worries of a busy and complicated world, hopped on the conga line, and sang and danced away their cares. The group’s signature number, “Cold Beer,” became not only a crowd favorite but an anthem for an entire generation of students who put SIU on the map as a major party school.

The band grew (and moved) apart due to the growing demands of raising families and nurturing diverse careers and made the decision to retire from regular performing. For the fans who had loyally flocked to Jungle Dogs shows for about fifteen years, the last official Dogs show at the 2002 Main Street Pig Out was a bittersweet experience.

Although the Jungle Dogs came out of retirement to play the 2003 Main Street Pig Out, it wasn’t until five years later the nine-member reggae, ska, urban pop, and salsa band started to regularly rekindle their one-of-a-kind magic in a historic reunion concert at Pinch Penny Pub. The event brought together not only their original fans, but in many cases, their original fans’ children.

In the years since, the annual Jungle Dogs reunion show has become one of the most anticipated events of Labor Day weekend in Carbondale. The group took last year off, but the Jungle Dogs’ annual Labor Day weekend shows resume Saturday, September 1 in the Pinch Penny beer garden. In case of rain, the show will move into the Copper Dragon Brewing Company.

“We’re totally getting excited about this,” Chapa tells Nightlife. “We always get really excited about playing together again. We always do a little get-together the night before. We do a little rehearsal/party here at my house, run through music, and hang out. That always gets us really excited about being together again.”

Chapa says he is sometimes surprised that a group that began with the sole purpose of providing some fun relief from the stress of exams, term papers, and campus life has etched a place in the soundtrack of their audiences’ lives.

“I run into people from time to time, and the Jungle Dogs will come up in conversation,” Chapa says. “When they find out that I’m a member, they always say, ‘Oh, that was such a big part of my college career. It was a big part of what was going on when I was in school, and it was so much fun.’ It really takes them back, just like it does with us. For me, personally, the reunions are always really interesting. It’s really a two-fold thing. For the audience, it’s about getting together again and playing music and reviving that old feeling of what is in the past. But for us, it’s a chance to get back together and catch up and talk and enjoy being together again. For us in the band, the bond that we have as members of the Jungle Dogs is a really intense one. I always tell people that it’s like we’re brothers. It’s almost like a fraternity.”

While the group’s members went their separate ways for a time, Chapa says there was little doubt in their minds that the band, which had become a cornerstone of the Carbondale bar scene, would be back at some point.

“We joked when we retired the band that we would be one of those bands who did reunions and just never goes away,” Chapa says. “Inevitably, that’s what happened. Fortunately, we have people who still want to see us and we have some very loyal fans in this area. The locals still love to come and hear us play.”

Indeed, the Jungle Dogs still find a large, loyal audience at the end of every long, hot summer in Southern Illinois. And as with any artist or band that achieves legendary status, the group not only enjoys the friendship and support of the fans who followed them from stage to stage since the 1980s. They also find that a whole new generation-- sometimes the grown children of their original fans-- is discovering and enjoying their infectious blend of good-time calypso, reggae, and island music. Chapa says that seeing a new generation of fans embracing and enjoying the group’s music is gratifying and makes the reunions very special.

“We always see a lot of familiar faces of old friends early in the show,” Chapa says. “But it’s always interesting, because about midnight we see a lot of college kids showing up. It becomes like a huge party with the early crowd, and the college kids joining for the last set. Sometimes we have fans who show up who were college kids back in the eighties or early nineties, and they come out with their kids who are now college-age. That’s how it is with my kids-- I have two kids that are college-age, and they’re big fans. We’re really lucky that Jungle Dogs has always had a very wide demographic. We weren’t just a college band that appealed only to college kids. We appealed to younger people and older people; I think that’s why we did so well at festival shows. I’ve seen people with their grandkids at our outdoor concerts.”

Chapa invites anyone who has never heard the Jungle Dogs or experienced the pure, unadulterated fun of a Jungle Dogs concert to come out to Pinch Penny and expect a rip-roaring musical good time, the same kind of good time that has brought audiences back for almost a quarter century.

“We’re a very fun band,” Chapa chuckles. “That’s always been the one big factor for us. We always have fun ourselves, and that translates to the crowd. We’ve always called ourselves a rock band, but we have a lot of influences with the reggae and calypso and ska. We really have that island sound, even our slower songs. It’s a very uplifting, positive kind of music and vibe. It will make you feel great. If they come, they’ll find the gamut of music is very wide. It’s definitely a fun time, and they’ll hear some great music. It’s going to be a great party.”

For more about the Jungle Dogs, visit <http://www.JungleDogs.com>.

who Jungle Dogs reunion

what reggae, ska, funk, party rock

where Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company

when Saturday, September 1

Lazer Dudes: Bringing a Good, Old-fashioned Sexorcism to the 'Dale

Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9


Who: Lazer Dudes / Hotbed / That's No Moon
What: electro-rock sex revival
Where:
When: 2011-02-26
Lazer Dudes: Bringing a Good, Old-fashioned Sexorcism to the 'Dale
Leah Williams Wright
Video Comentary

Setting ablaze the sentiment that some 1980s pop trends should have died with that decade, the totally tubular Lazer Dudes will take to the Hangar 9 stage Saturday, February 26 with warmup acts Hotbed and That's No Moon. The Springfield, Illinois five-piece band fuses the party atmosphere of yesterday with cool, crisp rock.

"It is heavily synthesized," said Apollo Van Lazer when describing his band's music. "It is rock you can dance to."

Apollo (real name: Josh Catalano) is the band's lead vocalist, and he said the story of the Dudes dates back to winter 2008, after unseen forces caused the dissolution of the Damwell Betters and Youth Group.

"It's great," Catalano said. "It's everything we thought it was going to be."

Catalano is joined on stage by fellow Von Lazers Pegasus (Marc Broomby) on guitar, Big Baby (Rory Davis) on keyboards, Boy (Jay Benoit) on drums, and Chavez (Jordan Laier) on bass.

In 2009, the band released Stimulated Emissions, an offering that included mind-blowing tracks like "She Only Loves Me for My Lazer Parties" and the stompin' good time "Super Destroyer." They followed up with Sexorcism, a full-length album released on Moon Panda Records.

The band's name stems from a trip that Benoit took back in the band's early days. He drove down to Cahokia Mounds to clear his mind when, all of a sudden, the perfect band name came to him in the form of an epiphany.

"I heard it, and I wanted to play in a band called the Lazer Dudes," Catalano said. "I thought it sounded like it would be cool."

The Lazer Dudes play exactly what their name suggests: "Electro-rock-sex-revival-- that's how we describe the music. A party-like revival," Catalano told the Illinois Times. "It's straightahead dance rock with synth-sounds on top, with no cuss words anywhere."

While there may be a small amount of cheese associated with the 1980s, Catalano assures Nightlife that while the tracks like "Stripper Glitter" and "Hard Particles" do play up the synths, other tracks offer listeners a whole other genre. Perfect examples are the newly released tunes "Taste the Fire" and "Rub Some Dirt on It." Sure, the eighties influences are there, but listeners will also discover guitar-charged energy and other worthy elements.

Catalano said he enjoys touring, visiting new places, and meeting new people. In addition to playing gigs in their central Illinois home turf, the Dudes have upcoming gigs in Chicago and St. Louis. Catalano said there are plans to branch out further.

"We will just keep doing it," he said. "We all want this. We are all committed to making this work. We want to keep the party going."

So keep your lasers pointed to the sky, and keep reaching for the stars.

For more information about the Lazer Dudes, visit <http://www.LazerDudes.com>.

who: Lazer Dudes

what: electro-rock sex revival

where: Hangar 9

when: Saturday, February 26 w/ Hotbed / That's No Moon

Jungle Dogs: Returning to Reopen Their Own Back Yard

Bands
Jungle Dogs

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Jungle Dogs

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Venues & Businesses
Hangar 9

More Articles
Jungle Dogs: SIU’s Party-school Image Incarnate


Who: Jungle Dogs
What: party rock
Where:
When: 2011-01-22
Jungle Dogs: Returning to Reopen Their Own Back Yard
T.J. Jones
Video Comentary

Saturday, January 22 will mark the return of Carbondale's venerable party icons the Jungle Dogs as they grab the good times by the reins and celebrate the grand opening of the Hangar 9.

For a long time, the Jungle Dogs have belonged on a list of a few hallowed Carbondale traditions that are seemingly immortal-- skipping class when there's any snowfall, visiting the afterhours food vendors to fill your gut with something besides booze, and being in awe of that futuristic spaceship-like structure known as Faner Hall-- a building where doors seemingly disappear and reappear at will. Like the Jungle Dogs, certain things are just a given in Carbondale.

While the band-- which includes Klaus Bank, Eddie Chapa, Larry Daly, Keith Huffman, John Hunter, Matt Linsin, Jim Owens, Dan Schingel, and D. Ward-- retired their full-time party-people selves a few years ago, they have performed yearly Labor Day reunion shows at Pinch Penny for some years now.

On Saturday, January 22 the Jungle Dogs will return to Carbondale and help usher in a new era of music as they celebrate the grand opening of the Hangar 9. The music will start an hour earlier than most Hangar shows-- the Jungle Dogs will begin at 9 p.m.-- and there will even be giveaways and prizes.

In a way, the Jungle Dogs are as synonymous with Carbondale music as the Hangar 9. Back when the Jungle Dogs formed in 1987, they played their first shows at the venerable music venue.

"Hangar 9 is pretty much where we cut our teeth, and it's been awhile since we've been there," says frontman and trumpet player D. Ward. "I hated to see the old Hangar go down the way it did, but I am glad to see [the Hangar] back up and running. It's like our home base. I'm really looking forward to it."

Bassist Eddie Chapa agrees. To him, the Hangar 9 helped defined the Jungle Dogs' musical image and live shows. "We always thought of it as our backyard-- the place where we grew up, so this is a very special opportunity," Chapa says. "Me, personally, I was so thrilled that the Hangar would be coming back and being rebuilt."

The Jungle Dogs' live album, Halloween Dogleg, took two of Carbondale's biggest mythos, the town's then infamous Halloween parties and the hallowed Hangar 9, and created one of the most beloved recordings of a local band ever.

"We didn't want to do a live album for a lot of years," says Chapa. "We thought you can go into the studio and make it as good as you can and limit your mistakes. And live is live. As much as we are a great live band, we never thought we were a band that played a perfect performance-- that's not what the band is about. We're not trying to be perfect, we were about just putting on a good live show. We were asked for years to do a live album. We figured if we were going to do it, we were going to do it right. We wanted [Halloween Dogleg] to be live, but we wanted it to be as good as possible. It turned out to be one of our best-selling CDs, and we still get asked for that CD." (Halloween Dogleg is currently sold out on the Jungle Dogs' website, but a CD-R copy is available for $5.)

While the Jungle Dogs will still perform their annual Labor Day reunion show at Pinch Penny, there's a little talk of a few more Jungle Dog shows. Hopefully, Saturday's is the beginning of something great. Perhaps an annual grand opening anniversary?

"I think a lot of the guys in the band would like to play more," says Ward. "Back in the day, we were playing every weekend somewhere. I think a lot of the guys in the band wouldn't mind playing more gigs."

Throughout the years the Jungle Dogs had a lot of great memories, many of them at the Hangar 9. They've had special guests at many shows, including local legend Tawl Paul, members of the SIU Marching Band, local bluesman Martin "Big Larry" Allbritton, and even actor Woody Harrelson performed "Jailhouse Rock" one night with the Dogs at Hangar 9 when he was reportedly visiting his father at the Marion Federal Penitentiary. Chapa says that the grand opening will also feature a special guest. Any guesses? The memories that bind the Jungle Dogs are many. Cheers to a few more.

More info can be found at <http://www.JungleDogs.com>.

who: Jungle Dogs

what: party rock

where: Hangar 9

when: Saturday, January 22

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