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Continuing the Madlins March Madness Music Show Parade (8 shows in 9 days), a feat that has already taken down one Full Value Entertainment member – Get Well Jackie – tonight gained its ‘second wind’, under a clear So Cali black sky, in evening weather that would give 99% of the U.S. population the Homer Simpson drools. Add the fact that it is ‘hump night’ and the press, SKRATCH Magazine is in the hizzy, stir in four label bands, a pinch of one hot local group, put just a dash of a touring singer’s parents in, bring it all to a boil with a Madlins sold out crowd, and what you’ve got ain’t no ‘Memphis Soul Stew’, but it’s just as tasty and twice as fresh. For desert, you get an impromptu two-song encore acoustic mini set with two guitars, one a twelve string, in the parking lot. It’s a Wednesday night at Madlins, they are all myspace bands, and it cooked!! Let me tell you how it all went down.


Back for their second visit to Madlins, REUBENS ACCOMPLICE opened to a full house, playing the smooth melodic easy-on-the-ears music they seem to do so effortlessly, but then they are on tour. Fitting into The Madlins’ Tradition like a glove, they debuted a brand new song the second tune out with one singer saying, “we’re going to play something we never played”, to which Ryan, the coolest bass player you’ve ever seen, fell right into the bass groove like he wrote it. This stirred one fan to remark ‘you guys are so avant garde’ after the rockabilly tune was sung with a blend of voices that were as smooth as any drink Madlins makes. One of the two singers then said to the crowd, “if you have a request raise your hand” and ten hands went up. The first request put the bass player on keys (organ), one singer on bass, and the other to sang a duet with the guitarist from LIMBECK, Patrick, who has a very nice falsetto range. At this point the crowd melted into the show’s hip pocket. The fourth song, ‘I Am Over You’ had the crowd singing the song’s refrain. The band took requests till the last song, thrilling the crowd with songs that told a story to mellow rock beats, and this was just the first set and the Western Tread Records band. REUBENS ACCOMPLICE is Jeff Bufano, Chris Corak, Ryan Kennedy, and John O’Reilly Jr.


Local thrillers, LONDON COLOURS, started with the frontman, whose brother’s band is LETTER KILLS, looking out at the packed house and saying, “Let’s rock it. We’re LONDON COLOURS if you don’t know it, but we hope you do”. By the end of the set those who didn’t know it at first certainly knew it then, as the frontman, sporting a ‘tagged’ brown leather jacket and one ‘scene’ glove, commenced to blow everyone’s face off with a “fresh” (read debut) first song, before launching into ‘Hold The Press’, their signature piece and logo of the black band Tee. Plenty of digis snapped their flashes along with tons of camera phone pics recording the local hotsters. After doing the third song, a number from the CD demo, the boys brought forth another new song, something political with a chorus of “we’re not coming home” and had the crowd sing along. Though LC has been a Madlins regular, the sold out house with fans there to see any one of a number of touring label bands also, seemed to push the boys past their usual rock peak, to the ‘next level’, like a volcano blowing it’s top. LONDON COLOURS is Billy Duckworth, Josh Caddy, Teiron Bradley, Sebastian Kerravcic, and Matt Simeta.


The front of the tan T-shirt says ‘THE LIMBECK BAND, and the back says, ‘getting’ wild’, which certainly seems to fit the buzz floating in from the previous night’s show in Tijuana (Mexico) that had the locals singing in English. One part Allman Brothers, and one part THREE MARY 7, it is the second time in as many weeks that Madlins has had some ‘outlaw rock’ heard within its walls from a band not from the South. Playing the party rock tunes heard from their live CD recorded at a set-up house party in Orange County, LIMBECK had the girls right in front of the cash register counter shaking their hips and the crowd rocking as if they were listening to Huey Lewis and The News. Though the band members were all smiling big at the fun of playing this set at Madlins, it is perhaps Patrick, also on back-up vocals, who summed up the night’s sentiment when he said, “I’m having the best time tonight. What night is this? Wednesday!? I’m freaking out! Thanks for coming. This place is a little magic”! As a little boy Apryl Lynn’s size sat on top of his pop’s shoulders bouncing and clapping his hands, sending me down memory lane to my son Jaryn’s toddler days and pushing a tear out the corner of my eye, the boys went through their radio friendly length songs, playing numbers like ‘Ohio’, a song the crowd sang all the words to, and ‘Television’, a song on the full length CD due out in August. They closed with a rockerbilly, yeah, rockerbilly ditty that had the entire crowd clapping in time with hands held high in the air. There would have been more dancing in the crowd, but everybody knows sardines don’t dance, besides, this Dog House Records band hasn’t had a day off since 2/17. They will have two days off before they wind up the tour at the ‘South By Southwest Festival’ in Austin, Texas, on 3/19. But the night wasn’t over yet, whew!! LIMBECK is Robb MacLean, Patrick Carrie, Justin Entsminger, and Matt Stephens.


Perhaps the most anticipated band of the night, at least from my perspective, was STEEL TRAIN, the only band from the past to put Madlins owner, Madlin herself, up on her shake counter doing the ‘shake’. Fresh from the Chain Reaction sold-out show a couple of nights ago, STEEL TRAIN rolled back into Madlins’ station, coming to a stop at another packed house. Opening with a jazzy sounding instrumental rocker that immediately got the crowd back into the night’s well worn groove, the band segued effortlessly in a cover of ‘Psycho Killer’, at once showing the wide musical versatility of all the band’s members. On tour with several of the night’s other bands, three members of the group now sported afros showing that this Drive-Thru Records train only watches ‘Barbershop’ on DVD. This feature only added to the band’s new school hippy-ness and got one fan to using his low cut Vans high over his head as a metronome for the songs being played by the smiling faced multi-talented musicians. The five string bass played and anchored the band on the next song, a slow ballad, and that was followed up by a Santana influenced guitar/percussion rocker. Upholding the ‘Madlins tradition’ the boys played a brand new song, a mellow hillbilly rocker named ‘Bull Run’ “dedicated to all the people supporting them on this tour. Next up was an old classic from back in the day, ‘I Want You Back’ from the heyday of THE JACKSON FIVE, sung by Broadway’s ‘LION KING voice of seven years ago, Scott. “It seems like another life ago to me now”, said a face too young to have many first life memories. The ‘Road Song’ had all three vocalists Jack, Mathew, and Scott on one mike and even the bass player Evan joined in, adding to the expanded vocal range of a band with three separate main vocalists (think the vocal versatility of FLEETWOOD MAC, GRATEFUL DEAD, or THE KINGSTON TRIO, for you old, old schoolers, the seniors as it were). The last song, another rocker, wound through several tempo changes, going from being jazzy in experimentation to putting out a funky break that ignited the crowd one last time, prompting Brandon, some much needed behind the counter help, to remark, “they’re kind of ‘Steely Dan’(ish)”. By now Madlins had been thoroughly ‘hotboxed’ but the crowd didn’t budge, and I flashed back to my first MOTLEY CRUE concert. STEEL TRAIN is Jack Antonoff, Evan Winiker, Scott Ranniar, Matthias Gruber, and Matthew Goldman.


Also fresh from the same sold-out Chain Reaction show and first to arrive at Madlins earlier, was tonight’s last Drive-Thru records act, Forrest Kline, Chris Proffeta, Marcus Cole, and Jesse Kurvink of HELLOGOODBYE. Just before the first song played, the singer, Forrest, looked over to the corner edge of the stage area, this would correspond to the ‘wings’ section and said with enthusiasm, “my parents drove down.” Then announcing louder, “My parents are here” to the crowd. Truly he was thrilled, only adding to the night’s magic. For those who haven’t read about this band or seen them live, HG is a ‘scene’ band, with the singer wearing a pink knit baby bonnet and playing a banjo* besides a guitar, the keyboardist also handling a mini electronic xylophone* and the tambourine, and the drummer working the mandolin*, all on an opening number* named ‘Is It Love?’ that followed The Madlins Tradition and got a rousing round of applause. The second song that followed put the bass player in the mix to anchor the slow song ‘ 2 Weeks In Hawaii’ that many in the crowd sang along with the band. The third song was a pop rocker and the calliope sound of the organ added to the ‘sceneness’ by putting a different spin to their sound. The fourth number, more art house pop rock, had a proud Mom singing the words along with her onstage son. After the sixth song, a slow jam, HG thanked the crowd for ‘sticking around. It’s a Wednesday and it’s late.’ But like a shot of espresso, they kicked it into high gear for the last song that had the crowd percolating, and me given a view of Johnnie’s California Sky tattoo (for those in So Cali, you know where girls like to put a tattoo now, for you folks outside the state, well use your imagination), proving William C. ‘Bucky’ Montgomery’s immortal words once again that, “live music is your best entertainment value”.

And so it was over, we thought, leaving Bill to remark, “it was a really great show and a nice night all around. No assholes, no rock stars, even the people who had to wait to get in were nice about it.” In the midst of changing the lights out and taking out some trash, I walked outside, looked over to my right, and saw/heard Robb singing/guitar and Patrick (both LIMBECKers) stroking the twelve string to a small gaggle of young girls standing out behind the open equipment trailer. Alerting the inside crew to the outside haps, we all returned to hear the two do ‘I Wrote This Down’ and ‘The Sun Woke The Whole State’, and listen as these girls sang the choruses in off key soprano, bringing another lump to my throat (women get hot flashes, mature dudes get emotionally sentimental, age is the real Kryptonite.) So though FVE has had some past kickass/sold-out shows since Madlins started being the ‘scene’ venue for these here parts, this show tonight, under these stars, with these stars, steamed into Numero Uno and made memories, or put another STEEL TRAIN ‘Road Song’ way:

When I was a little kid,

My grandfather told me

to see the world for him

So I took up my things

To see distant sunsets

Send your Gramps a note,

You made it Kid,

You’re on the road.

Blue skies and desert rain,

I pass my life on this Steel Train

When I ride to the end of the rails

I’ll sit in Heaven and tell Grandfather of all my tales,

I’ll say everything I saw I was thinking, of You.

And the reason I’m here is all, ‘cause of You.

- dedicated to Granddaddy Daniel, PT ROTHSCHILD

Scene reviewer and myspacer

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