Current mood: chipper

Friday 11/5/4 was Madlins first Southern Rock night, a show that had a high boy-to-girl ratio, like a RUSH concert. Perhaps it was from the heavy Southern testosterone in the cool late fall air at Madlins, Temecula, CA.


Anyone who has ever visited 'The South' knows there is a certain mystic charm to it and the people who live there. Mark Twain exhibited this in spades. WAVING AT STRANGERS also has that charm. Asked where the name for this Atlanta, GA band comes from, Clay Jenkins, vocals/guitar, says one day all the high school buds walked over to one of their girl friends and she was waving at someone. When they asked who she was waving to, she replied she thought she knew, but it turned out it was someone that she didn't know. She was 'waving at strangers' and a band was born that instant. Like lightning this two-year old four piece, Brian Irby-guitar, Clint Taylor-drums, Jason Carter-bass, join Clay in putting out hi-energy rock 'n' roll that is re-labeled 'pop punk' for new schoolers. This 22-25 year old band has been on tour since starting out in mid-August on the east coast. (See CD review for website)


Coming from San Diego which is south of Madlins, Temecula, CA, PISTOLITA came north to deliver a power rock sound through a wide range of songs, all driven home by the pounding rhythm beat from the line-up of vocals/piano, guitar/vocals, drums, and bass. A rough-around-the-edges TALKING HEADS spin-off, this four piece put out the maximum amount of sound with the minimum amount of stage equipment. Together only ten months, the bare bones of artsy jazz lead-ins are already present in some of the power punk emopop these 18-21 year olds put out in raw sound. These guys are playing a ton of tour dates in '05. (See CD review for website)


Also from Atlanta, GA comes another band with a story about it's name. A word coming from Economics class was found to be just the double meaning a band likes to have associated with their name, their inside knowledge. Cartel means a group of individuals coming together to form a trust to bring about a desired result. Though they clean up well, judging from the photo on the back of the CD, life on the road to promote their EP 'The Ransom' has brought the bands' roots out like the brown beneath the blond. The lead guitar and bass players both have that scruffy junkyard dawg look ala 'Deliverance' while the drummer, rhythm guitar, and frontman look like 'Risky Business'. Hence a CARTEL. Onstage the 20-22 year olds delivered a show and their music with everyone in motion (nice highkick, guys), except the drummer, They kept Big Joe ducking (guitar) necks as he made the rounds as this made-for-MTV-video band had all three guitars doing 'jukebox hero poses' geared to the beat. High school buds once again, except for the rhythm guitarist, 'we knew him from other bands', the boys record for 'The Militia Group'. In the CARTEL founded Sept. 2003, we have Andy Lee (guitar), Ryan Roberts (bass), Kevin Sanders (Uber-drums), Joseph Pepper (guitar), and Will Pugh, (frontman).(See Cd review for website)


Another peach off the Atlanta tree and friends with tour mates CARTEL, this three-and-a-half-year old band of 20-23 year olds take their band's name from a FAITH NO MORE song. Also more traditional in music delivery with a lot less pozing, A SMALL VICTORY, pumped out rock solid rock 'n' roll ditties, like 'Blindman's Holiday' from the CD 'El Camino', that seem to have more commercial ability. If band looks mean anything and the first two Georgia groups represent the country, the hillbilly, and the 'burbs, then these boys represent the 'white' projects, where people you don't see on TV live. Where girls at fourteen get preggo and boys at 15 are drinking Jack, without the coke and ice, kids of the big cities. That is the edge that Danny Song (lead axe/vocals), John Addington (bass/vocals), Zack Bareis (drums), Luke Bareis (rhythm guitar), and frontman, Reppard Walker aka 'Mark' portray in looks and music. (See CD review for website)


From the south side of Temecula, CA came A CALMER DAY, the all freshman (yes, 14 year olds) band mostly made up of Chaparral High School youth except for Drummer Aric, who goes to TVHS. Belting out raging scream-mo as only the young can, this versatile band, with all members doing vocals and additional screaming, really pumps up the volume and the crowd, who now had changed almost entirely in the blink of a load-out. Youthful vigor and that pubescent feeling of bonding with your peers are evidenced through the stage act and the expert guitar fingering that builds a 'wall of scream-mo' that's a sound barrier all its own. Seth (guitar/screams), Eric (bass/screams), Adam (guitar/back-up vocals), Aric (drums/additional vocals) and Jason (vocals, screams) closed the set with a new song just written by Seth. The local crowd approved.


Slated to play earlier but 'struck on the 91', a term all too familiar to those of us who live/commute in the 'Inland Empire', this all chick band drove 'south' from Anaheim to get to the Madlin gig. Three of the present line-up, Cat (vocals/guitar and then some), Bisou (guitar/piano), and Lux (drums) started playing Mexican music at 15, 12, & 12, respectively, before later switching to American punk rock. Decked out in 'CATS' makeup and FMiPs, Cat, a Big Joe connection, "I'm a cuz of a cuz", led the band in a live performance that had the crowd cheering, once again proving, "live music is your best entertainment value," at Madlins, Temecula, CA