THEY MEAN IT, MAN: Whitey.
Trying to write something original about Whitey, Andy Newman’s new band, requires a lot of invention. It’s not like much out there. It’s closer in spirit to Newman’s stuff with Glazed Baby. That band came close to capitalizing on the post-grunge major label boom before getting swallowed up in red tape, label bullshit, and yer basic gobbledygook. Whitey, which now boasts Treah Ruiz on bass and Brian the Drummer, is Newman’s first real crack at getting back in the game and his latest disc, The Whitey Album, is his ticket to ride. Hang on to your hat, is all I can say.
Whitey is like the Go! Team on meth, pummeling, rhythmic thrash with distorted vocals and relentless power. At its best, it’s sick, warped fare that shares sensibilities with extreme personalities such as the Jesus Lizard’s David Yow, the Cows’ Shannon Selberg, and the Touch & Go school of post-indie rock. It’s flavored with the blues, but it’s also modern as hell, with doses of distorted metal. It makes wide swings and covers some serious turf but, as Newman likes to state, “We’re not fuckin’ around.”
Recorded by Newman and all-around idea guy/ major talent George Dus¬sault, the record presents a number of surprises. There are covers of Jeff Buckley (“Nightmares By the Sea”) and John Lennon (“Well Well Well”) that hit the mark, and a bizarre banjo-led version of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Within the parameters of what you hear before it, this one is just plain scary. All of Whitey’s covers, get the job done; for the moment at least they make you forget about the originals and force you to rearrange the song in your brain. The record wraps up with “The 7% Solution,” which features samples of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, another extreme personality that has somehow fired Whitey up with inspiration and psychotic rock and roll.
Whitey + Anomalous + Hircine | September 14 | AS220, 115 Empire St, Providence | 401.831.9327
The rocky road
With all the hullabaloo about You Must Be This Tall, the new Rocky Point Park doc, ricocheting through Rhode Island, not much lip service has been given to the film’s soundtrack. Director David Bettencourt handed the musical assignment over to local artists, mainly Johnny Carlevale and Chris Daltry. Carlevale and Greg Burgess, along with Jack Hanlon, Jeremy Kroger, Dick Lourie, Ace Brown, and Kris Merritt, were chosen to write tracks for the film.
The world premiere happened last weekend in Woonsocket, and there’s another screening on Thursday (the 13th) at the Jane Pickens in Newport. Carlevale and his band the Bomboleros will perform at 6 pm before the film is shown at 7. You can get tickets at www.rockypointmovie.com. The rest of the state will be able to relive its roller coaster of memories at the Showcase Cinema in Warwick beginning Friday, September 14. So while you’re enjoying that kaleidoscopic trip through your childhood memories, be sure to notice the music. The soundtrack is now available on Rhode Island's own 75 Or Less Records.