The return of the Rock 'n' Roll Rumble

By MICHAEL MAROTTA  |  March 31, 2011

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
RUMBLE RIOT Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling are going to win because “we’ve got the longest name” and “the most songs based on The Prisoner.”
The return of the Rock 'n' Roll Rumble arrives just a few weeks after the Boston-band circle jerk down at SXSW, so it's time to cop an attitude and start pitting the bands against one another. This wasn't easy — the feel-good music-scene vibe had about half of the 24 participating bands preferring to praise the others, the friendly competition, and how it's great to max out T.T. the Bear's in Cambridge for nine nights of local rock (six preliminary rounds, two semis, and one grand finale, April 22). But for a battle that organizer Anngelle Wood calls "the World Series of Boston rock" and "a healthy representation of what's going on in Boston," where's the beef?

In an open invite to sling some mud and get the competition fired up before Sunday night, the Phoenix asked participants to talk some shit, all in good fun.

APRIL 3 | THE BLIZZARD OF 78, JENNY DEE & THE DEELINQUENTS, OLDJACK, MCALISTER DRIVE | The 32nd Rumble kicks off with a cold front. "Spring? Snow? All signs of a Blizzard coming this April," notes Nate Leavitt of Blizzard of 78. "We'll bring some shovels for the losers to clean up!" Those shovels might be needed for protection. "One of the main influences of Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents is the Shangri-Las, and they used to attack other girl groups backstage with their rat-tail combs," says Miss Dee. "We're not called Deelinquents for nothin'!"

APRIL 4 | FULL BODY ANCHOR, TIJUANA SWEETHEART, A WISH FOR FIRE, WALTER SICKERT AND THE ARMY OF BROKEN TOYS | A trio of hard-rockers battle the art rock of Sickert, who could follow the Dresden Dolls (2003) and Reverend Glasseye (2005) to a crown. "I'm not quite sure what an art band is," says Tijuana Sweetheart's Julie Two Times. "I'm just gonna pretend you said 'fart band.' In that case, Cradle to the Grave has it in the bag." Camp Sickert refuses to take the bait. "There was plenty of good-natured banter at the Rumble party at the Enormous Room, but most of it involved hugging, tears, and gushing over each other's music," warns Edrie of Sickert's toy army. Two Times scoffs at the notion Sickert is real: "I always thought of him as a magical, otherworldly creature. Could you imagine a unicorn crying?"

APRIL 5 | THE AUTUMN HOLLOW BAND, CULT 45, JOHN POWHIDA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, SPIRIT KID | A friendly grouping could get shook up by fiery hard-rock band Cult 45. "We're looking to rumble, but more like Michael Jackson 'Beat It' style," says Cult 45's Bob Maloney. "Tie our hands together and let's have a dance off. If Mellow Yellow can lay off smoking those banana peels long enough, they might put up a good fight. Tired Old Boners stand a good chance as long as they have their Viagra treatments. The Tijuana Sweathogs are probably still in detention." Adds Powhida: "I've got underwear older than most of these bands."

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