The Bastards of Rock and Rotten Records: Confused Little Girl’s Record Deal

On June 8, 2011, Rotten Records announced that they would be signing with the Orlando band Confused Little Girl. Rotten Records supports and is home to at least 33 extreme metal and hardcore acts. Confused Little Girl is among the newest to sign a contract with them.

Though this is the first record deal for Confused Little Girl, it is not their first album. The band previously recorded three albums, according to Orange Amps. Their most recent album, Southern Gentlemen, was released on January 22, 2011, and they sold-out their CD release show for that album at the Social in Orlando, FL. The band’s website confirms that the first album that Rotten Records will release will be the rerelease of Southern Gentlemen. The album will be available this September.

To promote their new album, Confused Little Girl is teaming up with Swamp Sitters for the Behold the Broken Eardrums Tour. According to their website and sister fanbridge site, the tour will have over 200 stops. The tour will commence in July with 20 East Coast dates. The dates and venues of the first leg of the tour, borrowed from their site, can be viewed below.

Source: Confused Little Girl's official page (www.bastardsofrock.com)

Confused Little Girl is made up of four musicians who consider themselves a “deep fried southern swamp rock band.” They formed in 2005 and have toured throughout much of the continental United States. They have opened for underground rock acts such as Stinking Lizaveta, Artimus Pyledriver, Alabama Thunderpussy, Dark Castle, Abdullah, Earthride and more. They have also performed at the House of Blues and Hard Rock Live, as well as on the radio, including Orlando’s 1041 FM WTKS and 101.1 FM WJRR.

Their album Southern Gentlemen includes 12 tracks, which can be viewed on Music Bay.  (The songs are no longer available for download, as they will soon be available from Rotten Records.) The themes of their music include drinking whiskey, murder, and selling your soul to Satan. One review of the album (by Jake Ball and Bill Goodman of The Soda Shop) called their music “heavy in all the senses that one would expect.” The authors described the songs as “catchy and have you nodding your head in unison to the rifts.”

Their music can be previewed on their website.

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Musicians for Tuscaloosa: Local Musicians Coming to the Aide of Alabama’s Tornado Victims

It may take many years for tornado torn areas in Alabama, such as the city of Tuscaloosa, to rebuild. In the weeks since the April 27th tornado outbreak, efforts have been taken to help the victims recover.

All over Alabama, local artists have become frontrunners in the efforts to raise money for tornado relief. Through their music, they help encourage others to donate to the cause so that Alabama can begin to rebuild.

The below video, a collaboration of four R&B/hip-hop artists (a2z, Silent D, Michael Battito, and Kadesh) is one such example of the efforts of local musicians. They wrote and performed this song and put together the video. According to the information they provide, all proceeds from downloads of this 99 cent song will go toward relief efforts in Tuscaloosa.

Keith Moody at the Rocking for the Red Cross in Montgomery, AL

Alabama songwriter/singer Keith Moody organized the Rocking for the Red Cross Benefit, a 3 concert tour which began in Nashville, TN on May 19th. Two following shows were held in Montgomery, AL on May 22nd and Fairhope, AL on May 30th. The latter two shows featured Alabama natives. At the Fairhope show, Keith Moody told MSNBC that, “We raised $3,000 in Montgomery, $1,200 in Nashville … Hopefully, if we can get anywhere between that, I would love to match the total so far.”

According to his website, the benefit has raised over $4,000 so far, although there has been no confirmation on an exact amount.

This past Friday, June 7th, Buffalo Wild Wings in Trussville, AL, held a benefit concert featuring four bands from around the Birmingham area. Recovery Alabama reports that 100% of the proceeds from food and alcohol sales would be donated to the tornado relief. This event, hosted by Erica with Erica Soulshine, also included the sale of t-shirts designed by Natalya Spicker and signed by the bands, and face painting for the kids, as well as text-based scavenger hunt and a raffle.

An American flag is attached to a tree in a tornado ravaged area of Eclectic. / Amanda Sowards Advertiser

Perhaps the largest benefit concert in Alabama to date has been the Roll Tide Relief Benefit Show, held in Tuscaloosa, AL, the city most damaged by the April 27th tornadoes. From 2 P.M. on June 4th until 2 A.M. on June 5th, 50 local bands performed at 5 venues in Tuscaloosa. For $10, music lovers could purchase a wristband and visit as many shows as they desired. 100% of the proceeds went to the United Way of West Alabama.

The amount of money raised for the benefit was not made immediately available.

A group of University of Alabama students and local community members organized the event to help raise the money to rebuild their city. The event organizer, Anne Miles Wilkerson, told Ben Flanagan of al.com, “As residents of Tuscaloosa who were here during the storm, we are in awe of the amazing generosity and compassion of this city and cannot wait to enjoy the day with our friends and neighbors.”

(RTR Promotions)

Like the community, the musicians were also eager to help out in any way they could. At the Rocking for the Red Cross Benefit show in Montgomery, the owner of the Rock Bottom Pub, where the event was held, told The Local Scene that he had to stop calling musicians because too many were agreeing to come perform.

At the Roll Tide Relief show, local musician Blaine Duncan (frontman for Blaine Duncan and the Lookers) told Ben Flanagan that, “soon after the tornado struck and the realization set in across the community that a lot of people were in need, our bass player, Kendall Rich, said to me, ‘If there’s any kind of benefit, I’d be willing to play it.’”

He added that, “Priority number one is to get everyone back on their feet, which I hope this benefit accomplishes.”

Indeed, that seems to be sentiment of many local musicians who are singing their hearts out to help the victims of these tornadoes.

It will be a long time before things return to normal in Tuscaloosa and other parts of Alabama that were affected by the tornadoes. But thanks to the support of so many wonderful musicians, the venues that support them, and the wonderful people of Alabama, there has been a positive start to the rebuilding efforts.

Grooving along with Motor Gruve

BAND: MOTOR GRUVE

GENRE: ROCK

VENUE: IT’LL DO TAVERN, MONTGOMERY, AL

For some reason, it comes as a surprise to people that my favorite genre of music is hard rock. Sure, I like most genres, including orchestral. (I’m still debating whether I prefer Mozart or Tchaikovsky.) But there is something about the hard, fast drumbeats and the shredding and quick chord progressions on the guitars, coupled with that deep, throaty tenor, that sends something primitive in me to dancing. It doesn’t hurt any that I’m in love with the sound of the guitar, be it electric, acoustic, or bass.

When I was invited to hear Motor Gruve at the It’ll Do Tavern here in Montgomery, I leapt at the opportunity.

I know I complain about cover bands sometimes. Okay, a lot. It’s mostly because I was spoiled by the bands in St. Augustine, most of whom played mostly  originals. But I will admit that, when a cover band is good, damn is it good!

And Motor Gruve? They were pretty damn smoking hot!

They had the right look, the right sound, the right energy. They are one of those bands who know how to feed off the crowd and really make them get their butts out of their seats and dance. They do it without having to tell the audience, or cajole them, to get up by the stage. Their music, and how they perform it, does the work for them.

I will add this about local musicians in Alabama (well, the ones I met in St. Augustine, too!). I have seen very few who aren’t good down-to-earth great guys (and girls), and who aren’t an absolute blast to hang out with, even when they’re not playing. Alabama musicians, I (almost) hate to admit it, but you all are turning me on to cover bands.

And hey, don’t worry if you missed out on Motor Gruve when I went. They have an upcoming show this Friday, June 10th, at the Blue Iguana in Prattville (a pretty awesome venue) and another on June 24th at Club Rewind (another nice small-town feel bar, just a little bigger than the It’ll Do Tavern, and practically right next door) in Montgomery. Go check them out!

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A Local Scene Exclusive: Introducing Kanye Twitty, a Marriage of Hip-Hop and Country

BAND: KANYE TWITTY

GENRE: HIP-HOP/COUNTRY/ROCK

VENUE: ROCK BOTTOM AMERICAN PUB, MONTGOMERY, AL

Hip-hop? Country? Together?!

I was more than just a little curious how these two very different genres of music could possibly be blended together to be performed by one band. On one hand, you have country, a genre that calls to mind rural settings, acoustic guitars and banjos, and some depressing topics. On the other hand, you have hip-hop, a more urban style that seems to follow a more violent and sexual nature. Although, maybe not that much more than country, with its talk of bar fights and drinking…

In honesty, the genres aren’t that completely different. Both tell life stories. Still, the very idea…

I had the opportunity to attend a private sneak preview of Kanye Twitty at the Rock Bottom Pub last Monday. The band’s name is derived from the names of Kanye West and Conway Twitty, hip-hop and country artists respectively. I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw and heard that night.

If you may recall, I have said in the past that, if you’re going to do a cover, then you better make that song your own. Change it up, make it unique. That is exactly what Kanye Twitty does. They take these hip-hop and country songs and turn them into rock hits.

This is far more effective than you may think. These songs are given a fresh new energy. I found myself rocking out to hip-hop songs that I usually can’t stomach listening to. I found myself enjoying country songs that usually inspire me to do nothing more than hum along to the tunes. Not that any of these songs are bad on their own, mind you. And here I will admit to being biased towards rock music, though I do enjoy most of every genre.

My point is, whether you like country, hip-hop, or rock, or all three, I believe you will greatly enjoy what Kanye Twitty has to offer. Before you know it, you’ll be swept up in the energy of the music and brought to dancing in front of the stage, heady with the feel of the music vibrating through the speakers.

But don’t take my word for it. Their first full performance will be this upcoming Friday, June 3rd, at the Rock Bottom Pub. Be there!

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Rocking for the Red Cross

On April 27, 2011, a deadly tornado outbreak struck the deep South, taking at least 280 lives across 6 states. More than two-thirds of those deaths occurred in Alabama. Parts of 31 counties were utterly destroyed. One of the hardest hit cities in Alabama was Tuscaloosa. Entire neighborhoods were decimated by a tornado that spanned a half-mile with winds that likely exceeded 200 mph. At least 53 people died in that tornado, many more injured, and so many more left without home, possessions, cars, jobs…

MFD and The Keith Moody Band

Among the first to arrive in Tuscaloosa that night was the Montgomery Fire Department. They arrived around 11:00 pm and worked tirelessly along with other local Fire Departments to offer aid to the survivors and help search for those who were missing.

A short time after, Alabama native Keith Moody contacted Vinnie, the owner of the Rock Bottom American Pub in Montgomery, to set up a benefit. That was the same day that Vinnie had opened a notebook to start brainstorming ways to help the tornado victims. Together, they set up a benefit concert to be hosted by the Rock Bottom to raise money for the American Red Cross, with 100% of all donations to be given to the Red Cross to help with the clean up efforts in the wake of April’s tornadoes. At one point in the planning, as Vinnie told me, he had to stop calling bands because everyone he contacted was more than eager to come out and play.

In all, 12 acts – 6 acoustic and 6 bands – were scheduled to perform. This included musicians from all over the Deep South; some, like the Keith Moody Band, from as far as Nashville. The bands included: Wes Darnell, Wax, The Keith Moody Band, Leg-N-Liquor, Benny & the Jets, Mama Said, Blanton, Sam Marshal, Angels Landed, Lucky, Charlie C and the Cuzamatics, Zac Young, and Nick Gill. Instead of a cover charge, those who came were asked to make donations.

The music was, simply put, amazing. As promised, the music was non-stop from noon until the end of the night. While the bands inside were setting up or tearing down, you could venture onto the patio and listen to acoustic sets. Every single artist there had terrific talent, and I was amazed by the pure energy of some of them, especially by Benny and the Jets and Charlie C and the Cuzamatics. I also found a new obsession with the Keith Moody Band, as they played primarily originals (something I’ve been dying to hear since I moved to Montgomery). The night was brought to a rocking finale with the ever talented Mama Said.

Legs-N-Liquor "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"

However, as talented as everyone was, one of the musical highlights of the day came when the vocalist of Legs-N-Liquor invited a little girl up to the stage to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” between bands. This little girl, along with another who was too shy to get up on stage, danced their little hearts out to Legs-N-Liquor, and even had the chance to go up on stage and dance with the vocalist on one of the songs. The entire bar melted at the girl’s sweet voice as that short song whispered out over the sound of cameras snapping.

The musicians weren’t the only ones raising money for the Red Cross. The bar owner’s 6-year-old son, Riley, also played a huge part in raising money by setting up a lemonade stand inside the bar. That’s right, this benefit concert had it’s own lemonade stand! On a hot May day in the Deep South, with temperatures climbing into the upper-90s, that cool, quenching lemonade hit the spot. In all, this little entrepreneur sold 102 lemonades. At 50 cents a glass, he earned $51 dollars for the Red Cross.

The benefit concert was an outstanding success. Over $3,000 were raised. This was the second of Keith Moody’s three benefit concerts, the one before in Franklin, TN, and the next will be on Memorial Day in Fairhope, AL.

The tornado season isn’t over yet. Just this past Sunday, a monstrous F-5 tornado ripped through Joplin, MO, taking over 100 lives, making it the deadliest tornado since 1953. Already, at least 487 people have lost their lives to tornadoes this year alone, and many more have lost their homes. It’s never too late to volunteer or donate to help the victims of these disasters.

The Red Cross is always taking donations. Or if there’s a different charity you’d rather donate to, go for it.

Until next time, stay safe and keep rocking!

Big Event!

If you’re in or around the Montgomery area, you will want to be at the Rock Bottom American Pub on May 22nd! They will be teamed up with the American Red Cross for a 12 hour music event! Yours truly will be there to cover the event (excluding any unforeseen circumstances). The music will be from 12noon to midnight, with 12 different groups performing. No cover charge. However, they will be taking donations to help with the tornado relief for those affected by this springs’ tornadoes.

Go here for more details!

Two Men Under Fire

BAND: —-

GENRE: COVER/ROCK

VENUE: 1048 JAZZ AND BLUES BAR, MONTGOMERY, AL

It might be obvious by now that one of my favorite venues in Montgomery is the 1048 Jazz and Blues Bar. The setting for taking photographs isn’t as good as it is at the Rock Bottom Pub. However, I love the atmosphere of the 1048. I’ve never seen it packed here, which gives it an almost small town pub feel, though it is in the heart of the city. The fact that so many people know each other here, and the friendliness of the bar tenders, adds to this.

What I really love about going to the 1048 is seeing the raw talent of the local musicians. Every week I’ve gone there has been a pleasant surprise. This past Saturday (4-30-11), I went expecting – from the website’s schedule – to hear a band I had never heard of called the Woodpeckers. As it turned out, the band was unable to make it that night. The 1048 promises live music 7 days a week, 365 days a year, so not having a band play that night simply wouldn’t do. So two musicians who didn’t know each other (and thus had never played together) were contacted by a mutual friend and asked to come play (according to drummer Andrew).

I had met the drummer, Andrew, before when he played with his brother, Jay, on Monday nights. He was accompanied by guitarist Jeremy (I hope I got your name right! I’m going on memory.), whom I don’t believe I’ve seen play before. Both of them are outstanding musicians, and though I could tell that they had never played together before (as I watched and listened to them work to match each other’s rhythm), they still managed to sound amazing together. They even managed to succeed when faced with an bar of people who couldn’t decide on what songs they wanted to hear, as evidenced by the drunkard who insisted on Alice In Chains and nearly started a fight when nearly everyone else disagreed on his music choice. (Fortunately, no fight actually broke out. Everyone basically ignored him, and he eventually quieted down. Thankfully.)

During the musicians’ first break of the night, I took a moment to speak with Andrew. He explained to me that many musicians learn to play by ear. This is in contrast to how I learned – by learning to read sheet music. With sheet music, everything is laid out before you like a map. The notes you’re supposed to play, how long to hold each note, the tempo, even the crescendos and decrescendos. Playing by ear, on the other hand, involves hearing pitches and rhythms and learning to reproduce them. It may sound easy, but unless you know the difference between a high E and a high C (for example) and know those notes when you hear them… Suffice to say, it takes talent to play either way. I love that I know how to read music and believe that it’s important, but I know that’s not the only way to learn. 

I’m impressed by musicians who can play by ear because it’s something that I cannot do. Sure, when I’m playing, I can hear when I get something wrong. But that’s not the same thing. I am stuck relying on sheet music to play anything. 

But to the point… It’s important to support local musicians. Go places where live music is played. Give them a chance, because there is so much raw talent out there. Musicians, the good ones at least, don’t play to get rich. They play because they love their music, because it’s their passion and they have fun doing it. They enjoy playing for an appreciative audience. Without the audience… Well, then they’re just playing to a brick wall, and who wants to do that?

If you’re in Montgomery, the 1048 downtown plays music every night of the week. Go check them out!