Editor’s Letter- November 2011

Posted on November 4, 2011 – 3:32 AM | by Admin
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Those of you who start at the back of the book and work your way forward (they’re out there, believe me) have already seen that Brattleboro Vermont’s favorite son, King Tuff, has rescheduled his aborted August appearance at Davis’ Bike Collective for November 4.  We listed the earlier Bike Collective performance as a ‘must see,’ only to have him bail out on the show at the very last minute.  I’ve never seen KT as a live act, but the record rules – in some alternate reality, Tuff’s “Connection” was a top 10 hit.

Tuff’s 2008 Was Dead album has been on constant rotation around the house (and in the car) since Liv picked it up on cassette a couple of years ago.  Though King Tuff tours with a full band, Was Dead was recorded as a solo project by Tuff leader Kyle Thomas.  The album sounds like an cross between ’70s glam and ’60s garage, with a little bit of The Strokes sprinkled on top. It took a few listens for me to grok the genius therein, but these days I find one (or more) of his songs stuck in my head at any given time.  I’ll be heading to Davis on the 4th to see how KT holds up as a live act.

Moving a bit closer to the front you’ll see Ed Hunter’s interview with Don Marquez, AKA Donnie Jupiter.  Reading through the interview brought back a lot of memories; I first met Donnie Jupiter back in the 1980s at Markee Records, the tiny record shop he ran out of the back of Dave Downey’s World’s Best Comics when it was located at 14th and J.

In those days I was a much bigger comic nerd than record nut, so I probably went to the shop looking for 1950s EC comics or early issues of Jack Kirby’s Kamandi.  While browsing the comics I spotted two issues of Cartune Land, a black and white sci-fi/fantasy comic book that Marquez had self-published.  Drawn in a style that knowingly mimicked fantasy art star Frank Frazetta, Cartune Land was a nerdy teenage boy’s dream come true: ray guns, rocket ships, dinosaurs and nubile, scantily clad ladies in distress.  I bought both issues that day.  It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I made the connection that Marquez was the same Donnie that was then playing bass in Downey’s punk rock band, the Lizards, and it wasn’t until the late nineties that I made the Twinkeyz connection.

It’s no surprise that it might take so long to connect the dots.  Unlike many folks involved in creative endeavors – and surprising for a guy who took the name Donnie Jupiter – Marquez is waaay low key; he just doesn’t have the self-promoter gene.  Reading Ed Hunter’s interview is a fun window into Marquez’ punk rock past and serves as a sort of capper to last month’s epic ‘Sacramento Underground Music’ article.  Be sure to check the Letters page for our goof ups in that article.

So, you may have noticed that we’re almost to the end of the Editor’s Letter and I still haven’t mentioned wine.  True.

I have to confess a deep and profound ignorance of the subject.  That said, I feel comfortable leaving you in the care of Michele Hebert, Becky Grunewald, Bill Burg, Liv Moe, Kara Sheffield, and Niki Kangas, all of whom have turned in wonderful bits on the subject.

Bottoms up and carry on!

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