Bringing the Heat

By Kevin Elliot Reynolds

You’ll never meet your wife/husband in one of those clubs you hang out in!” How many of you have heard your mother or grandmother say this before? Unfortunately, according to statistics, they’re right. The numbers are actually staggering; less than five percent of married couples meet in a bar. This is not to say you are completely out of luck; in fact, many relationships do walk out of bars, they’re just usually over by the next morning. But hey, five percent isn’t too shabby — still, you’re more likely to meet your spouse while in school, a social club, or even the gym.

The good thing is that bars and nightclubs are in quite a different category than music halls, well a bit different anyway. People do not go to music halls just to drink—some don’t drink at all. Most patrons of a music hall are there for the music, though they may have a few drinks to loosen themselves up.

Keep in mind a music hall is not a bar that happens to have a cover band playing in a dark corner, but an intimate performance setting that may happen to have a bar. (Lexington has a couple of true music halls and a few hybrids.) Also, in a music hall you are going to be surrounded by people with whom you share common interests.

So if you’re feeling the pre-holiday blues this week, put on your hippest gear and get out to see some of the quality live music—the Lexington scene has plenty to offer.

The Friday after Thanksgiving, The Dame featured one of those crowddrawing artists in local favorite Stoll Vaughn. Vaughn and his alt-rocking Appalachian Circus packed the house with fans eager to hear their catchy compositions. At the young age of 23, Vaughn has toured across the States and into Europe spreading his intuitive and poignant lyrics to the masses. He was back home Friday night and his fanbase was out to greet him. High on Rose also offered a great show as the smooth jam sounds of locals Orange Whip mixed with the mainstream rock angst of Partly Cloudy made for an outstanding showcase of live music.

So what’s in store for fans this week? Only some of the hottest local talent you could find in the nation along with hot national acts sprinkled into the mix.

Thursday night kicks off with a night of alt-rock at High on Rose with local funkrock specialists Barnhouse Effect. For some more familiar sounds drop by Cheapside where St. James Gate will be filling the air with your favorite mainstream rock and pop hits along with a few originals of their own. If you are looking to hear an import, The Dame will offer a great option. Fresno, California’s Joose will bring their roots-rock to Lexington Thursday night to a no doubt packed house. Joose presents a fully rounded sound complete with horns, keyboards, and enough drums to fill a pep band. Take a break from the usual College Night scene and check out some of this quality music.

Friday nights are great for live music in the Lexington scene. Many of the thousands of students that pack the clubs on Thursday travel back to their hometowns allowing music fans a little more room to breathe. With that in mind, this Friday night is one you will want to take advantage of, featuring the week’s big story in the exciting return of the exhilarating, legendary and infamous Reverend Horton Heat. Nowhere else in the nation could you find a more exhilarating and engaging performance than what the Reverend will bring to The Dame.

Rivaled only by genre founders The Cramps, Reverend Horton Heat is possibly the best-known psychobilly artist of all time. Building his cult following by extensively touring throughout the ‘90s, the Reverend’s greatest contribution was updating the genre for the alternative rock era. Explosive guitar riffs, crunch-thick bass lines, and a twisted sense of lyrical humor put Reverend Horton Heat into a class of his own. As much as the music, the good Reverend’s manic showmanship built his following; nonstop energy on and around the stage, mock sermons in the style of a rural revivalist preacher and more rock than any punk show could ever afford. If you only go out once this week, this is the show you want to see.

Saturday night will see the eccentric rock of NYC’s Ill Ease. On tour with her friends as a supporting band, Ill Ease is actually Elizabeth Sharp. She wrote all songs and played all the instruments on each of the group’s two albums. Check them out Saturday with local rockers The Elephants.

Also Saturday The Dame will host Americana singer/songwriter Todd Snider. With lyrics from the deepest crevasses of the thinking man’s heart and a warm voice to match, Snider is an artist fast on the rise. Check him out Saturday before his ticket prices rise as well. BTW, The Dame is now hosting an 18+ show on Sundays. (Unfortunately, Lexington offers little nightlife for the majority of college students who go to school here. Something should be done about this to keep the kids and their money in the Lexington economy and not Richmond’s. Until then, Sundays at The Dame will have to do.)

So get out there and keep it going! That should give you enough late night options to tide you over till next week. Remember, surveys show that the loneliest of Americans are between the ages of 18-26, though if you marry before 27 you have a 70% chance of getting divorced. So if you’re feeling that you just have to find love, think of the words of 11 year-old Terra. “I’m not rushing into love. I’m finding fourth grade hard enough.” Be safe, be responsible and as always…Support Local Music!!!! •