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September 17, 2004 Current Issue: September 16, 2004



Rock here, rock now

Who's Chezwick? And what's happening with the Cock? Find out.

Steel Poniez
Steel Poniez

Chezwick
Chezwick

From unlikely spots like amusement parks to the typical turf of bars, local bands kick in fall with techno beats, straight ahead rock and, of course, a heartbroken melody or two.

First up, you might have caught Patrick Balthrop of the one-man electro band, Chezwick, around town plugging in his iBook for a song. Quickly carving out a spot for himself as a local fave, he recently opened for the The Kitty Kill at the Abbey and looks forward to a mean fall schedule. No lie. He's booked to play CBGB in New York as part of the huge M.E.A.N.Y Fest 2004. But if you're not looking for a roadtrip, then catch Chezwick at T.T.'s in Cambridge on October 4.

If you do, then you'll hear how Chezwick cleverly combines Balthrop's high-volume vocals, electric guitar and layers and layers of laptop engineered bass and beats for a different kind of rock performance. Still, at the Abbey, Balthrop did add a bassist and a backup singer for the human touch. All told, a Chezwick set pioneers a synthesized trip down memory lane through Catholic School, old boyfriends, and a dreamy ode to a Michael Stipe sepia stained summer day. But saving the best for last, Chezwick plays the hit that won VH1's Song of the Year Contest in the Dance/Electronica category this May. If unconvinced of this songwriter's potential, then this pop-dance hit, "Room for Two," will change your mind.

Meanwhile, transplanted Athens talent Cubby Berk of The Lovers packs her bags for a fall tour to support her second effort, "The Gutter and The Garden." "The Gutter" spills more of Berk's bare emotional honesty, trippy metaphors and varied musical styles that combines slide guitar, banjos, violin and cello. But during live shows, Berk's been ditching the accompaniment and performing without her Georgia bandmates. Berk, possessing a strong, aching, pierce your soul kind of voice that can sing a sad lyric as if drawing on both her autobiography and yours, can more than hold her own.

This fall, Berk leaves her JP apartment for a tour that'll touchdown in Iowa and wind up and down the East Coast. Before she splits, check her out at the Zeitgeist Gallery in Cambridge on Thursday, September 23. Presented by Truth Serum Productons, Berk plays an intimate evening with Cynthia Nelson and Dear Nora.

On the horizon, keep an eye out for the young three-piece outfit, Steel Poniez. After losing their drummer, singer/guitarist, Jen Grygiel, and bassist, Cindy Staton, quickly made amends by placing an ad which read: "Dyke drummer wanted." Answering the call was Mora Precarious. As the name warns, Precarious hits hard and knows how to nail her fills. With Precarious and fun songs like "Cruising Speed" and "Hot Poppin' Fresh" as well as lyrics that confide, "I'll do anything she asks/And a whole lot more," the band possesses its crowd pleasers. But "The Not So Right", the last song on the band's EP, shows off a driving moody side that gives the band depth and promise.

This fall, the Poniez plans to hit Six Flags' "Out in the Park" (aka Gay Day) on September 19. On October 22, they head to St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York and rock for the liberal arts students. Then on November 4, they'll play "The Joint Talk" on WBRS 100.1FM at 11pm. As for future projects, look for an EP release party and a music video that's slated to air on Dyke TV. For more information about the band, check out www.steelponiez.com.

In other quick music notes, if you caught The Kitty Kill this summer then you probably heard a batch of new songs from the threesome. In a new catchy number called "Jack," it even appears leadsinger Sandy Merhy might have a secret new crush from Tennessee. The band plans to shortly hit the studio and record the new tracks for their third release. Meanwhile, they'll join the Poniez at "Out in the Park" at Six Flags. Then, for two shows, they're booked to open for the Butchies at Great Scott, on Comm Ave in Allston, on October 14 and the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton on October 29.

Over the summer, Secret Cock kept themselves busy by partying and recording their first EP in Providence. As for upcoming shows, the band is working to arrange a doozy of a show with King Cobra, Lezzies on X, and Triple M Threat. It's planned for October 6 but nothing is confirmed. In the meantime, check out the band's Web site at www.secretcock.com and peek at photos from their summer sojourn at Homo a GoGo.


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