THIS JOURNAL DOCUMENTS MY INTAKE OF ONE BOOK, ZINE, CD OR DVD A DAY. RATINGS ARE: ***** = Godhead, **** = Great, *** = Good, ** = Fair, * = Why Bother?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Go Dog Go at WTMD's Block Party (6-15-19)

(June 15, 2019) - Go Dog Go were Top of the Pops tonight! Amy and I loved seeing & hearing this live streaming show at WTMD (89.7 FM)'s funtastic Baltimore Block Party fundraiser at their Towson performance studio, where 11 bands competed to win a spot in September's First Thursday Festival and a $2,500 cash prize for best performance of the night. OK, Go Dog Go didn't tally enough ballots to finish first in fundraising for TMD (that honor went to a band named Reality Jones), but they were A-1 on our jukebox as far as we were concerned, with an energetic set that saw keyboard chanteuse Julie Smith give a special shout-out to the ghosts of Towson's live music past (Oddfellows Hall, The Dulaney Inn, An Die Musik) and guitarist Tom Cohan (cranking his Marshall amp past 11 into overdrive) never sounded better as he showed Today's Youth how it's done.

Go Dog Go (l-r): Tom Cohan, Greg Breazeale, Brandon Breazeale, Julie Smith

Besides their familiar setlist, bassist Greg Breazeale unveiled a new tune ("Remember When"?), and Julie rescued Gary Cartwright's "Stop and Think It Over" from obscurity with a version that surpassed that of Cartwright's Compulsive Gamblers' original that appeared on their Crystal Gazing Luck Amazing EP.

Compulsive Gamblers EP

When I complimented Julie on the lyrical gender-flipping, she said that actually came courtesy of Mary Weiss, the former Shangri-Las singer and Leader of the Pack, who released a cover version backed by the Reigning Sound on her 2007 Norton Records release:

Mary Weiss - "Stop and Think It Over" 45 (Norton Records, 2007)

We timed our appearance to be fashionably late and were rewarded by catching the two best Baby Boomer bands of the day (our contemporaries!), as the following act was Vagabond Motel, featuring former Industrial Dance Band mates Natasha Ramirez Farr and Mikel Gehl and crack lead guitarist Ralph Reinoldi (whose enviable axe arsenal included a gorgeous-sounding mando-guitar).

Acoustic troubadours Vagabond Hotel

We enjoyed all the bands we heard, and what a treat to get a selfie (along with Go Dog Go fanboys Greg Breazeale and Tom Cohan) with the cool dudes from vintage garage rock revivalists Strawberry Sleepover. We missed their set, but I had heard their music on TMD before and thought they were a '60s band. Talk about verisimilitude! These young guys sound like they were weaned on a steady diet of Nuggets (Lenny Kaye's, that is, not McDonald's).

Strawberry Sleepover with fanboys

One of the young bands we discovered this night was an Annapolitan power trio called Mojo Bozo's Electric Circus, which sounds like a '60s Haight-Ashbury hippie head shop. Comprised of brothers Ryan (guitar) and Shane Walsh (drums) and bassist Jeremy Hayes, they list their influences as surf rock, psychedelic rock, and progressive rock - in other words, an eclectic mixed bag. The psychedelic vibe came through most to my ears, as well as my eyes - they performed in front of a video projected backdrop of crazy clips tailored specifically for each song and ranging from The Wizard of Oz to Forbidden Planet - though their three-piece lineup suggested Cream and muscular guitarist  Ryan reminded me of none other than Spirit's Randy California.

Surrender Dorothy! Mojo Bozo's Electric Circus kick out the jams

All in all, a great night out, and it was great to see old friends on hand like Saxton White and ageless beauties Sue Borchardt and Aziza Doumani making the scene as well!