Listening Post

THRIFTY TIP NO. 54: What to do? Satellite TV is too dangerous to have in the house -- that many channels, that much free time is a recipe for disaster, a potential time vacuum, not to mention the costs involved. But the raves surrounding M2, MTV's sister station that broadcasts videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is whispering in your ear: "It's not that expensive ... you can eat macaroni and cheese one more night a week."

Do what I did: Use a friend. One blank video + one programmable VCR in the hands of a satellite-TV citizen = M2 whenever you like.

Why waste the time for a video channel? M2 is stunning, a remarkable station for the eclectic music fan who loves all genres and longs for the days of free-form radio. On my first six-hour videotape, which I've gotten about halfway through, I've seen videos and heard music I never imagined would be grouped together: the Goodie Mob, Miles Davis, R.E.M. ("Radio Free Europe"), Van Halen (old-school, with David Lee Roth), the B-52s, Outkast, Pharcyde, Radiohead, the Beastie Boys (their amazing, hilarious new "Body Movin'" video) and loads more. For those of us fogeys who remember the glory days of MTV, when you were glued to the station even if the video that was playing sucked, just in case the next video was something special, M2 elicits a similar sensation. And it'll cost you nothing, just the price of a videotape and a trip over to your satellite-equipped best friend. (RR)

PAVLOV CONVENTION: Though best known for his work in the 1970s, as lead songwriter and vocalist of Pavlov's Dog, David Surkamp later found himself spending a few years in Seattle, where he hooked up with Iain Matthews, a former member of Fairport Convention. As the core of the group Hi-Fi, they released two LPs, Demonstration Record and Moods for Mallards.

On Saturday, Feb. 6, the two will be performing a show at the Golden Nugget, 3301 Missouri at Utah, just off the Cherokee antique row. The small corner tavern has been the Saturday home of Surkamp's eponymous band for more than a year now, and it provides a perfect intimate venue for such a show, which is causing tremors of excitement on the Pavlov's Dog Web site.

Folks from around the country have contacted the band, a couple coming in specifically for this evening, which will be the first gig for the two collaborators in more than a decade. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that Matthews will be performing in Oklahoma City the night before. Factoring in the car trip to St. Louis, rehearsal time will be minimal, to say the least. Should be interesting.

Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door.
In a related note, three-fifths of the Surkamp Band (David, wife Sara on vocals, percussionist Sam Schmidt) had been performing Fridays in January at a new restaurant/bar venue, Grill of My Dreams, located on the banks of the River Des Peres, just across Watson from the delightful Johnny Gitto's. Whether the trio will be there in February was up in the air at press time, so call ahead, eh? (TC)

LOADED: The guys at the fantastic KDHX (88.1 FM) garage show The Wayback Machine have in the works a celebration of Midwestern garage music in the form of a compilation album called Landlocked and Loaded. The CD is still in the planning stages but features music from the Revelators, Thee Lordly Serpents, Johnny Magnet and the Ded Bugs. Three acts also slated to appear on the collection -- the Geargrinders, the Cripplers and the Tripdaddies -- will be performing a benefit at the Side Door on Saturday, Feb. 6, to help fund Landlocked. You should go if you like hard, raucous rock & roll. (RR)

Contributors: Thomas Crone, Randall Roberts

 
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