Hotline to the Underground

Boston Area Entertainment News

If you are in the mood for a culture clash go to Cambridge’s cellar full of noise in Central Square, the Club Bohemia at the Cantab, 738 Massachusetts Ave. The Deep House of Central Underground will give your senses one style while on Saturday slammin’ punk metal and hardcore will obliterate your brain as Charlie I.’s Psycho leads the Metal Madness barrage on February 22nd with band names on the bill so vile and disgusting that the late Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart will know it when he sees it…from the beyond.

And if that scares you Gap Teeth, the Mainframes, Payton Gin and Venus Twins, are at Sally O’Brien’s that same Saturday, Feb 22. Not since the days of the Chocolate Watchband, Vanilla Fudge, Moby Grape and the Strawberry Alarm Clock has such an avalanche of creative monikers hit the scene. Across the street right outside of Union Square at Bull McCabe’s are Orcs w/ special guest Valipala – see what I mean. McCabe’s is at 366 Somerville Ave while Sally O’Briens is 335 Somerville Ave. On Friday, Feb 21 at Thunder Road – 379 Somerville Ave, Charlie Able and the good people at Evolvement Music present Brad Parsons & Starbird with special guests Ashley Jordan and Back Rhodes. On Thursday February 20th at The Jungle on 6 Sanborn Court (in the heart of Union Square behind the Independent) you’ll find Femme Bones- Female Fronted Dark Music Night Doors Open at 8 pm, $10 Cover, 21 + Live Music Schedule 8:30 pm FrostofDoom …Ethereal Darkwave 9:15 pm MELT …Fusion Rock 10:15 pm Era Nocturna …Electro/Darkwave 11:00 pm Blacksoul Seraphim …Gothic Doom Metal

Watch for profiles of these nightspots and/or their booking agents and owners along with articles on Somerville area bands like Karen Debiasse’s Girl On Top. Coming soon to this column. Some movie reviews on Dolittle (Robert Downey Jr.) and The Assistant in the next few weeks.

CD: Keep a Clean Engine Artist: Dalia Davis

A dozen songs from Dalia Davis on her Keep a Clean Engine cd begin with “The Power of One,” a dramatic, take the mountaintop road curves in a movie scene type of song with its empowering theme, a spirit which follows into the next track, “Don’t Give Up The Fight.” Billy Carl Mancini is on guitar for the first four tracks along with 8, 9 and 12, as are legendary McGregor McGehee on bass and Larry Finn on drums for tracks 1,2,3,8,9,10,11 and 12. These musicians bring their perfection and experience into play with Dalia’s amazing keyboards getting to frolic over the musical foundation’s depth.

Fifty-six years after the Another Side of Bob Dylan album unleashed “My Back Pages” in 1964, Dalia brings new life to the nugget with a gospel feel that punctuates the artistry at play here. “Eleven and a Half” reminds me of the work of musical genius Harriet Schock and Boston area vocalist Didi Stewart of Girls Night Out fame, compelling and worthy of multiple spins. “Peace” employs reticence rather than Melanie Safka’s hit-you-in-the-face “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)” approach, the entire CD entertaining with subtlety and well-crafted vision. “When Sunny Gets Blue” brings the album from girl-group pop to jazz in a dark underground café’. Dalia weaves through multiple genres seamlessly, no jolts – more like a drive in the car on the front and back covers – David Levitt’s guitar just oh so nice with Dalia Davis giving the keyboard just the right touch. But it’s the voice that travels over these musical excursions soulful here, poppy there, highly listenable throughout.

In 1982 the Beatles had a hit of portions of their movie hits, a Stars on 45 kind of medley, called – of course – The Beatles Movie Medley. Capitol Records did the same thing with the Beach Boys after the outrageous #1 success of a Dutch band with Stars on 45 the year before in the summer of 1981 with, yes, Beatles’ tunes! Dalia’s “Beatles Bridges” brings the idea back almost 40 years later and it still works. “Moving Day” echoes Carole Bayer Sager, Bette Midler, Karla Bonoff while “Wash Away” gives a nod to Laura Nyro, however it is pure Dalia Davis and from track 1 to the conclusion of “The Simple Life,” this is just a terrific group of performances which all have their own unique identity. Very impressive.