July 2012

The Art Of Being Two Faced: Silicone Sister vs. The Lowcountry Boil Band

Author: Lindsay Hawkins | Photographer: Photography by Anne

Dear Diary,

A peculiar and rare discovery was uncovered by CH2 recently. A box of diaries, three with pristine covers and crisp-lined journal entries with notes in the margins, and three with glam rock stickers, lip-stick imprints and unidentified stains over hard to read chicken scratch. After much debate, CH2 has decided to release the personal rantings in these two groups of journals that seem to have been written by two very different local bands. Something tells us the two bands are connected, but we can’t quite put our finger on it, or how the diaries ended up in the same box…


Dear Diary,

Jevon here…and yeah, I know it’s been never since my last entry, but you should do the research and realize the life of a booked musician/teacher/husband/dad before you judge; basically just research the word awesome, and then read on so that you can understand my one complaint.

I would like to state for the record, not for any therapeutic catharsis (I’m fine, I play instruments and drink beer.), that the fact Ke$ha, who apparently brushes her teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniels every morning, and The Black Eyed Peas, who clearly believe that every night is not only going to be a good night but a good good night, have individually sold more copies of these singles than any Beatle’s single ever. And just for good measure, I would also like to state that the cast of Glee holds the record for number of singles on Billboard’s Hot 100, over Ray Charles…and yes, over The Beatles!

And yes, Diary, I know I must take into consideration the gross difference in music accessibility now compared to decades ago (e.g. iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, Internet), but you are not a defense lawyer for this upcoming generation of hipster posers and impressionable millennial robots, Diary; you listen remember, I vent. And I’m not trying to unleash hate or disdain for this massive group of pasteurized, musical androids, because it’s not their fault that record labels control what is processed and packaged to these tweens and teens. I mean, if I hadn’t been raised properly on the musicianship likes of Vassar Clements and New Riders of the Purple Sage, musicians with real talent and proven longevity, I too might have fallen into the mechanically concocted tunage recorded by an eponymous fringed, blonde haircut.

My point, Diary, is if instrumental mastery of sound has stood the test of time historically and is still brilliantly produced by artists today and just as accessible as the sterile repetitive lyrics barked over the butchered hit tracks of yesterday, then WHY Diary? WHY are record labels breeding a generation of Stepford listeners on supermodel looks and fashion brands when they could just as easily sell records branded on real talent and performance? I’m saying, Diary, why can’t the industry inspire guitar lessons and political movements instead of hairstyles and jorts?

I’ve been a listener and a player my whole life. When I perform with Low Country Boil, it’s not just a replicated homage to the hundreds of great songs heard all over the world; it’s a creative interpretation of music. Music that you listen too, not watch in a video. People bought records for decades because they were moved by music and the records used to cost a lot more than a dollar a download.

In final, Diary, I was at Wild Wings Café last night, and though I may be contradicting some of my previous points, at least it’s just you and me, but there was this ridiculous looking band of flaccid guys in spandex and horror show make-up, screaming lewd comments and profanities at middle-aged women eating buffalo strips. I think they were called Silicone Sister, a bit of a liability if you ask me. I mean this isn’t the Sunset Strip; it’s Hilton Head Island. Anyway, they clearly have no taste in music, but ignoring the sad fact that they are trying to relive their ’80s hair- banded youth out on stage at a family restaurant, they sounded incredible. It was like in that two hours they morphed into exact replicas of their idiotic idols and channeled the incredible musicianship that is overshadowed by that hideous genre. I wanted to tell the lead singer Taime Downz that I was actually impressed with his talent and realistic performance, but he looked like he was a drunken loser in real life, so I passed.

That is all.

J.D.

Dear Diary,

Alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiighta! Taime’s back. So, it’s been like four or five hours since my last entry, and fair warning: I’ve been running with the devil tonight and his name was Jack!

So Diary, I’m on stage with the sistas feeling all the glamorousness running through my veins, and I see these horrible looking emo, crabcore posers pointing, and rolling their eyes while I’m slaying Van Halen at almost unattainable volumes. I’m all, hey you in the back. Yeah you with the fake ID. You might want to ask your mom over there, eye-hittin’ the bartender if you’re allowed to drink that wine cooler.

You see Diary, it’s like there is no one teaching these wicked pissers how to gig with a purpose to invoke the fans anymore, and that’s why stages everywhere are infertile, man. I mean these rocker wannabes are running in place on stage, which may only be impressive if you’re rockin’ out geezers at the home. Where’s the eruption, Diary? Can’t anyone jump anymore? It’d take a miracle for 90 percent of these yayhoo bands out there to get even one drunk and desperate middle-ager to dance the night away, while we send them out in a blaze of glory every night and look pretty doing it.

Showmanship, Diary! Are we really the last sexy talents out there? How many more crap musicians are going to thrill us with their sterile, corner performances outmatched by SportsCenter and ugly, loud women? Demand the hot groupies I say. Wear your tightest pants and best hair and get out and earn your cougars, man. Give love a bad name and smear it around on stage. Or else it’s going to end up being bring your iPod to Wings night.

All I’m saying D., is what happened to the risk takers who shared their moments of brilliance and humiliation on stage, live in front of hundreds, inspiring them to throw bras? I mean I went to Hudson’s the other night to grab a sunset and a beer, thought about doing a cannonball off the dock bar and splash some hot grandmas, but I was stopped in my tracks by a band in plaid shirts, Low Country Bowl I think. I thought about projectile vomiting on the lead singer who looked like the product of Jack Nicholson and Opie, but I noticed he was casting winks out into the audience to these old dames and making them smile. I might be contradicting my previous shouts, Diary, but he had a little swagger in his fiddle playing and at least the tool invoked that old bag.

I’m just livin’ on a prayer right now D., if you ever want to write me back–a, I’ll be there for you.

Taime D.


Dear Diary,

Well, I’m a weary Pitts today. I know there is no way of predicting iconic status for decades, so I’m not necessarily knocking the artists of today’s Billboard charts pop obsession, but come on. Where are the instrumental wizards of the future? Are we in a synthetic slump from now on, or is it that anything legit gets lost in cyberspace, suffocating under the tracks of millions of hobbyists uploading their irretrievably moronic interpretations of what they define as music?

Do I over-generalize, Diary? I mean name one finger tapping guitar master, I’m not asking for a prodigy even, that has emerged from any credible record label in the last decade. Where are the Van Halen’s and Vai’s of the millennium? Don’t misunderstand me, Diary. I’m thoroughly unimpressed with recent musicianship, especially when it comes to perfecting, becoming, possessing the guitar; but what I’m venting is when did music become so lazy and thoughtless? Even when artists sound better on record than their influences because of technology, the production is so perfect and sterile, there is no emotional connection to songs on record anymore.

I want to be lyrically, melodically moved, Diary. I want to be taken to utopic levels; I wanna cry and relate and fall in love to music, no matter what the genre. Is it the texting, Diary? Have young musicians no communicative skills anymore so they are dumb but screaming inside? If this is the case, why can’t they at least play something striking, different, radical, or normal but just incredibly hip? Is it weird that I want to be energized and emotional all the time, Diary? Am I a freak with a guitar? Do you think I’m a hoarder? Is it weird that I feel energy from vintage instruments? Do you think I’m judgmental, because ultimately I just want to encourage our youth to be awesome and passionate?

Anyway, Diary, I was at Wings with Jev the other night and those tards with wigs, Silicone Sister—you know, the glam band with seemingly infinite knowledge of a genre no one really cares to admit they ever liked anymore. They were rocking out on that tiny stage like they had packed Red Rocks and were hitting acoustic milestones. I wanted to laugh, but it was the jealousy I hold deep inside, almost like a reverence for that creep with no shirt on, Billy Cummings. I love bluegrass, don’t get me wrong, and I know I’m good at guitar, but sometimes I just wanna rooooooooooock! You know? Cummings killed this solo, and I just feel like maybe I should practice what I preach and just throw down and get all emotional on Hudson’s one night.

Thanks for listening.

Andy

Dear Diary,

I had a “Billy’s got his six string on hock” kinda day today, so I’ll start from the intro. Let’s get intimate, D. I need your advice, so don’t lie to me tonight. But do you think the music experience, you know my wicked finger tapping wizardry that channels every great name of the past, my glistening abs that bring all of our fans out to party with us, my jaded heart that keeps all the cougars wanting a piece even though I just got lucky with their sister, do you really think that can be captured digitally?

Here me out, Diary. I’m a troubadour. I rock two instruments, the guitar and the obvious, so why are industry folk so caught up with how many 99-cent rack-ups they get per one hit wonder? I mean if a million people buy one song ever, that’s only a million dollars, but if a million people come and watch someone on tour like me, they could easily be enthralled enough to go see them every year on every tour for $90 a show. Then that’s like a billion dollars or something. My thought process, Diary, is that it’s a lot more money, but my point is that people want to see greatness like me on stage over and over again, because it allows them to feel the tunes in their veins. Music is about feeling awesome and sometimes about partying while feeling awesome.

Diary, I fought tooth and nail to get my talents to their ultimate level, and I feel like artists shouldn’t let their drive go slippin’ away because only a thousand people bought their single on iTunes, because another thousand people stole that digital purchase from their friends and then another thousand people stole it. And so that’s like an extra two thousand fans you never even knew you had. Emotional connection is in the performance of the song live, Diary. It’s the deliverance that creates a legend with a loyal fan following, not a download.

If I hadn’t grown up Jersey scum trying to drown out all those airplanes taking off next to my house with my incredible talent, I would have never achieved such high levels of awesomeness, thrown myself into the fire and toured my way down the East Coast and ended up in the state of sexy awesomeness I’m in today.

I just want this digital measure of popularity to stop skewing the Billboard charts and let ticket sales or something else of real measure put gut wrenching records and legit sounds back on the charts.

It’s like on a local level, regional even, Silicone packs in the fans consistently, so I know that I’m legit because I move people. Like I was at Hudson’s the other night with Taime for some shrimps and a sunset, and we couldn’t get a seat at the outside bar because some hokey orchestra band in cowboy boots was playing a gig for 100-year-olds and 10-year-olds, but I was like who am I to judge that lead guitarist with a butterface; he plays okay, and clearly he was the reason every geriatric and preschooler fan came out that night.

It’s the motion in the ocean, Dairy. Thanks for sorting it out.

Billy C.


Dear Diary,

Life is good. I read an industry blog today, dedicated to music greatness and opinion after opinion on today’s scene. Kind of ironic if you ask me, Diary, the obsession with the scene being on what’s seen and not heard. When did music become so judgmental, so argued, so competitive, so monetarily driven?

You know I get it; I mean a million things can theoretically be the demise of “real” music, because every human being with auditory function has a unique definition of what “real” music is, and that opinion ultimately matures and changes decade to decade for everyone on some scale. Unfortunately, what these iPeople are disgruntled over in the majority of these blogs has nothing to do with opposing music composition, the melodies, the harmonies, the tempos and the instruments on which they are created. Bloggers are making dramatic comparisons of record sales vs. downloads, pop vs. metal, major labels vs. indie labels, digital artistry vs. musicianship. What’s to compare…everything? I mean come on; there have been 16 billion songs downloaded from iTunes to date. Am I the only one who gets it, Diary?

Bottom line is you can’t really argue tastes in music. Now I like rock and roll undertones in my selection, but today’s music “scene” if you will, Diary, is just as diverse and exciting as ever. I guess I could state a preference that, even with all the recording technology out there and all the accessibility the Internet provides, the proof of greatness is in the live performance, regardless of the genre of music or how much the production cost.

I guess, Diary, that if you are to achieve greatness, whether as a cover band, songwriter, singer or some combination, then put in due diligence. Perfect that harmony, master that tempo and most importantly perform with passion and emotion. The fame and the money are a poor measure for the heart and the talent. “You have to be a bastard to make it. That’s a fact. And the Beatles were the biggest bastards on earth,” John Lennon said.

Lastly, Diary, I see local bands nightly, and what I’m talking about is exactly this. I was out at Wings with Jev and Andy last night, and Silicone Sister was up there charring Dokken. Even though I can’t stand the bastards, people love them because they’ve mastered their craft and they’re wild to watch. Especially the quieter, tall one I find most intriguing. Clearly he’s the most accurate on tempos and definitely the best dressed.

Later,

Gary P.

Dear Diary,

How many times do I have to say have a blast and look good doing it? Foxxx is getting a little irritated here, Diary. When will these blow-hole noisemakers start realizing that being a rock star not only means layering harmonies with wicked rhythms and potent melodies, but layering ripped fishnets with red, pleather pants and bronzer?

How can these wussies be miles away from the very look that defines their supposed genre of music? Why would anyone waste their time watching any show where the drapes don’t match the curtains? You pickin’ up what I’m swinging left, Diary?

If you want to perform, get your theatrics right is all I’m asking these filthy posers to even consider. If you rock Wham, then pop the collar of your silk Miami Vice button downs and feather your bangs. If you rock Flo Rida, then hit the juice, get some ink and grow the chops. If you rock Celine Dion, then stop eating, work on your accent and marry your grandpa. Really, Diary, is it that complicated?

Fashion is a way of the rock star lifestyle. If I performed in some Wranglers and a Bart Simpson T-shirt with a Bart Simpson squished in between some supersized butt-cheeks with a tag line that reads, “Crack kills,” then I better expect to go to Beaufort County headquarters when I tell your mom to show me her coconuts, because I did it out of uniform. Rock stars can only talk like rock stars when they’re dressed like rock stars. Rock stars can only perform like rock stars and sound like rock stars and be believed to be rock stars when they are, in fact, dressed like rock stars.

I’m a rock star, Diary, and I look incredible and sound incredible, and people love me and they stare at me on stage because I’m hot and I feel hot. You know, I went to see Low Country Boil Bluegrass Band at Hudson’s with Taime and Billy the other night. They think I went for the bitchin’ sunset and ice cold brews. But I love to watch those plaid guys fiddle and pick and banjo those tourists into euphoria. They rock their crisp, checkered shirts layered with ironed Levi’s and authentic sh** kickers, while performing next to an aluminum, trough of Bud Lights and an empty tip jar. They are a perfect example of rock starring your own genre of music through and through. They just better watch they don’t piss that bassist off, cuz he’s clearly the glue that holds their sound together.

Rock on.

Robb Foxxx

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