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By Michael Henningsen


July 8, 1997:  Thursday, July 3; Fat Chance: Vocalist/guitarist Dave Hall is the quiet kid you went to high school with. The one who spent lunch hours hunkered over a dog-eared notebook, furiously scribbling words on its pages. The one who carried a cased guitar with him, yet never took it out--at least not in public. And, although, they would never have owned up back then, he was every cheerleader's (and football player's) dream.

So what happened to "that guy?" Chances are pretty good that Dave Hall holds the answer. Poet, guitarist, singer, prophet--all words that can be used to aptly describe this New York singer/songwriter. But his music, a unique amalgam of Brazilian and Afro-European rhythms and melody, good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll, pop, soul and folk, doesn't lend itself so easily to the restrictive realm of adjectives and metaphor. By weaving his voice into the fabric of his brightly colored music, Hall haunts you into listening to his songs--alternately jovial and thickly dark, always multilayered.

Faith is what Hall is about. His lyrics--running the gamut of human experience--are striking, his arrangements unique. His perspective comes from deep within himself, but, surprisingly, he's willing to share it sans innuendo and riddles. It's up to you.

--Michael Henningsen


Tuesday, July 8; Launchpad: Featuring two-thirds of Bratmobile (singer Allison Wolfe and guitarist Erin Smith), Cold Cold Hearts play nasty songs about nasty boys, all with a weird '60s psychedelic-meets DIY twist. And they don't do it to offend you, boys, they spank you because you deserve it.

So how does your worst nightmare--lyrics mostly about what a fucker you are--wind up being transformed into delicious punk rock songs worthy of a place in anyone's record collection? Enter ex-Cut-throats Katherine Brown (drums, vocals) and Nattles (bass, vocals). Together, the Pacific Northwest quartet shout, bitch and shriek about the trials and tribulations of relationships, punk rock and all the crap that comes along with both. And it's more than simple bitterness that fuels their fire; Cold Cold Hearts really are better than you (just check out the self-titled Kill Rock Stars debut). And probably better than your band, too. Sorry.

--Michael Henningsen

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