Save Us, Nessie! | Outtakes | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Save Us, Nessie!

Tina Turner might not think we need another hero, but Saves the Day frontman Chris Conley believes otherwise. When Dreamworks Records closed its doors a few years ago, the power-poppers were cast into the street just a year after 2003's In Reverie was released. Even though these New Jersey natives have been playing since the mid-'90s, they're now without a label to call home. They even had to self-finance their stripped-down, más-punk-que-pop Sound the Alarm, which they hope to release next spring. Like Bonnie Tyler, these New Jersey boys need a hero. Conley recently took a few minutes during a preshow sound check to talk about being saved — and not in a way that would make Pat Robertson sing.

Chris Conley: "Superman and Wonder Woman save the day because they're bad ass and don't want to hurt nobody."

"P. Diddy saves the day because he reminds us all to stay inside if we don't have anything good to say."

"Fidel Castro saves the day because he's a lunatic on the prowl."

"Dick Cheney saves the day by sending the world straight to hell, so we know what not to do."

"The Dukes of Hazzard save the day because they go over sweet jumps with their cars."

"Gob from Arrested Development saves the day because he practices magic, and that's sweet."

"The Powerpuff Girls save the day because they just do."

"Evil Knievel saves the day because he's got a sweet jacket."

"Gandhi saves the day because he's hungry."

"The Loch Ness Monster, which is my favorite of all time, Nessie, good ol' Nessie, saves the day because it's so mysterious and it keeps us guessing and on our toes."

"Tom and Jerry save the day because they hate each other, and that's awesome."

"Death saves the day because he reminds of us impermanence."

"Count Dracula saves the day because he lurks."

"Limp Bizkit saves the day because they suck."

"Hall and Oates save the day because they have sweet mustaches."

"The new pope saves the day because he used to be a Nazi and he too teaches us what not to do."

"The rest of the guys in Save the Day save the day. I don't, unfortunately, because I'm lame." — Cole Haddon

Saves the Day plays with Early November and Say Anything at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, December 10, at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $18. Call 954-727-0950.

Endless Lionel

Let us ponder Lionel Richie, the former saxophone player and sometime lead vocalist for the ever-popular Commodores. The consummate songwriter and balladeer has penned some of AM radio's best-loved odes to love, loss, and gravity-flouting dance parties. From his ensemble debut, 1974's Machine Gun, to the peak of his solo career, 1983's Can't Slow Down, the Motown standout and his mustache have wooed audiences worldwide.

Then there's his adoptive daughter, Nicole. Young, recently and scarily emaciated, and allegedly formerly addicted, Nicole has made some dubious choices in life, no doubt ignoring the advice purveyed by dear ol' dad's stream of megahits. She oughta try the Lionel Method on:

The Rich Bitch

Foreshadowing her problems with the Hilton heiress, Lionel's lyric to the number-one hit "Say You, Say Me" is hauntingly on point: "People in the park playing games in the dark/And what they played was a masquerade." She played you for a fool, Nic. And for crissakes, eat a meatball sandwich or something.

Once Paris began the ice-queen backstabbing, Nicole should've put the needle down on the old Commodores track "Easy" to know what to do: "Know it sounds funny/But I just can't stand the pain/Girl, I'm leaving you tomorrow." BFF? NFW.

The Scrub DJ

Lionel's smoldering duet with Diana Ross, "Endless Love," mirrors Nicole's impending nuptials to Adam Goldstein, former member of C-list boy-band Crazytown who's currently known as DJ AM: "And your eyes/Your eyes, your eyes/They tell me how much you care/Ooh yes, you will always be/My endless love." Endless... At least until that guy from 'NSync calls back. — D. Sirianni

Lionel Richie plays at 9 p.m. Friday, December 9, at Hard Rock Live, 5747 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $75 to $2,000. Call 954-797-5531.

Missing Link

You might not have heard, what with all the noise being made over Madonna's "big return," but one of rock's true pioneers died last month. Legendary guitarist Link Wray was 76 when he passed away from unspecified causes in his Copenhagen home. Not surprisingly, his death was barely mentioned in the mainstream press, while Mr. Miyagi's got front-page treatment. The message is clear: You can influence every rock musician from Dylan to Hendrix, but without name recognition, your obit is a mere inconvenience. That's why Outtakes doesn't mind paying belated respects to the Carolina-born guitarist — there's no such thing as too much praise for a guy who played such a rockin' role in rock 'n' roll.

While Wray mostly operated beneath the commercial radar, he did have some success, most notably with 1958's "Rumble" (which made its way onto the Pulp Fiction soundtrack three and a half decades later). A true guitar player in every sense, Wray typically penned instrumentals, fusing elements of blues, rockabilly, and surf but doing so with a level of ferocity that put him years ahead of other ax-wielders at that time. Wray was one of those rare cats who could make his guitar sing. And he knew the difference between poignant soloing and aimless wanking.

But for all Wray's note-bending brilliance, his biggest contribution to the world of rock guitar came in a much simpler form — the power chord. While it's hard to give anyone sole credit for the chord's invention, it was Wray who so fervently plucked away at it while most of his contemporaries were busy rehashing "Blue Suede Shoes." But Wray didn't stop there. He knew there was a way to get an even rawer sound from his amplifier. He did this by punching holes in the speaker, thus creating a fuzz tone. Meanwhile, Elvis Presley was getting rich doing cover songs. Mercy, indeed.

Pete Townshend once said that Wray was the reason he picked up a guitar in the first place. Now, if Townshend had never picked up that first guitar, who'd have been there to smash it? Kurt Cobain? Hell, were it not for Wray, he would've been a flautist. Sure, Wray's influence far outweighed his celebrity. But without him, the evolution of rock would have one hell of a missing link. — Jason Budjinski

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