Sunday, August 22, 2004


Hi Lo Trons: Screaming Pink Arosa

Fatcitizen’s Incontrovertible Laws of Rock Number 11: The Elton Johnny Rotten Principle: There are - generally speaking - two types of rock bands: “Guitar” and “keyboard.” Everything else being equal, the guitar ones are better. There are several fun things inherent in unilaterally writing your own laws without adhering to anything boring like scientific principles, or peer review. First, YOU GET TO WRITE YOUR OWN LAWS! (I mean, how cool is that?) Second, despite being completely non-democratic, the laws cause debate and can sometimes bend. For example, I’ve received a great deal of feedback from those who think the LASH principle can be proven wrong. If you remember, LASH argues, quite simply and elegantly, that rock n’ rollers record/write better songs when they are Lonely, Angry, Sad or Horny: No Exceptions. One of the best counter arguments given so far is Jackie Wilson. When he was happy Jackie recorded Your Love is Taking Me (Higher and Higher), one of the greatest songs of all time. When he was sad he came up with A Change is Gonna Come (or was that Sam Cooke?). Now, this is a difficult challenge to defend until you remember that Jackie Wilson is a soul singer and not a rock and roller and that Higher and Higher is a gospel song. Suffice it to say, advantage LASH. The second best challenge is Josh Rouse (Very Happy: Nothing Gives Me Pleasure vs. Very Sad: Come Back (Light Therapy)). This one is somewhat harder to defend so, um . . . LOOK OVER THERE, IT’S TOM WAITS!!! Advantage LASH, because I said so. Hi Lo Trons are another perfect example of why The Laws (even one that allows for wiggle room, like Rule 11) are made to be bent. Lead Tron Mike Dubue reminds us why we liked "vintage" keyboards back before they were vintage. He also plays them while standing up, which is cool, and adds David Byrne-ish vocals to the band's Cars meet Devo at a science-fiction convention vibe. The result? Fat City's skinny tie and Chuck Taylor’s set hasn’t had it so good since Howard Jones lived here as a kid. (As an aside, check out HoJo’s website. I mean, how many Greatest Hits records can one man release? Isn’t there some sort of statute of limitations on making money from No One is to Blame? Isn’t there? Ok, I’ll stop.) Visit Hi Lo Trons on the Web Hi Lo Trons’ self-titled debut album is only available by contacting the band
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