The Kempt Five
- Jeff Dufour
Every Wednesday we’re giving you a deeper look into what makes the minds behind Kempt tick. We call it: The Kempt Five.
Colorado’s Finest Van Halen Cover Band: Bullethead. “The situation, as I remember it: my friends and I were driving home from a bar and grill in Winter Park. We went past a marquee, glowing in the distance like Gatsby’s green light: ‘Friday: Van Halen Tribute Band. No Cover.’ ‘Friday? That’s tonight,’ someone said. We stopped the rental car, turned around and walked into Ullrs Tavern, trying not to notice the Breaking Bad vibe from the random cop in the parking lot. A general tribute band came out, and flat-out nailed a handful of classic rock songs. The guitar player, in particular, was on point. A rumor spread through the crowd: this was the Van Halen tribute band, opening the show... for itself. The set ended, 20 minutes passed by, another round of Fat Tires was ordered. I ran into the opening band’s guitar player, told him I dug it and asked him about the rumor. He smiled and just said, ‘If you thought that was good, just wait.’ (Or something like that. Memory’s a bit fuzzy. See earlier, re: Fat Tires.) A man in a blond wig and assless chaps (!) wandered the crowd. It was happening. Soon, the band came out again, in full costume, ready to rock. The singer—the man with the chaps—brought out a silver tray loaded up with Jack Daniel’s and a mysterious white powder. They launched into a stream of hits—‘Running with the Devil,’ ‘Panama’—spiked with deep cuts like ‘Girl Gone Bad.’ The crowd—maybe 60 of us—went nuts. It was like seeing the Beatles at Shea. Or Springsteen in ’74. (‘I’ve seen rock ’n’ roll’s future, and its name is... Bullethead?’) It was, in all seriousness, one of the best and most fun shows I’ve ever seen in my life. I can’t recommend seeing this band enough. Even if you have to take a flight to Colorado.” —P.L.U.
Johnny Carson: King of Late Night. “I’d been meaning to watch this American Masters doc since it aired a couple years ago, and finally caught up with it just recently. A few takeaways: Carson was hilarious. (Duh.) Carson was a serial philanderer. (Duh.) Carson sure loved jokes about dicks and gay panic. (Huh.) Carson was... damn stylish. In the doc, Arsenio said it meant a lot to ‘the hood’ that Carson wore a new tricked-out suit every day. Letterman simply says if you wanted to know how to be an American male, you just watched Carson. Surprisingly enough, that’s still true today.” —P.L.U.
No No: A Dockumentary Trailer. “One of the greatest things I ever learned on the Internet: that professional baseball player Dock Ellis once pitched a no-hitter whilst tripping balls on LSD. What was even greater was finding out that the story wasn’t the stuff of Snopes.com. And while the NY-based nostalgic sportswear company No Mas made an excellent animated retelling of that fateful day, it’s now getting the full-length documentary treatment... and with a soundtrack by Ad Rock, no less.” —A.P.B.
Common Ground: An Unabashedly Backward-Looking Blues Album. “Here’s a story about two brothers, Dave and Phil Alvin, who start a rockabilly/punk/blues band in California in the late ’70s. They’re called the Blasters and they... never quite get their due. Anyway, Dave leaves the band after a few years, and the two barely play together until now, when they release a blues album solely of Big Bill Broonzy covers (naturally). It’s spectacular, in a this-could-have-been-recorded-at-Sun-Studios kind of way. If you like anything T Bone Burnett does, you’ll love this.” —J.D.
Like a Virgin. “Every summer I look forward to getting that first sunburn session out of the way early so more time can be spent browning. I had spent enough time poolside and at the beach this summer to get a decent shade of not-pale... or so I thought. This past weekend I was lucky enough to head out to the Bonneville Salt Flats for the Motorcycle Speed Trials for the first time... and forgot sunscreen the very first day. Rookie mistake. Bonneville’s cloudless sky and blindingly white landscape combined with my Nordic attributes showed me what it feels like to burn for the very first time. It’s a deep, deep burn, one that will probably (hopefully) last me through the winter.” —B.C.