by Tiina Teal
You notice that the temperature seems to have dropped about ten degrees in the room and a chilling silence rings in your ears. Strange shadows dance beyond the corners of your eyes. Suddenly, you feel a cold hand slide up your shoulder and announce, "The Triple-Shock Scream Show Has Begun"! Evil laughter surrounds you and your senses willingly surrender to musical maestro ROB ZOMBIE and his horrific aural delights. Witness the return of the ghoul king on Thursday, March 21, at the Star Theatre along with revered punk legends the Damned and newcomers Sinisstar. Your dreams will never be the same.
An obsessed classic horror film and sci-fi fan, Zombie gave birth to the first incarnation of his vision-thing in the form of the band White Zombie in 1985. White Zombie signed to major label Geffen in 1990, after five independent releases, and unearthed its first Grammy-nominated album, La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1 in 1991. An avid animator and lover of all things on the darker side, Zombie incorporated his talents into every aspect of the band's creepy, crawling, musical underworld. The triple-platinum album, Astro-Creep 2000, followed in 1995 along with another Grammy nomination and MTV Music Award for Best Hard Rock Video. A remix album was released soon after, the platinum Supersexy Swingin' Sounds, and left Zombie fans guessing on the future of the band.
During this time, Zombie found other outlets for the fiendishly grandiose ideas swirling around in his head. More Grammy nominations piled up for his contributions to soundtracks such as The Crow: City of Angels, Howard Stern's Private Parts and a duet with longtime idol Alice Cooper for The X Files TV show. Around this time, Zombie was also sought out to design the memorable hallucination sequence for the film, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America. Clearly, Rob Zombie's reach was extending far beyond the traditional rock and roll realm.
Hellbilly Deluxe, Rob's first solo album, rose up from the beyond in 1998 and cemented rumors that White Zombie had finally been put to rest. Hellbilly was a lethal cocktail of hardcore, vintage '50s influences with flaming shots of trashy, metallic, psycho-punk that once again received a Grammy nomination and achieved triple platinum status. All work and no play makes Rob a good boy, so upon the end of his worldwide tour, Zombie offered up another album of remixes, American-Made Music to Strip By. In an obvious collaboration, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane (an EWU grad) contacted him to help design a Rob Zombie toy action figure. The figure went on to become one of the most popular in McFarlane's series.
Perhaps the most anticipated project from Rob Zombie is his upcoming motion picture debut, House of 1000 Corpses, which he wrote and directed for Universal Studios. Cult film stars such as Academy Award nominee Karen Black (Nashville) and Sid Haig (Shaft) are featured in the movie that was completed in April 2000. However, it was found by Universal to be "too dark and disturbing for release under corporate releasing guidelines" and is still in the process of finding the proper distribution channel.
Finding his demonic muse ready to rock, Zombie came back with his latest album, The Sinister Urge, in 2001. This time he took a different turn in the graveyard, even incorporating a horn section and orchestra on some songs. The Sinister Urge finds Zombie exploring new territories, but still remaining true to his six-feet-underground sound. Boasting guest artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Tommy Lee of Motley Crue fame, Kerry King of Slayer and even Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys, Zombie shows that he is not afraid of the light or of using different stylistic techniques to take his music up another level. MTV just added Zombie's video for "Never Gonna Stop" to its playlist, along with Ozzy Osbourne's "Dreamer," which Zombie directed. He is currently recording the song "Bliztkrieg Bop" for a Ramones tribute album and is still running his own record label, Zombie A Go-Go.
With this kind of total involvement, you can count on Zombie presenting an over-the-top, spookaliciously raging circus show. Known for incorporating the latest in lights, sound, video and pyrotechnics, Zombie always provides no less than he would expect himself. So prepare to headbang with the undead, get ready to mosh with monsters, expect to dance with the boogeyman. You may be sleeping with your night light on for the rest of your life.
Longtime fans of the now-defunct Hobart's Lounge will be happy to know that jazz is alive and well at one of the swankiest venues in town. With its jet-black walls, pillowy booths and near 360-degree views of the city, ANKENY'S, high atop the Ridpath Hotel, is the perfect place for staging a jazz revival.
"We're getting a lot of our old crowd, but we're also seeing a lot of new people," says Gary Edighoffer, who ran the jazz lineup at Hobart's Lounge until its closing about a year ago. "There's something about the ambience up there. People like to come up and look at the lights. It's a great place to hear jazz."
The current lineup at Ankeny's features what Edighoffer calls "dynamic duos" on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Right now, that means Arnie Carruthers and Stephanie Brush every Tuesday, Mardi Luppert and Jim Templeton on Wednesdays and Jan Harrison and Jim Templeton on Thursdays. Weekends are currently the purview of quintets, with the Jan Harrison Quintet on Fridays and the Jazzmania Quintet, with an ever-changing roster of guest artists, on Saturdays. This weekend features Harrison, a recent & eacute;migr & eacute; from Denver who Edighoffer says comes with lots of experience singing in the jazz clubs of L.A., and also Dave Stoltz, the lead trombonist for the SJO and a player with Desafinado. Down the road, look for the Kristina Ploeger Quintet at the end of March, and the 10-piece Night Blooming JazzMen in April.
"We're hoping to do what we did at Hobart's, where when a group is coming through town we can get them in," says Edighoffer. "Our goal is to have great regional bands playing here as well."--by Sheri Boggs