For all of the descriptions in the press from Houston Press to Yelp.com of Poison Girl as a "hipster haven" or as an "uber-hipster" bar (one writer went so far as to say the bar is habited by pseudo-intellectuals), fact of the matter is the joint is run by some guys from Conroe and bartended by regular guys and ladies like Bryan Wayne.
Ever notice that whenever a Waylon Jennings song comes on the bar's 15,000 song random system, the bartenders and owners all do a shot? Well, they do. It's a long-standing tradition, in fact.
With Balkan rhythms, banjo women, belly dancers, the Underscore Orkestra comes across as some gypsy caravan who lost their way. One listen to their swinging East European sound and one would not be surprised to see a battered horse-drawn band wagon sitting in the parking lot rather than the usual dirty white van.
Fifes, accordions, trombones, a recorder, bongos, violins, a cello, a veritable smörgåsbord of instruments serves to provide the chaotic, clash-and-bang musical patchwork the Underscore Orkestra lays down when the fuel mixture gets just right. And the whole point of the Orkestra's tunes are to cause them and the audience to come a bit unhinged and get on the dance floor and just go for it.
Wow, if the key to success in pop music is a wack-job front man, Falling In Reverse should soon be topping the charts with Alice Cooper lookalike Ronnie Radke steering the ship. It is highly doubtful that a more self-centered, narcissistic singer has barged into rock and roll since Jim Morrison.
Radke did a little prison stretch for battery related to the death of Michael Cook in Las Vegas in 2006. He ended up with a sentence of five years probation, but by all accounts he was dealing with some narcotics issues at the time and failed to report, so the judge let him cool his heels in the joint for two years. During his incarceration, he was kicked out of his former band Escape The Fate, but even behind bars Radke was working on new songs, and hit the ground running with his new band when he was released in late 2010.
For good or worse, clearly for the worse, the whole Fifty Shades of Grey thing has opened up the world of fetish to a new audience. Soccer moms and Joe Soaps are now attempting things they have only read about in best sellers, or heard about through girls' night gossip.
So sings Memphis gal Amy LaVere, one of the few women on the planet who plays standup bass while leading a band. And she does it very well. Well enough to tour worldwide, well enough to parlay her three-album solo career into a hot new Memphis bluegrass super-project The Wandering with Valerie June, Shannon McNally, Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi All Stars, and fife whiz Sharde Thomas.