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The Apples In Stereo Sound Is Ripe For Picking At Outback’s

Fri., April 12, 1996

I’ve never been a big fan of pop rock.

It’s soooooooo boring!

Nothing else provides the perfect antidote for chronic insomnia quite like the cumbersome, overly exhausted pop melodies.

Like any other music enthusiast, I crave hooks.

But pop rock contains too many annoying jingle-jangle, sing-songy, sugarcoated devices. I agree that a little candy for the ears sounds great. But a little goes a long way. Too much makes me nauseous, and I go “la, la, la; barf, barf, barf.”

The good bands like The Apples in Stereo, the Young Fresh Fellows and cub don’t make my delicate stomach churn. That’s because they have goofy personalities, funny little quirks and they don’t take themselves too seriously.

The Apples, who play Outback Jack’s on Tuesday, are especially ripe for the picking.

This Denver-based trio packs bushels of instruments into its splendid debut album, “Fun Trick Noisemaker.” Aside from employing the standard guitar, bass and drums, The Apples also introduce Jupiter and Moog keyboards, pianos, tambourines, maracas, melodicas and bells.

It’s because of these arrangements and their adeptness at knowing how and when to use them that The Apples elude conventional pop.

Style-wise, The Apples harvest a veritable assortment. There are New Wave-ish songs, ‘60s garage rock songs, art rock songs, avant garde noise songs and psychedelic songs.

The easygoing but not lazy male-female harmonies and endearing vocals of multi-instrumentalists Hilarie Sidney and John Hill not only make the 12 tracks on “Fun Trick Noisemaker” sparkle, they also lend a nice balance.

This is an outstanding record, the perfect soundtrack for all occasions. Further, it’s the best album to come across my desk in long while.

You would be wise to seek out “Fun Trick Noisemaker.” It’s on an indie label called spinART, and unless you pick one up at the show, you might have some difficulty finding the effervescent Apples in Stereo in Spokane. If you can’t, write to: spinART Records, P.O. Box 1798, New York, NY 10156-1798.

Gonzaga University rock combo Elizabeth Emblem opens the show. Music starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $3.

Latest Makers scoop

Lots happening in the Makers camp besides their first show in several months tonight at Ichabod’s North.

The band recently completed a three-week trek of the West Coast. Surprisingly, the boys from felony flats behaved themselves rather well and we haven’t learned of any warrants for their arrest.

They were, however, spotted by some fans at Disneyland. Yes, it’s true; the band actually went to Disneyland. According to a source, Makers manager Vic Mostly couldn’t pry the boys from the “It’s a Small World Afterall” ride. Apparently, the four even got out of their buggies and sang along with the various figurines, painting a scene of joy and harmony in Fantasyland.

In recording news, the Makers will re-enter the studio to record their next album in May. A compilation featuring the Makers and 11 other garage, surf and pop bands, called “The Estrus Cocktail Companion,” was just issued on CD. It originally came in a boxed set of three seven-inchers, a coaster and a cocktail stirrer. Take that, cocktail nation.

Last, we sadly report the Makers’ honorary fifth member - their hearse - met its early demise in Moses Lake, when the band was hightailing back to Spokane from its tour. The hearse has been at the Makers disposal since day one.

Opening bands for tonight’s show were not available at presstime. Music starts at 9:30 p.m. The cover is $4.

Gravel rock

One spin of Gravelpit’s debut album, “Mountain,” will leave your ears ringing, if not bleeding. No joke.

Portland’s Gravelpit mines the rocky terrain of midtempo bar-chord rock ‘n’ roll. And the band does it with fervor and guts.

For the members, this band, like most, is an outlet for creative expression. But judging from the moody compositions on “Mountain,” Gravelpit is also a vessel that keeps them afloat in life’s choppy waters.

Vocalist Steve Wilkinson says the band, which first plugged in in 1992, is akin to Seattle-Ellensburg psychedelic noise rockers the Screaming Trees.

Not quite.

Gravelpit’s psychedelic textures on “Mountain” aren’t nearly as lush and the vocals aren’t quite as somber.

That’s good. Gravelpit would prosper by exploring its own niche.

Although Gravelpit’s lyrics could use some brushing up and maturing, several songs on “Mountain,” including the title track and “Noodles,” are honest and distinctive.

Gravelpit plays Outback Jack’s with Spokane’s Roadside Prophets and Blood Blue. Music starts at 9:30 p.m. Cover’s $3.

Folk implosion

The two members of the Chicago-based folk band Small Potatoes claim they came up with their Celtic-to-cowboy mix through “years of careful indecision.”

It’s obvious indecision has worked to the musicians’ advantage. There’s no folk style or genre they’re afraid to touch. One song might be folk, the next one a blues tune, followed by a jazzy number. It’s all just Small Potatoes, isn’t it? The duo plays Espresso Delizioso on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. No cover.

Snaut banned from Ichabod’s?

Believe it or not, the Snaut show at Ichabod’s went off without incident, which means the band will be able to conduct its vulgar rituals - what Snaut calls music - on future dates at the venue.

A camera crew from KXLY even shot footage of the show for a piece on the Spokane band.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: NIGHTWATCH PICKS Best bets at area clubs: TONIGHT: The Makers at Ichabod’s North SATURDAY: Gravelpit, Roadside Prophets and Blood Blue at Outback Jack’s TUESDAY: The Apples in Stereo and Elizabeth Emblem at Outback Jack’s

This sidebar appeared with the story: NIGHTWATCH PICKS Best bets at area clubs: TONIGHT: The Makers at Ichabod’s North SATURDAY: Gravelpit, Roadside Prophets and Blood Blue at Outback Jack’s TUESDAY: The Apples in Stereo and Elizabeth Emblem at Outback Jack’s

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