August 5, 2005 in Seven

Hank III excels with rare mix

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The fact that you can find a blue- haired mohawk and a blue-haired grandma at any one of his concerts perfectly illustrates the dichotomy of

Hank Williams III’s music.

Not just anybody can follow a traditional country music set with a screaming punk rock set, but Williams’ fans come to expect it.

“I’ll tell the older crowd they might want to take off about now. A few times they’ll stick around, then come up later to tell me how much they enjoyed it,” Williams states in a news release.

Williams shelved his $50-gig a week punk life to record his 1999 country roots tribute album after a wake-up call from a $24,000 child support suit and $300-a-week pot habit. Williams’ debut, “Risin’ Outlaw,” introduced punk intensity to the country melancholy of his famous forebears, Hank Williams and Hank Williams Jr.

“I listened to my grandfather’s music when I was 4 years old, but at the same time, by the time I got to 10, I was listening to KISS, Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Ted Nugent, too,” Williams said.

Even with his cross-generational appeal, Williams battles the army of manufactured pop-country clones, as he has been basically shunned by the country music mainstream.

“I don’t want to have to try to write for the radio. If you play good songs, that’s all that should matter,” Williams said. “This is music you can’t ignore, but country radio refuses to play it just because it has no drums and a doghouse bass.”

Williams’ stock is rising as of late though, as he’s opened for Beck and Reverend Horton Heat and performed live on “The Conan O’Brien Show.”

“It feels the same to us, except we’re getting to open up for the type of shows we need to be doing,” Williams said. “I’m sick of headlining these little redneck, honky tonk dives where they play disco music before you go on and you have to put up with people who don’t even like country music, but curse you and ask why you can’t play something they can dance to. And then stare at us like we’re a bunch of freaks.

“Rock audiences aren’t rude like that. The best place for us to play is in the cities. No one seems to want to hear country music out in the country, but in the city, people are starved for it.”

Get your fill of hellbilly cowpunk hard-twang alternacountry with Hank Williams III and The Wayward Drifters on Sunday at Fat Tuesday’s, 1003 E. Trent Ave. Tickets for the all-ages show are $16 through TicketsWest, www.ticketswest.com or (800) 325-SEAT.

Jungle fever

When Toronto, Canada’s

Fluffgirl Burlesque Society has come to town in the past, patrons walked away impressed because although it was striptease, it was tasteful, even classy, pasties and all.

When the FBS returns next week, expect the same sort of 1950s elegance but with touches of savagery and humor.

Right with the season, FBS is in the midst of its Jungle Exotica tour. The show uses a tropical theme to frame comedy and Tahitian-style striptease.

Jungle Exotica’s performers include Fluffgirl founder from Canada Cecilia Bravo, comedic stripper from San Francisco The Indra, Xicana burlesque starlet and this year’s Miss Gay Latina from Seattle Chica Boom, and a musician from Hollywood dubbed the “King of Funtasy,” Count Smokula.

According to FBS’ Web site Count Smokula has become a cult icon by founding Smokulism and hosting the Count Smokula Show, a Hollywood-based talk-variety show.

The Count’s “Authentic Sounds of Smokesylvania” won for Best Comedy Album at the 2003 Los Angeles Music Awards.

From his resume, Count Smokula might be really funny. And if you search hard enough there is surely someone out there who reads Playboy for the articles.

The Fluffgirl Burlesque Show seduces The B-Side, 230 W. Riverside Ave., on Wednesday at 9 p.m. Tickets are $7, through The B-Side.


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