Anonymous Willpower set its phasers to stun and ripped out a wicked set of rock 'n' roll Friday night at Three Heads Brewing. The band can play anything, as all its members are bad-ass utility players, well-versed in everything. From the Big Easy to something a little sleazy, AW positively rocks. I see this band in your future.
Trust me, I checked to make sure Laverne Baker was dead. Sure enough, the singing sensation went to her reward back in 1997. So it's quite possible I was seeing her ghost. The billboards at Abilene all credited Tammi Savoy as the one delivering the joyful noise from the bandstand for this Sunday matinee show, but I had my suspicions. She was joined onstage by Chris Casello, or the ghost of Mickey Baker (I checked: He's dead too, since 2012).
The music they played was so much fun, it had the crowd sporting extra-wide Cheshire grins. Original strollers and bebop boppers augmented a generous set of stuff by Baker, Sarah Vaughan, and Ruth Brown. A hepcat highlight happened when Savoy was joined onstage by her 11-year-old daughter for a jumpin' version of The Collins Kids' "Hop, Skip, and Jump." And Casello is one of the best rockabilly and swing guitar players I've seen in a long, long while. But it was his vibrato-drenched send-up of The Viscounts' "Harlem Nocturne" that positively knocked me dead with its bluesy, irresistible grind. Further details can be found in my obituary.
Sole Rehab's "Make It Twerk" dance party was a drag -- in a good way -- Sunday night at Photo City, with some of the tallest queens I've ever seen. The throb of the music moved the crowd that packed the joint, full of muscles and mascara. As I left, I could see the steam heat rolling out of the club, as if it were a Turkish bath.