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March 30, 1998


Direct from Athens, Ga., the Woggles are coming to town for a show that’s sure to be a scorching night of excess. Southside Music Hall, in downtown Mobile, will play host to this primal garage band on April 2. The Woggles are coming off an international tour that had them travel all the way to Japan. They’ll be performing many new songs they’ve been working on, as well as such favorites as “Mad Dog 20/20” and “My Baby Likes to Boogaloo.” Since the late 80’s the Woggles have been touring with such bands as Southern Culture on the Skids, Man or Astro- man and the Quadrajets. They recently were featured on a Dick Dale tribute album doing a cover of “Mr. Peppermint Man.” Hopefully, by the end of the summer we’ll see the new release they’ve been working on.

Opening up for the Woggles will be Mobile’s own surf and spy band Jonny and the Shamen along with another local band XBXRX. Each band should play off the other well, keeping the music at frenetic pace all night long. Look for Jonny to release a new single (a split 7” with Man or Astro-man) this summer on Loch-Ness Records. XBXRX are also about to release another five-song ep soon. They’re a young band that’s still evolving. With their Sonic Youth meets “the unknown” influence, I’m expecting them to add a lot of fuel to the show.

Next week we’ll be reviewing the Jennyanykind and Drive By Truckers show from March 26 at Sluggos in Pensacola.

-- C. Cox

hempilation.jpg - 22503 BytesHEMPILATION 2: Free the Weed,
Various Artists (Capricorn Records ),
1999. 31453-82462

HEMPILATION 2: Free the Weed combines two of my favorite things: various artists doing a medley of musical styles and quirky word plays like "hempilation." Some may get the idea that this is an album for "smoking dope." Certainly that was not the intent of the album's producers, but instead I know they did their utmost to produce a compilation album of quality music for music lovers to appreciate.

And it's not hard to appreciate the album. It has a good mix of everything from funk to pop to southern rock to country. For those few listeners interested in the "marijuana" theme that permeates the album, they won't be disappointed since most of the song materials explore the different aspect of illicit herbal use. Naturally, I listen for music.

There are some good tunes here. Everything's groovy "Free to Choose" is a laid-back instrumental. George Clinton's "U.S. Custom Coast Guard Dope Dog" is a hilarious satire that is trademark George. In fact, there is a lot of humor on this album. Vic Chesnut's sarcastic "Weed to the Rescue" and Wayne Kramer's tongue-in-cheek "Viper" provide a dose of derisive laughter.

Listeners will also get the opportunity to hear country songs that aren't depressing but instead become feel-good anthems for those who are members of the marijuana culture. Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise will instruct fans on the values of cooperation with "Don't Bogart Me." Willie Nelson does a wonderful job with "Me and Paul." My favorite country tune (as well as my favorite on the album) was Hank Flamingo's "The Dope Smokin' Song," destined to be a favorite in country western bars everywhere: "Willie got high on the White House roof, and ole Merle Haggerd likes to smoke that hooch...Let's all get stoned and listen to George Jones." Country music ain't all stompin' hearts and burned out trailers,

Less satisfying are From Good Homes' remake of the Charlie Daniel's classic "Long Haired Country Boy" and a techno remix of Jimmie's Chicken Shack's "High." Spearhead does a rendition of Steve Miller's "The Joker" that needs a little more spice. But with Freddy Jones, Dar Williams and Fun Lovin' Criminals putting out good solid tracks, the album succeeds in putting its best foot forward.

The final word comes down to a decent album for music listeners. For fans of the "herbal way," the album should provide long hours of music to supplement their passion for botanical products. And don't forget this album is a benefit album. What better way to fulfill our civic duties?

-- Jason Ladner

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