Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 110

Mike Neer

ALL YOU CAN EAT
INSTRO BUFFET

W

hen the Kids
In The Hall,
an irreverent sketch comedy
troupe from Toronto,
got their own TV
show in '89, they
chose "Having An
Average Weekend,"
an instrumental by a
local trio, Shadowy
Men On A Shadowy
Planet, as its theme
song. This provided
massive exposure
on a level that other
"surf revival" bands
didn't dare dream of.
While the eclectic
Shadowy Men
weren't strictly surf,
and occasionally
added vocals, the

trio (drummer Don Pyle,
bassist Reid Diamond,
and Brian Connelly on
guitar and Farfisa) became a big influence in
the small revival pond.
Long overdue, expanded
versions of the band's
three albums have been
issued by Yep Roc.
Savvy Show Stoppers, actually a 1988
compilation of singles
and EPs, adds five
bonus tracks to the
original's 16. The
melodic "Average Day"
is countered with the
punk-edged "Bennett
Cerf" and a cover of
Link Wray's savage
"Run Chicken Run."
The group's proper

dots within guitar history and within the
larger world of pop culture as well.
At times, they could be accused of
streamlining the history, smoothing over
the many rough edges - and interesting
rough edges, at that - of competing ideas

	

debut album, 1991's
23-track Dim The Lights,
Chill The Ham, is now a
bulging 31 tracks, half
of them under two minutes. It features a semimetal rework of their
"hit," retitled "Having
An Average Weekend,"
and a Duane Eddy-ish
version of the Beach
Boys' "In My Room."
Similarly inflated is
1993's Sport Fishin'. It
features a much-needed
instro take on Gene
Pitney's "Mecca," and in
the bonus category are
two tunes from B52s'
Fred Schneider's single
featuring Shadowy backing. But the Men were
remarkably resourceful,

Shadowy Men On
A Shadowy Planet

Savvy Show Stoppers
Dim The Lights, Chill
The Ham
Sport Fishin': The Lure
Of The Bait, The Luck Of
The Hook

Mike Neer
Steelonious

writing nearly all the
songs they released.

and designs, all in the name of presenting
a clear, concise storyline. And there are
some small-yet-obvious errors that crop
up. Plus there's an overall leaning toward
the grandiose - the first guitar hero, the
most ever paid for a guitar, etc. - that get

VINTAGE GUITAR	

110	 February 2017

One of the truly
original instro albums in
recent memory consists
entirely of covers - Mike
Neer's Steelonious. As
the title implies, this is
a set of compositions
by jazz piano legend
Thelonious Monk played
on steel guitar.
Though "Epistrophy"
opens with a "Pipeline"
glissando and angular
bass line, the song
and entire CD are
non-gimmicky, with
Neer's lap steel chops
up for the daunting
challenge he chose.
The cuts are given
various moods (soul-jazz,
gospel, surf, blues, Latin), with nightclub chatter in the background
of "Bemsha Swing,"
the steel fed through a
Leslie. And while it takes
a twisted mind to envision a Western swing
arrangement of "I Mean
You," one can't help but
envision Monk, a twisted
genius, digging it.
Other cuts include
"In Walked Bud," "Off
Minor," "Ugly Beauty,"
and "Reflections." Of
course, the biggest
challenge is Monk's
much-recorded classic,
"Round Midnight." Neer
does not shy away:
he takes the ballad to
Hawaii, for a tropical
version that's as appropriate as it is daring.
Not merely one of the
best instrumental CDs
of the year, Steelonious
is one of the year's best
CDs, period. - Dan Forte

in the way of the truly fascinating history
with all its warts and weirdness.
But that's all quibbling, as you'd expect
from hardcore fans. And it ultimately
doesn't detract from the overall brilliance
of the book. Get it and enjoy it! - MD


https://youtu.be/cmU3FYlRZNM?list=PL53533538AA730B62 https://youtu.be/lQPmdjFfR8c?list=PL53533538AA730B62 https://youtu.be/sBNTg0TSdBY https://youtu.be/MCkcw59ZrSo?list=PL53533538AA730B62 https://youtu.be/sBNTg0TSdBY

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 1
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 2
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 3
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 4
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 5
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 6
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 7
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - February 2017 - Open - 9
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