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Music round-up

By Eddie Torres

Fort Wayne Reader


A sampling of music events happening around town in the next few weeks

Brass Rail

Fort Wayne hip-hop group Vagabonds — MC Sombr1; Knowone; and DJ MSG — hit the Brass Rail on Saturday, February 23, with Vertual Vertigo and Pseudo Slang, both from Chicago. The group toured and played many shows last year, and from what we’ve been told, they are rev’ing up to release an album, Descent of Dissent, very soon. We can’t claim to have seen them ourselves, but friends tell us Vagabonds’ put on a great live show — “very energetic and dialed in,” was what we were told. “…they represent that ideal, keep it real ethic… Passionately speaking up about causes they believe in and railing against mediocrity and just settling. “

High praise indeed. Once again, support comes from Chicago groups Vertual Vertigo and Pseudo Slang. The date is Saturday, February 23 and $5 will get you in the door.

Also coming to the Brass Rail — Ricky Rat, a Detroit-based guitarist and singer with a 70s glam/punk rock sound a bit reminiscent of The New York Dolls and The Dead Boys. Rat’s hardly a newcomer; during the 90s he was the guitarist for Trash Brats, a band with five albums and several singles to their credit. Rat is on the road promoting his first solo effort, Songs in C Major Love, and as a solo act, Rat doesn’t stray too far from his roots. In fact, several members of the Trash Brats make up his touring band.

Rat plays The Brass Rail on Friday, March 1. Special guests Swamp Squat and Tri-State Killing Spree start the show. $5 gets you in the door.

For more on these and other upcoming shows, go to brassrailfw.com


“My pappy said son you’re gonna drive me to drinkin’ if you don’t stop driving that hot rod Lincoln.”

You could probably make a case for that line — the opening to Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen’s 1971 cover of “Hot Rod Lincoln” — ranking up there with “Louie, Louie” and the riff to “Roll Over Beethoven” as one of the most distinctive and recognizable intros in rock n’ roll history.

From San Francisco by way of Ann Arbor, Commander Cody (real name: George Frayne IV) and the Lost Planet Airmen were a bit of an oddity when they released their first album in 1971. There were a lot of bands from California mining country music for inspiration at the time, but while most embraced the more folky aspects of the genre, Commander Cody stuck with a raw, bar room honky tonk style that had more in common with rockabilly and swing.

Frayne has toured and recorded off and on under the name Commander Cody ever since the original group disbanded in 1976. His most recent album, Dopers, Drunks and Everyday Losers, came out in 2009 on Blind Pig Records. In addition to his music, Frayne is also an artist, and has taught at the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. In 2010 he published the book Art Music and Life, a mix of memoir and Frayne’s art work.

Commander Cody plays C2G on Saturday, March 2.

Tickets and more info at C2gmusichall.com

Calhoun street Soups, Salads, & Spirits (CS3)

On Sunday, March 3, Calhoun Street Soups, Salads & Spirits plays host to The Beautiful Freak Show, a performance and silent auction to benefit Fifth Freedom, a local grassroots organization “dedicated to removing the physical and social barriers that often hold people with disabilities hostage to poverty, isolation and underachievement.” (fifthfreedom.org)

The Beautiful Freak Show bills itself as a “provocative performance includes dancing, singing, and fancy footwork with fire.” Musician Dan Smyth performs, and there will also be a comedy magic show from Fifth Freedom’s Doug Schmidt.

Once again, the date is Sunday, March 3. Doors open at 6:00 pm, and the show starts at 7:00. Tickets are $10. For more info, or to reserve tickets, visit fifthfreedom.org


Sweetwater is hosting an open acoustic jam the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month. This family-friendly Open Acoustic Jam happens in Sweetwater's Conference Hall from 5–7 PM and is open to players of all skill levels. Guitarists of all ages are encouraged to attend. Admission is FREE.

The next three Open Acoustic Jam happen Tuesday, February 26, March 12, and March 26 at Sweetwater’s campus — 5501 US Highway 30 W.

For more info, visit sweetwater.com

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©2018 Fort Wayne Reader. All rights Reserved.