I’ve often wondered about tribute acts. What’s it like to devote your life to recreating the sounds of another band? Don’t you ever want to play your own material? The tribute groups I’d seen before were Beatles acts, and though some of them were very impressive (I’ve seen Rain twice, and I’d like to see them again), they attempted to slavishly recreate everything about the band, which included adopting fake Liverpudlian accents and calling each other “John” or “Ringo.” Inevitably, a little something was lost in translation. As Lez Zeppelin took the stage at Musica here in Akron, Ohio, this past Saturday, I was curious to see how they would attempt to recreate the sound and fury of Led Zeppelin, especially since their gimmick is that–as their name implies–they’re an all-girl band.
Turns out, their gimmick isn’t so much a gimmick. From the moment they launched into a ferocious “Immigrant Song,” all of my questions seemed suddenly irrelevant. Lez Zeppelin rocks so hard that you don’t want to think about why they would perform the music of a decades-gone band; you just want to revel in the how. And how, indeed. Musica is a pretty small place, one that would seem more suited to opening act Thom Chacon, a Dylanesque singer-songwriter. Yet those close quarters played to the band’s strengths. I’m sure they can kick up quite a ruckus in a larger venue, but at Musica, the audience simply found itself dwarfed by sheer, glorious noise.
Gobbledygeek episode 44, “$20 Toilet Paper or, 127 James Francos” is available for listening or download right here. The bad news: Paul and AJ talk about the Oscars. Again. For the last time. This year. Maybe. The good news: no one talks about Charlie Sheen! Ever! Plus you have some news, upcoming DVD releases, AJ’s reviews of the new Dum Dum Girls EP He Gets Me High and Tunes: A Comic Book History of Rock and Roll, as well as Paul’s takes on the new episode of Supernatural, Hans Zimmer’s Rango soundtrack, and the 1977 Ralph Bakshi animated “classic” Wizards.
(Show notes for “$20 Toilet Paper or, 127 James Francos.”)
Originally published on April 28, 2010
(“The Songs We Were Singing” is a new column in which I plan on discussing some of my favorite albums. )
“After all is really said and done, the two of us are really one.”
It is impossible to separate Double Fantasy from the events that came after. As the world knows, on December 8, 1980, less than a month after Double Fantasy‘s release, John Lennon was murdered outside of his New York home, the Dakota. This record only had three weeks to work on its own merits before being imbued with another, permanent layer of poignancy. And though from the bottom of my heart I wish this hadn’t been John’s final finished work, it is nevertheless the perfect closing chapter in a life filled with so much love, anger, triumph, and disillusionment.