The House of Tudor
"Bunnyman! Bunnyman! Bunnyman!" shouts Tom Stenquist of Lars Vegas, assuming the role of a bunny-obsessed recluse. Such a bizarre vision of the world, so reminiscent of The Billy Nayer Show (see "Bunny King"), is immediately endearing to San Francisco natives. Thankfully for Lars and bloodless, label-hungry record execs everywhere, this Boston combo is a tad more marketable. Between strains of beat poetry, Lars tempers its particular brand of quirkiness with a number of well-executed cocktail-nation bossa novas and the slick, deep-throated sax lines of Morphine's Dana Colley. It is a lovely pairing, especially on such smoky numbers as "Mannequin," a luscious loungescape with dummy-fetish lyrics, and "Junkie Rock Star," during which Stenquist croons with the most heartbreaking sincerity, "Of all the junkie rock stars/ You were the greatest." Never mind that at times Lars can sound like a dour, self-indulgent Soul Coughing; at their best, they suggest Morphine on Martinis. Dana Colley will perform with the band during shows at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10 at the Starry Plough (call 510-841-2082); at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Boomerang (387-2996); and at 9 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 14 at the Cafe Du Nord (861-5016). ... Don't be led astray by the new press photos of Ween, which depict Gene and Dean Ween in thick, woolly J. Crew sweaters, rolling around with their dog; or by the title of their latest album. Just because the Ween boys aren't singing backwards or producing effects born of horse tranquilizers, there is absolutely nothing well-adjusted or traditional about 12 Golden Country Greats. OK, sure, the backing band has collectively or individually played with Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, and Willie Nelson, to name a few, and the music is as down-home wholesome as you could ever want, but check out "Piss up a Rope," "Help Scrape the Mucus off My Brain," and the ever-suspicious "Fluffy" -- it's pure Ween. And who could be a more perfect complement than deconstructive blues terrorists, Doo Rag? The evening of deranged duos begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Fillmore; call 346-6000. ... Perhaps you've noticed them in BART stations or in your neighborhood parks -- a violin player with a perfect head of braids and his equally impressive, well-coifed bongo player. You may also recognize them by their loincloths and their Atlas-like physiques. This is not, as some believe, a pair of Chippendales dancers on sabbatical. They are actually the core of Thoth, a quintet (violin, bongos, harp, fretless bass, and djembe) that plays a lilting blend of Gypsy music, funk, and Latin rhythms. Who better to head a benefit for the Coalition on Homelessness than a group that has played, for years, among the people. The non-smoking show begins at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13 at the Elbo Room; call 552-7788. ... "Conjunction Junction." "I'm Just a Bill." "Electricity, Electricity." You remember all those contagious ditties that split up Saturday morning cartoons in an attempt to teach us a thing or two between mouthfuls of Count Chocula. Schoolhouse Rock was an integral part of childhood -- except for those born in communes without TV -- and Bill's yearning to become law inflames memories of a more innocent time. Relive it all with the original voices of Schoolhouse Rock, Bob Dorough and Jack Sheldon, and a whole slew of jazz musicians. Nourishment for your overworked, famished soul. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13 at the Great American Music Hall; call 885-0750.
By Silke Tudor