Arcata Eye Scene

A-town art, music, theatre. Mostly music. Updated Wednesdays.

Josh Duke: Bonus Tracks – April 22, 2008

There are some nights where you just don’t know what to do with yourself. It’s Saturday night, Tegan and Sara are playing, and you just can’t bring yourself to go. See a pair of hot twins strum chords you could teach a monkey to play?

So what’s the alternative? Sulk at home? See The Rubberneckers reunite after a short hiatus? Be bitter and write a snarky article about how everything sucks? No!  I would have personally suggested that a healthy and productive alternative to seeing radio friendly hipster music would be to have seen Dalton, a Patrick Swayze-inspired butt-rock outfit from the bay area that made its personal mission to blow the roof off the Alibi did their best, while openers Cretaceous reminded us all that we should still be afraid of dinosaurs.

I realized after Saturday night that the makings of a good band really have nothing to do with what they play, or how they even play it.  All a good band needs is freaky lighting, a band banner hanging behind them, and most importantly a fog machine.  Honestly folks, when was the last time you hated a band with a fog machine? That’s what I thought. They chugged along, in their hardcore glory, telling us about how “this song is about being torn apart by dinosaurs” or that song is called “Terrordactyl.”

I suppose the only thing that could’ve made them better is some strobe lighting or decent songs.  If they were really interested in raising public awareness about the inherent danger in being ripped limb from limb by extinct reptiles, they could have at least had the common courtesy to publish their lyrics in a handbill, easily understood and readily distributed at the door.  I tried to imagine what it’s like for the guys in this band on a daily basis, being asked what they did on their weekends.  “Oh, I just sang about being torn apart by dinosaurs,” one might say over a beer.  Something tells me that would definitely serve as the necessary segue in any conversation.

Dalton then took the floor, chanting about their idol and claiming to be from “America, U.S.A.”  This is a band whose sole purpose on this rock is to let us know how cool Patrick Swayze and Patrick Swayze characters are.

While I’m sure that they cater to serve to the minuscule but ever-important niche of those that think that Mr. Swayze needs yet another face lift, they still managed to be entertaining for entertainment’s sake.  With tunes like “Big Nosed Woman”(referring to Jennifer Gray from Dirty Dancing), and sing-alongs like “Pain Don’t Hurt” (the classic line from Roadhouse), well all found ourselves caught in an awkward web of nostalgia that almost made us ashamed that we’ve even watched those movies in the first place. The singer, draped in an American flag, threw it onto the audience as it was passed around like a beach ball at a Dodgers’ game.  Towards the end of their set, they proclaimed that their next song would beat Mr. Swayze’s pancreatic cancer.  I’m not really sure if it worked or not, but I really hope it did so we can see a sequel to “Steel Dawn.”

After Saturday night, I thought there should be more bands about forgotten ’80s stars like Dalton.  There should be a Fred Savage band called “Wizard,” or a Bruce Boxleitner band called “What Was He in Again?”  It would be great.  We could be infinitely creative while covering familiar and tired, old ground.  I’m not sure what future generations would have to claim in terms of nostalgia, but it doesn’t really matter, Dalton cured cancer.

While still missing The Buffy Swayze, we’re glad to hear someone is carrying on in the Swayze vein.



  Kym wrote @

Absolutely great writing about music I probably would have hated!

  paving wrote @

Dalton is possibly the greatest band in the history of music.

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