Following the scent of hot buttered popcorn and asphalt passion, I shagged the short over to 936 Exchange St. last Saturday night to dig a drive-in movie, “A Pharaoh’s Lonely Ego”—a homegrown cinematic gem written, directed and scored by and starring Austin Lake of the multitalented Lake Brothers.
It was very makeshift and decidedly DIY as the Refinery parking lot was set up with state-of-the-art AV, porta potties, and a refreshment stand.
The movie was screened on the side of a box truck—rented specifically for the festivities—that gave the happening a lo-fi veneer. The place looked a little bombed out and seemed like it would be equally cool hosting a meeting of the local chapter of Fight Club or a screening of “Escape From New York.”
The movie starred upwards of 50 Rochester scenesters, hipsters one and all, following in the Beatle boots of “Where Is the Chesterfield King?” What I couldn’t nail down was what “A Pharaoh’s Lonely Ego” was really about, exactly.
So, I went directly to the source, Lake, who said matter-of-factly: “It’s about a pop star that falls from grace and has to overcome his selfish delusions in order to save his brother from the clutches of an evil chicken factory.”
OK, that gave me a general idea, but I’ve still got questions … I’m gonna have to see it again.
The $5 suggested donation was to benefit the Youth Arts Fund at the Flower City Arts Center. It was a beneficial blast from the top all the way to the livin’ end.
Greg “Stackhouse” Prevost: “Songs for These Times”
It’s no secret: Greg “Stackhouse” Prevost is one of my all-time favorite rock ’n’ roll singers ever, ever. And the dynamic approach in the way he mashes up evil with redemption on his new album “Songs For These Times,” for the Spanish label Mean Disposition Records, is positively aces.
The album features Dangerbyrd guitarist Alex Patrick. It’s Patrick you hear beating on the guitar, twisting all the knobs, and adding a fearlessness to Prevost’s sneering, searing, blast of folk blues–without getting in the man’s way. You’ll hear Howlin’ Wolf, you’ll hear Iggy Pop. You’ll hear a hellhound on your trail.
“Songs For These Times” is full of cocksure swagger but isn’t as plugged-in as his two previous discs of desire, also on Mean Disposition Records: “Mississippi Murderer” and “Universal Vagrant.” It’s hard to pick out where Prevost’s originals begin and tunes like Lazy Lester’s “I Hear Ya Knockin’” or the Reverend Gary Davis’ “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” begin.
Regardless, all get Prevost’s howling treatment. An added treat is the appearance of the Cheetah Whores singer Liz O’Brien’s on the Roki Erikson-penned “Splash 1.”
At the end of legendary music critic David Fricke’s liner notes, there’s instructions to play the album loud.
Yup, I concur.
Been vaccinated? Now you’ll have to prove it
You’ll need to flash proof of vaccination if you wanna dig any show at Abilene Bar & Lounge, a popular roots rock joint located at 153 Liberty Pole Way in downtown Rochester.
“You’ll have to produce proof by way of the card provided at the time of your vaccination, the recently implemented Excelsior Card, or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test,” says Abilene’s saloon proprietor, Danny Deutsch.
Abilene is too small to provide vaccinated and non-vaccinated sections at the bar as well as the patio out back, he says.
“This will allow us to open up at full capacity and offer patrons the opportunity to be mask-free,” Deutsch says.
He envisions an easy transition.
“Most people are already vaccinated,” Deutsch says.
Frank De Blase is Rochester Beacon music writer.