Reprinted from Terminal!, November 1980.
At the Marble Bar, Baltimore
-by Laurel Wyckoff
No doubt few Philadelphians have had the opportunity to experience
Baltimore's famous Marble Bar. It was in this dingy cavern beneath an
unsavory hotel on Franklin Street that I was able to see South Jersey's Reesa &
the Rooters in concert.
have been given a great deal more attention to out of town than in the Philly
area, even after their recent single release. The band's previous appearance at
the Main Point before a disappointing crowd, with the added handicap of wretched
sound people, gave no indication of the revel they can inspire on the dance
floor. The Marble Bar is frequented by as many orange-haired, leather-clad
gentlemen and vinyl mini-skirted girls as you would see in your neighborhood
bar. The opening band, Tiny Desk Unit, kept the crowd leaning against the
20-foot slab of broken marble or lounging around the long rows of rickety
cardboard tables that surround the dance floor. Their music was slow moving,
heavy and morbid for the most part. No fun to dance to.
By comparison, the Rooters were a breath of fresh
air in those grimy walls and foggy atmosphere. There was an immediate frenzy on
the dance floor. The Rooters’ music is happy music, all for fun. Not only is it
easy to dance to, but it makes you want to dance.
Reesa's costume that night was a collegiate outfit
covering the parochial-school uniform matching bassist Cherie Rumbol. Larry, on
the other hand, dressed simply to match his guitar style, which incorporates the
most basic elements of rock, which lends a simple clarity to the songs without
resorting to cliché. His writing is clever and concise, using devices like a
drooping minor second chord progression to represent the infamous meltdown in
"TMI." The band's momentum is provided by drummer Bob Z, whose solid upbeat
energy drives the band with a polished quality. Reesa's flexible, somewhat
bluesy voice pulls off the more sarcastic and satirical songs like "Eating
Media" and "Ice." She also sings an interesting version of "Day Tripper." For
songs which require closer attention to pitch, Reesa backs up Cherie, who sings
"Ultraman In Surf Villa" from the new single.
Reesa keeps contact with her audience by running
screaming into the crowd during "Nervous Breakdown" or jumping onto the dance
floor with her guitar.
playful spirit is not profound or innovative, but it is full of life and good
(Original photo of band performing
outdoors in Philadelphia as it appeared in this fanzine.)
*At Omni's, Philadelphia
-by Sean Dunhill
"Hey, Cherie,” Reesa deadpanned to one of her songs, "I don't think we're going
to get paid tonight." It was a very barren night at Omni's: hardly any of the
regulars had shown, and where were Reesa's own fans? The people she really calls
the Rooters. I usually see this many people at Omni's at only about 9 p.m.
There is an old standard I've heard about bands: you
can always tell them by their covers. This is so because that is when the band
is really playing for themselves. During Reesa's two sets I heard Nick Lowe's
"Shake That Rat" & "Let's Eat, "So Tired, and "Ca Plane Por Moi." So you get the
idea; this is a straight unpretentious pop band, and a lot of fun. Particularly
when you consider that Reesa is the front.
The first set was the better of the two.
Unfortunately, the audience was not drunk enough to: realize that. They stayed
lined up at the ,bar or in the back, simply ,watching. I love the looks on their
glazed eyes. It reminded me of the time I had downed one Jack Daniels too many
... only this crowd hadn't really started drinking yet. This meant that highly
enjoyable numbers like "Chinese Dancing" were left to waste while the audience
drank up the courage it needed to get onto the floor. It got so bad that at the
end that when Reesa saw that the dance floor was going to be left barren, which
is one king-hell frightening experience for any band, she quickly had the band
switch closing numbers to one of her other covers, "Nervous Breakdown" and then
proceeded to have one across the dance floor. From one end to another, Reesa
hurled herself, displaying her panties, shivering and shaking and finally
sinking her message into this very numb audience.
"What do you want me to do?" Reesa demanded at the
start of the second set, "play 'Whip It' or covers of Blondie? Is that what
we've got you to do to get you to dance?" She then followed this tirade with a
heavy metal (really!) version of "TMI." This time the audience got the message I
guess. About 12 to 20 people would always be on the floor, and from there on,
several would stay on for the rest of the night while others would come and
go. I guess Reesa did know what her audience needed after all.
During this set, the band debuted a new number. With
Cherie on vocals, 'Pierre Curie" is a slower piece than what is normally
expected for the band, but Cherie is really opening up as a vocalist, and this
song displayed her voice well. Keeping up with their oriental tradition, the
band closed with the Sadistic Mika Band's "Talent Scout" and managed to salvage
what would have otherwise been a really bad night for the band. They saw that
all that came for the night were deadbeats so they played for themselves. They
also were very good.
It amazes me that at times you ...
Editor's note: Sorry, the second page
has been lost.