See more articles, reviews, fiction and poetry, including more of my writings, at group blog PLUTO'S REALM.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Shawna Potter and AVEC

This video was included in my last post as a link, but for those of you too lazy to check it out, I've put it front and center here; when I found it, I was just looking for anything featuring Shawna Potter, formerly of Fair Verona, here with AVEC, but I frankly didn't expect to find anything this good. My question is, why hasn't everybody found this?

As I understand it, AVEC is formed of Texans who have relocated to Baltimore, for whatever bizarre reason. Personally, my acquaintance with this band came through my being a fan of Shawna Potter, through her first band, Fair Verona (the links are in the previous entry, people). Fair Verona was a victim of a combination of young musician innocence in contract-signing and corporate greed, and had to cease to exist, much to the dismay of Nashville rock fans. The members went their separate ways. I have no idea what happened to Leah, the bass player; maybe Shawna will fill me in. Beth is now in a band called Forget Cassettes, a band I'd truly like to forget (Shawna tells me they just had a bad night the one time I saw them, and they're apparently making it big, relatively speaking, so what do I know?). Shawna linked up with AVEC and moved to Baltimore, and at first I didn't think the band was a good enough showcase for her talent. Apparently I was wrong, or the band has gotten better.

A lot of things have gone wrong in America in this century, more bad news than I could have thought would happen in six years. An evil moron has been elected President twice, by evil moronic people. America is on the road to becoming a totalitarian state, although some slight resistance has arisen (too late?). But the music! Listening to pop radio is now a Hellish experience, almost worse than TV. I listen to NPR or jazz radio or my IPOD linked through the cassette deck.

In the late 90's, rock was on its way to becoming the best it's ever been, largely due to the female influence. Prominent on my IPOD are Julianna Hatfield and the Blake Babies, Bif Naked, and lots of others I don't want to digress into at this point. I went to the first two Lillith Fairs, being one of about 5 percent of males in the audience. One more digression: if you've never seen Shawn Colvin perform live, you've missed out on what acoustic live music should be. As Stan Lee would say, 'Nuff said.

Anyway, that was probably the milieu that gave birth to Fair Verona, and I'm glad it did. When I saw them live, I was drawn to the voice, guitar and sheer persona of Shawna Potter. I think Shawna was 17 when the band started, the youngest of them. When I saw her play, I swear I saw the future of rock and roll. I still think that. Who was to know that rock and roll had no future? The music on the radio is shit, and if I sound like an old fart saying this, let me say that I have no stomach for "classic rock" either. My music in the early seventies was Bob Dylan, John Lennon, David Bowie, T. Rex, Mott the Hoople; when punk broke, it was Elvis Costello, the Clash, the Sex Pistols, the Ramones. The eighties was a long dry period, but when the new rock era broke in the 90's I thought there was hope. But the vapid slush that composes pop music today is in keeping with the times -- hopeless and doomed.

So, when you find a band like AVEC, support them. Follow the link; they're very hard to Google, because you get every French site ever put up. Buy their CD's and when they come to your town, go see them, support them. Shawna says they're gonna be touring this summer or fall behind a new album: I'll post or link to the schedule. Go see the alternative present of rock and roll. This is the world you should be living in.

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