I love the concept of having a bill full of diverse bands playing different blends of genres. For true music junkies it keeps things interesting, and it puts bands in front of people they may never have gotten to play to otherwise. If you can’t find something to like at this Friday’s Naptown Juke Stomp, you may as well give it up.
It’s a doozy. Indy’s “Sweetheart of the Honky Tonk,” Mandy Marie and her mighty backing band the Cool Hand Lukes will be on hand, along with the punk rock of The Dockers, the power-rock of Vess Ruhtenberg and John Zeps’ Action Strasse and the gutter-rock of Muncie’s Cocaine Wolves.
I caught up with The Cocaine Wolves recently at their Muncie hangout. An old Motorhead bootleg was playing in the background, The Boy in The Plastic Bubble was flickering on the TV and a faded Mahogany Rush poster watched from the wall. The band hunched over a Pizza King Royal Feast Pizza like a tribe of cavemen over a wildebeest carcass. As bassist Cactus Charlie came up for air, he explained between swigs of beer what The Cocaine Wolves are looking for in a live show.
“This may sound weird, but I want to play a show to a full house where I don’t know half the people in the room,” Cactus said. “I’d like to have complete strangers come see us and like us simply because we rock. Not to say our friends aren’t cool and we don’t want them around.
“Oh, and I want to be flashed at every show,” Cactus added. “Seriously, they’re just tits; let ’em breathe.”
With drummer Juan Accord sent out for “party supplies,” the rest of the band gathered around to talk business. Comprised of former members of The Common and The Retreads, the CW’s are sort of a Muncie super group. CW frontman Mr. Steak declared, “I’ll always be from Muncie, as will my bandmates.
Over the past year or so, The Cocaine Wolves have perfected a kinetic live set full of soon to be Midwestern hard rock classics. “Master of Sparks” is a funny recounting of a trip to Austin gone wrong, and acts as the rumbling centerpiece of a sweat-licking show that also includes awe-inspiring rock monuments like “Balls City” and the band’s statement of purpose, “Live Right, Live Tight.”
While Mr. Steak declared that Indianapolis’ reception to the CWs has been “cool as ice” so far, Munciana Holmes, the self-proclaimed brains of the outfit, turned his attention from a TV depicting John Travolta in a space suit to add that the band “had them head-banging in Dayton, man.”
Munciana reached in for another PBR. “At first I thought that they were making fun of us. A couple songs in though, I realized these dudes were just rocking their balls off and really enjoying the band. That was a good feeling.”
“Indianapolis will come around,” Cactus Charlie said, waking up and hoisting himself off the floor. “I think most people are into the same stuff we’re into whether they flaunt it or not. I think everyone likes Priest, Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Thin Lizzy and their modern equivalents even if they don’t sport a concert shirt. If they don’t, well, we’ll still be living right and living tight and we don’t give a fuck.”
WHAT: Naptown Juke Stomp 2 featuring Mandy Marie & The Cool Hand Lukes, The Cocaine Wolves, Action Strasse, The Dockers.
WHERE: Radio Radio, 1119 E. Prospect St.
WHEN: Friday, April 4, 8:30 p.m., $5, 21+