Bargain of the week
Rock and roll has never made any pretense of being a meritocracy, and as such, there's nothing new about mediocre bands becoming rich and famous while excellent acts languish in obscurity. Even so, it's hard not to think that if Lotion and Idaho had the audience each deserves, there'd be no way this show would fit into the Eight by Ten Club.
Lotion is from New York and boasts a sound far more complicated and adventurous than the typical alternarock act; there are songs on the band's second album, "Nobody's Cool," that evoke the edgy abandon of R.E.M. imitating Wire, and others that suggest a cultural collision along the lines of the Beatles doing bossa nova. (No wonder the album has liner notes by Thomas Pynchon.)
Idaho, by contrast, keeps its points of reference strictly in the modern rock realm, but as the recently released "Three Sheets to the Wind" demonstrates, dilutes the pop melancholy of Jeff Martin's melodies with artfully deployed bursts of guitar dissonance.
Either band on its own would be worth seven bucks; taken together (plus Skypop as an unadvertized bonus), this show is the alternarock bargain of the week.
Lotion and Idaho play Sunday at the Eight by Ten Club, 10 E. Cross St. Tickets are $7, and show time is 10 p.m. Call (410) 625-2000 for further information.
Pub Date: 5/02/96