Local bands answer a few fundamental questions in this occasional series.
Band name: Chairman Ralph (of Hillsdale).
Three words that describe your sound now: Untamed folk-punk or REALLY loud folk -- take your pick.
Originals or covers: Eighty-percent originals. Covers include stuff from the Clash and the Kinks.
Can be seen at: Hillsdale Annex; Thunderbird Coffeehouse in Jackson.
Most memorable gig: Blingerz Teen Club (Jan. 20, in Quincy): Opened for three death metal bands, which is interesting, when you're a solo act! But they were singin' along by the third song, and clapping out beats for some of the other ones. All that energy made feel like I was busking for spare change on a street corner, but in a good way.
Have opened for: Minor Prophets in Jackson; Cowcatchers at Fourth Freedom Festival in Jonesville.
Bands you'd like to tour with: The Clash, or the Libertines (if they were still together); the Vines (to see what makes their front man tick).
Your thoughts on file-sharing: Not an issue, since it's the quickest way for folks to learn about new bands, and people will "do the right thing" (i.e., pay) if the price/packaging/presentation is reasonable.*
Musician you'd most like to get business advice from: Joe Strummer (if he were still here with us); Paul Westerberg.
Your ideal gig: A 100-or-so seater, with everybody relaxing over some coffee and sandwiches (not booze), and getting ready for some fairly intense listening.
Fans will like you if they like: Music that takes a few chances -- I don't always follow standard chord changes or rhyme schemes -- and tries to say something about our life and times with a little humor and intelligence.
Suggest your favorite band by e-mailing the name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Jackson Citizen-Patriot, "Nightlife" Section, 3/23/06)
(*Mind you, this was a full decade and a half before the likes of Spotify popped up on the horizon! Let's put it this way: David Crosby claims to have earned only $300,000 in lifetime plays for 75 million streams. Now he's joining the likes of Stevie Nicks in selling off his birthright (i.e., his music publishing)... So draw your own conclusions how that answer might read today!) (12/27/28)