First Time's The Charm

This Saturday, local AltRock crew Bulletproof Charm celebrates the release of its debut CD with a show at The Loft (above Tickets Sports Café in Covington). Joining the band is Wake the Bear, S

Mar 22, 2006 at 2:06 pm

This Saturday, local AltRock crew Bulletproof Charm celebrates the release of its debut CD with a show at The Loft (above Tickets Sports Café in Covington). Joining the band is Wake the Bear, Saving Ray and Sweet Amnesia.

For a first CD, reverse engineer is remarkably accomplished, helped undoubtedly by frontman/guitarist/songwriter Andrew Geonetta's years honing his craft as an effects-assisted solo performer, as well as the experienced band core (Tom Willis, formerly of Paperback, on lead guitar; veteran sound engineer Jim Danehy on bass; Tennis Mounts, mastermind of Gerald's Rainbow, on drums). The album is loaded with nuanced yet simmeringly powerful Pop/Rock songs full of passion and rich textures. The moody melodies shimmer, while the band provides an atmospheric backdrop that pulsates perfectly behind Geonetta's natural and unique songwriting style.

Geonetta's high, lilting voice is especially magnetic, an androgynous mix that somehow manages to recall Andy Bell ("apathy"), Thom Yorke ("mrninganthm") and Billie Holiday ("for me") throughout the course of the album. The waterfall guitars are also a big draw; whether pumping at full force or laid back, Willis and Geonetta create a glistening wall that is always well placed within the sharp dynamics of the songs. While tracks like "zodiac" and "quicksand" rock with emotional weight and a hyper-catchiness, "for me" is a standout for its gentle touch and silky, jazzy guitar, sounding like something Erykah Badu might buy for her next album. It's this kind of soulfulness that Geonetta and Co. bring to every track on reverse engineer, resulting in an album that transcends the plodding insincerity of so many dude-centric Modern Rock bands. (

Remembering Sam Nation
A memorial fund has been set up in the name of Sam Shipman (aka Sam Nation) at Huntington Bank.

Shipman, the frontman of local Roots-rockin' faves The Thirteens, was killed in a car crash by a drunk driver on March 5. The fund will help with funeral and other costs and perhaps a scholarship in Shipman's name (details are still being worked on). To donate, go to any Huntington branch and tell them you wish to give to the "Sam Nation Foundation."

Shipman's bandmate, Melissa Fairmount (who was with him at the time of his death), sent CityBeat an e-mail to share with our readers, offering thanks for all of the support she and the Shipman family have received from local musicians and friends.

"Over two weeks have passed since we lost one of our greatest entertainers, Sam Nation," writes Fairmount. "His sudden, tragic death put a lot of us in a world of disbelief but also pulled the local musician community into a tighter knot. From my broken heart, it is to YOU, I say thank you. Your love and support is needed and felt by me as well as the family of Sam's nation. Next time you hit the stage, remember his antics, his passion for what he loved to do. Try it yourself, that's what he would suggest.

"There are many words that flow in and out of me, but I think this (lyric) from The Flaming Lips sums it up the best: 'Tell everybody waiting for Superman/That they should try to hold on, as best they can/He hasn't dropped them, forgot them, or anything/It's just too heavy for Superman to lift.' "

Friday, Corryville's Holy Grail will host a benefit show in honor of Shipman, featuring local performers The Hiders, pictureshow, Len's Lounge, Patrick Ewing and The Kentucky Struts. (

More Local Notes
· Saturday at the Southgate House, funhouse Metal troupe Dandelion Death returns to the local club front for a one-off gig. The band's Web site says a new CD is in the works as well. Also on Saturday's bill is American Hardcore, who are also in the midst of recording a new album and recently welcomed new band members Brad Vance (vocals) and former Foxy Shazam drummer J. Sims. Saturday's strong lineup also features sets from Soul Casket, 6 Sigma and Zero 1 Zero.

· Funk/Rock newcomers Jarvis perform Thursday at Stanley's Pub. The CCM-spawned band features former Ray's Music Exchange drummer Joe Jahnigen, current RME keyboardist Mike Darrah, bassist Aaron Jacobs and guitarist Dylan Charles. (

· Singer/songwriter Joan Whittaker hosts a second CD release concert for her splendid children's album, Miss Joanie's Potty Party, this Saturday at the Blue Manatee bookstore in Oakley. The fun starts at 10:30 a.m. (