Offbeat's Best of the Beat Awards
January 21, 2005
I typed in bonerama.com. It was a gay porn video site. Not a discreet one either--there were a bunch of little penises surrounding the logo. If I was Bonerama, I'd change my band name.
The band should just be named after trombonist Mark Mullins, anyway. Guitarist Bert Cotton was great, but everything the band did was centered around Mullins. At Offbeat's Best of the Beat Awards at Generations Hall Friday night, he gave himself a five minute solo. It was nice, but it got a little bombastic and tedious. Cotton and drummer Chad Gilmore showed their disinterest by jokingly motioning to each other during the solo.
During one song Bonerama played a nasty slow groove that any sludge Rock band or Soul/Jazz group could have used. Because of their horns Bonerama was naturally funky, but when Mullins hit his distortion pedal, I could have sworn I was at an arena rock show. The trombone and guitar distortion filled the air with beautiful noise.
Cotton proved during his solo that he was one of the most versatile guitarists in New Orleans--jazz, rock, funk, Latin, whatever. I was waiting for fireworks to shoot out of his guitar Ace Frehley-style once fingers reached the bottom of his fretboard. Where was the smoke machine?
Bonerama played a great cover of Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic." Mullins imitated the vocal line of the first verse with the trombone. Then, he sang the second verse.
The band didn't do anything special. The novelty of Mullins' distortion ability wore off quickly, and having a few more trombonists than everyone else wasn't good enough by itself. Bonerama made me tap my foot, but they weren't gonna make me lose myself in the music. The middle-aged people dancing up front seemed to like it, though.
Bonerama worked hard, so the crowd awarded them with a lot of applause. Mullins wiped sweat from his face as he left the stage. He worked the hardest and drew the most attention to himself. It was his show.