Joe's Report and Government Cheese

By Patrick Fitzgerald

On the evening of January 26, the crowd at Tewligans (I refuse to call it by the other name) was treated to a highly spirited concert by one of the newest local bands and one of the longest-standing bands in this area.

Joe's Report took the stage early and rocked through a set of intense high-energy tunes that caught the attention of the large crowd there and put to rest that horrible precedent of no one really digging or dancing to the opening act no matter who it is..

Opening for the Rain Chorus the night before and the Cheese this night should assure them some visibility as they head toward what most certainly will be a headline act in the near future..

The band is composed, quite naturally, of Joe, the lead guitarist, vocalist and primary songwriter, Joe Scheirich, to be exact. His melodic and slightly haunting vocals and solos seem to define the sound of the band.

The rhythm guitars are the responsibility of Garry Cronin, whose hard strumming provides part of the backbone to the rhythm section. A really nice addition to the rhythm is the fretless bass work of John Hulcher. finishing out the band is the solid drumming of Luca Blanconcini (say that three times fast).

The band has a great live sound and I was impressed to learn that they have been playing together less than a year. The intensity of the band is hard to match and the precision of the live performance is remarkable for such a new group.

The lyrical content of the music can be a bit weighty at time. Perhaps one of the few drawbacks to a band with conviction is that sometimes they don't smile quite enough, on stage. I'm sure that they were enjoying themselves on stage as much as the crowd was enjoying Joe Report's. It would also be nice to see the band further explore the possibilities of their instruments. Specifically, it would be great to hear the distinctive sound of the fretless bass and the twelve-string acoustic guitar more. But the bones to pick with this band are small, few and far between. We are sure to hear more from this energetic bunch in the near future.

Well, after five years of seeing local music on a fairly regular basis, Government Cheese is one of the precious few bands that still gets me wet sweating and dancing, 'I mean every time I see them.

The Cheese is free, as they are so happy to tell you these days. They have broken the chains of contractual obligations and now book and. record themselves exclusively. Despite proclaimed good relations with Reptile Records, the Cheese has been set free and is in the process of recording some really great stuff, rumor has it.

The Cheese is still one of the highest-energy, loud, jamminest bands around, and their live performance is unmatched to date.

Keep an eye out for future dates from Skott, Tommy, Joe and Billy Mack as they forge ahead with a musical career that was summed up best in their latest newsletter:

"It's just like football and politics … you've got to be smart enough to play the game, but dumb enough to. think ifs important."