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Bustle in Your Hedgerow
Led Zeppelin, female-style; Tagyerit´s Rich Newman finds a whole new way to bash Bush.

- October 14, 2004

PHOTO COURTESY OF LEZ ZEPPELIN
Feature
The songs remain the same -- but the gender changes -- when all-girl Zep tribute band Lez Zeppelin comes to town Oct. 15.
Nightcrawler
Since the 2003 release of the Led Zeppelin DVD set How The West Was Won , critics and fans alike have exhausted every adjective in the "glowing" category to describe it: "A treasure trove of rare chestnuts... "; "The first and only definitive video representation of the legendary live shows."

New Yorker Steph Paynes says she agrees with all the hype, and she and her band mates Brooke Gengras, Wendy Kidd and Lisa Brigantino can add another description to the product: a tax write-off.

Not long after West hit the shelves, Paynes and company decided to become the world's first all-girl Led Zeppelin tribute band -- Lez Zeppelin. The fledgling female foursome was fully prepared to delve into the volumes of existing Zep material to research its live show, but received the musical equivalent of primo Cliff's Notes when the three-disc was released. So the purchase was purely work-related.

"We've all seen Song Remains ," Paynes says, "but the new DVD had all this incredible footage and we watched it a zillion times to learn and rehearse. Since we are primarily a live band, the DVD was better for us than even the studio recordings because it showed us what Zeppelin did live. Often on the records, there are literally dozens of guitars and other things going on -- it's tough to pick out what to do live."

After months of headlining New York and Connecticut clubs -- not to mention generating some major media buzz -- the ladies Lez will bring their Zeppelin imitation to the Valley for the first time in the form of an Oct. 15 Iron Horse engagement. They claim to have nearly doubled the impressive, career-spanning setlist that your friendly neighborhood Nightcrawler witnessed live several months ago (from "Traveling Riverside Blues" to "Communication Breakdown," "Your Time Is Gonna Come" -- you name it) and warn all who attend to keep a lookout for a curious fan that has been popping up at recent shows.

"The first time we saw him, we were smack in the middle of 'Stairway' and all nearly froze on stage," Paynes recalls. "He's a dead ringer for 'The Hermit' from the cover of Zeppelin IV , and I wouldn't be surprised if he showed up."

Which reminds me, those interested in the local show should show up at 10 p.m., because that's when the doors open. Tickets are $10 in advance, $13 at the door and available through links provided at http://www.lezzeppelin.com/.

In other news, credit Tagyerit's Rich Newman with one of the most logical -- and comical -- concepts to hit the Web in recent weeks: "The Bush Bashing Pumpkin Contest." After all, what else gets smashed and bashed nearly as much as the commander-in-chief these days except for the mandarin-colored harbinger of All Hallow's Eve?

"Since it's pretty much a given Kerry will win Massachusetts, we thought we'd try and effect some change outside of our state," Newman says of the site, which features photos of pumpkins laced with anti-"W" etchings. "Last October, our Web page reached 70,000 visitors. This year, we're hoping for 100,000."

To view a few of the early entries or submit a photo of your own, go to www.tagyerit.com/politics.

According to Newman, the contest grand prize winner will share his victory with the country -- "no more Bush." As for Tagyerit, look for the band to hit the studio soon... probably once all the pumpkins are cleared out of it.

Send correspondence to: Nightcrawler, P.O. Box 427, Somers, Conn. 06071; fax to (860) 698-9373 or e-mail Garycarra@aol.com.

Listen to the Nightcrawler's weekly music report with Quinn & Cantara on 99.3 f.m. each Wednesday at 7:35 a.m. Send correspondence to: Nightcrawler, P.O. Box 427, Somers, CT 06071; e-mail: garycarra@aol.com or fax to: (860) 698-9328.

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