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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Rumble at ZuZu: Lauren Marie and Her Two Timin’ Three

On November 7, right next to the Middle East’s usual lineup of lesbionic folk duos and flagrant emo-disco, ZuZu had an altogether different scene going on. In fact, one might even go as far as to say that the place was “bumpin,'” to use the parlance of our times. The oft trio, sometimes quartet, The Two Timin’ Three were performing their rockabilly stylings. Normally, I don’t like throwback genres. Hey, don’t get me wrong-I personally consider the breakup of Uncle Tupelo on equal footing with the breakup of The Beatles (tragic, but probably for the best) but there’s something I don’t trust about modern zombie incarnations of musical styles long since deceased, but for The Two Timin’ Three I make an exception. So, I distance them from the rest of their particular shtick that I generally dislike (even though I know nigh on nothing of it). On the evening of the seventh, The Two Timin’ Three (Eric Laufer, acoustic guitar, lead vocals; Jeff Herring, lead guitar; Shane Kiel, bass-the upright kind) played two sets in the somewhat small (well, more petite than small) barroom. The mélange of both acoustic and electric guitars combined with a standup bass produced a sound with enough groove and hip shakin’ to appease the most dogmatic rock and/or roller, but with enough twang to satisfy everyone’s inner hillbilly, and believe me, everyone has an inner hillbilly-even Ray Davies. Though there are always problems with acoustics during live shows (varying amp quality, the room’s own sonic eccentricities, Miller High Life), I could easily enough grasp the gist, the crux if you will, of what most of their numbers were about: love-the heart breaking, the apple pie in the sky idyllic togetherness, the carnal delights, the…well, you get the picture. I know what you’re thinking (I have magical powers), most every song ever made anywhere in the entire world is about love, but somehow, for me, it has more validity when it’s sung in an accent south of the Mason-Dixon line (even though Laufer hails from up-state New York, which is south of the US/Canada frontier). One song of note: an awesome bizarro cover of the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop.” It was so good even a couple got up and danced.

The Two Timin’ Three were graced with the presence of their lady crooner Lauren Marie Brunelle. Lauren Marie, an ordained reverend in the Universal Life Church of Modesto, CA, jumped on board in the second set-fake eyelashes, torn stockings and all-but right after special guest Ben Jaffe played a saxophone accompaniment to a few songs, among them the oh-so-adorable standard “When You’re Smiling” and Link Wray’s classic ode to the power of simplicity, “Rumble.” Lauren Marie added a necessary dash of sass to the affair. In fact, this brings me to my only complaint of the show: not enough songs with Lauren Marie. Her vocals put a little sweet into the otherwise paprika and cayenne The Two Timin’ Three-hey, I like spice just as much as the next straight-shooting patriotic American, but me needs me sweets too. I forget who said it, but it goes something like this: all beauty comes from harmony in contrast.

If ya’ll are interested in finding out more about The Two Timin’ Three, you can check out their profile on MySpace.com (just search for them in the music section). They’ll be on the road for a bit, but if you keep your eyes and ears open you might be able to catch a low-key, first-class rockabilly gig (fyi: every Sunday is rockabilly night at ZuZu). And if you’re really lucky you’ll see Lauren Marie.