Hard rock helping hands

In the dog eat puppy world of mainstream corporate music, the little guys often have to band together in a community and fight to keep the scene alive. You can feel the love in Anchorage. Outlet likes to call the openers for their monthly Chilkoot Charlie”s shows ‘our little brothers.’ The same term of endearment was bestowed upon Delmag and Outlet by Brock Lindow of 36 Crazy Fists when they did their Koot”s show this summer. It”s all about the big brother giving a hand to his musical kin.

And Skinlab, the San Francisco redefiners of metal for our generation, is coming to Anchorage. These are the guys who hooked 36 Crazy Fists up with Road Runner Records. And these are the guys who will meet and greet fans this Saturday at Mammoth Music while supporting charity.

The battle of the bands competition to determine two local opening acts for the show was held last Saturday at the Indica House. So, for $15 you can get a dose of domestic and California blends of oral voltage Sept. 14 at the 4th Avenue Theatre. Subconscious, Incide and Hamer Fisst won the opening slots for the Skinlab show.

A collage of genre acts tested their skills against audience reaction and stage presense, but it should have been obvious from the beginning that metal bands are what would take home the honors. And of those metal bands, Rob Schatzer of Alaska This Month said he couldn”t choose just one. He decided to give Anchorage and Skinlab a triple dose of Midnight Sun sound.

The other attraction worth mentioning is the performance of the recently established band Trip the Switch. They”re new, but not inexperienced. With playful timing, haunting effects and an amazing female vocalist, Trip the Switch is a show not to miss. If it hadn”t been for the bad levels on the vocalist”s mic, they might have won a spot as well.

But failing equipment and an area too small to for the mos crowd are just a few of the thorns that go along with underdog music scenes. (Oh, and people walking off with Marshall amplifiers between sets is apparently part of the scene as well. If anyone has any information on the amp that was stolen last Saturday, message autvonline.com.)