John Huffman believes you should get something for nothing -- at least, that's the idea behind his free Delorean Showcases, held the first Saturday of each month at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern. Though they were designed as variety shows with stand-up comedians and magicians, Huffman says he couldn't find anyone from those realms willing to work for free, so local music has dominated the nights thus far.
"There's no payment," he stresses, "but it's an opportunity to perform with other acts you don't usually get to play with, and to get a different crowd. I've found it's really easy to get people out for free when you have a drink special."
Punkers might be familiar with Huffman's former bands Counter Action and Sixty-Four, as well as the recently defunct Flash Darlings, who packed it in on Dec. 26. They're probably less aware of his new project, a "one-man dance party" called Landmonster. "I teach phonics and music to preschoolers," he explains. "I hang out with them all day, and they do a lot of entertaining stuff. I've got a song called 'Hot Dogs,' because this kid just started shouting 'Hot Dogs!' at the other kids. So it's really about getting my 3-year-old out."
The next showcase, which occurs at 9 p.m. Sat., Feb. 2, is all about Kurt Cobain and Co., along the lines of other recent scenester tribute nights celebrating the Kinks, Springsteen, Ramones and Misfits. Seven bands will do four Nirvana songs each: Weird Paul Rock Band, My Prodi, The Maxi-Pads, Drugdealer, Devin Russian, and a group called Flu Fighters, thrown together for the occasion. After that, a DJ will throw on a Nirvana mix for the evening's remainder.
In keeping with the theme, the showcase will also feature the debut of Huffman's new band, Bow Hunter (a possible Ted Nugent homage?), which includes three-quarters of the Flash Darlings. "It's heavy grunge, inspired by 1994," he says. "All of us are really into Soundgarden, Nirvana, Tad and the whole mess of Seattle bands, so we're going back more towards our roots with this new band."
Why the obvious Back to the Future reference in the showcase name? "That's my favorite movie, so it stuck out for me," Huffman says. "Also, I'm putting out two releases in March on Delorean Music, which is my new label. First there'll be the Landmonster CD and Drink Tax, my girlfriend's band -- they're real noisy and chaotic. I'm doing two shows in March -- Delorean 5.5 will be the release party for those."
For more information, call the BBT at 412-682-8611 or contact Huffman to play at firstname.lastname@example.org.