Karl Childers is in the bathroom mumbling away, Wonder Woman is far cooler in person than she ever was in the comic book, and Cyndi Lauper almost killed me because I mistook her for music/movie rival, Madonna. Such events could have only occurred at the Vinyl Music Hall-oween Bash this year.

Of the three musical acts on the bill, The Deadly Fists of Kung Fu provided the most entertaining set of the night with their tribute to 80’s music icons, The Cars. From the black sunglasses, suit/tie combo ala Rick Ocasek, via Zac Hobbs (lead singer/guitar) to the blonde coif of bassist Phread Touchette who portrayed the cool style of the late Benjamin Orr with keen accuracy, the entire band paid musical and fashion tribute to the Boston based hitmakers. Jason Hurt (guitar) morphed into the role of Elliot Easton while Andrew Bennett grounded the David Robinson drum attack and virtuoso Brandon Clarkson worked his magic while working a spell on the new-wave style of keyboardist Greg Hawkes. The only ingredients missing were moments of model Paulina Porizkova emoting in her bed and sitting on the floor in the corner of a room scribbling black markings on a white wall.

This musical time machine kept the crowd dancing with hit after hit. Before the band slowed down and cruised into The Cars’ slow tempo mega-hit “Drive,” Touchette confessed that he originally thought that Cory Hart (I Wear My Sunglasses At Night), recorded the song. Any 80’s pop music purists in the house would quickly forgive the harmless faux pa when the band finished the song and soon thereafter finished their set.

Even though The Cars’ tribute set was a tough act to follow, Ingram Hill filled the venue with the sounds of their Memphis-born brand of pop rock. The final performers of the night were Atlanta, Georgia rockers, Magnapop, who entertained the crowd with the music that made them underground champions of the indie music movement of the early 1990’s. With albums produced by such revered musicians as Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) and Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü) Magnapop were a good finish for a musical romp through memory lane.

Tons of prizes were awarded throughout the night and a wide variety of costumes were on display. Competing with a house full of amusing and interesting concoctions, Nathan Price came out the winner of the Most Creative Costume for his accurate depiction of Karl Childers (played by Billy Bob Thornton in the movie Sling Blade.)

Mustard and biscuits for everybody!

-MLS

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