Crisis Party has come out of nowhere to release one of the strongest Northwest albums in years. ``Rude Awakening'' is an impressive mainstream hard-rock LP in the style of Poison and Motley Crue. It features grinding dual guitars, searing vocals and solid percussion. All the tunes - including ``Voodoo Sex Doll,'' ``Bossman Blues,'' ``Love Reaction'' and ``Save Me'' - are originals, written by guitarist Tommy Hansen and vocalist Kenny Gordon. The opening track, ``Secret Eye,'' is a possible hit, with its solid beat and menacing lyrics. The vocal, like others on the album, shows an English influence, with Gordon singing in an accent similar to that of the Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten.
The album, expertly produced by Terry Date, is on Metal Blade Records, one of the top metal/
hard rock independents. The group reportedly signed a seven-album deal with the Tarzana, Calif., label.
Although the band has been around a couple of years, it's played only a few underpublicized gigs, at the Vogue and the Central. But the band must have spent a lot of time rehearsing, because it has a solid, polished sound. The group has undergone several personnel changes. Kevin Whitworth, who played bass on the album, is no longer with the group. In addition to Hansen and Gordon, Crisis Party now has guitarist Whiskey Ward, drummer Erick Erickson and new bassist Stevie Groove.
In its year-end issue, Melody Maker gave Tad its ``Circumference of the Year'' award. Previous winners, it noted, include David Thomas, Van Morrison and Alison Moyet. In a more serious vein, the British weekly picked Mudhoney's ``Superfuzz Bigmuff'' as one of the albums of the year, listing it at No. 19.
Steam will be rising from the Paramount tonight because of the hot romantic double bill of R&B stars Michael Cooper and Entouch, both of which have romance-oriented hits on the black music singles chart. Cooper, the former ConFunkShun lead singer who went solo three years ago, recently released ``Should Have Been You,'' a dance-oriented love song. Entouch, a new duo from New York, has a Top Ten hit with ``All Nite,'' a slow funk featuring guest vocalist Keith Sweat, one of the most popular black vocalists (and almost unknown outside black music). Opening the 7:30 p.m. show are Chettie! and Darcell Lorraine & the DL Dancers.
The second annual Northwest Area Music Association Music Business Conference is set for March 23-25 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. But the Northwest Area Music Awards will not be held until April 9 at a site to be announced. Balloting for the music awards started Dec. 1 and continues through Jan. 15. Vote for your favorite band, musician, club, radio station and more. For information, call the NAMA hotline at 525-5322. Tickets for the business conference are $65 for NAMA members, $75 for nonmembers, with reduced rates for groups. Scholarships and work exchange are available. NAMA membership is $10.
Fat Tuesday got snowed out for the most part last year, but this year the pre-Lenten festival in Pioneer Square will be at the end of February rather than at the beginning, with a lesser chance of snow. The dates are Feb. 21-27. The celebration will include the usual Grand Masquerade Ball, Waiters' Race, Pub Run and Miss No-Fat Beauty Contest. Head-
lining acts will play the clubs every night, but no names have been released yet.
Pollstar magazine reports that the Rolling Stones had the top-grossing tour of 1989, with ticket sales of $98 million - and that doesn't count the Canadian dates, the concessions, the beer sponsorships or the pay-per-view cable TV special (which we didn't get hereabouts), which could double that figure. The other top five grossers: The Who, $40.7 million; Bon Jovi, $36.7 million; the Grateful Dead, $28.6 million; and New Kids on the Block, $23.9 million. It's interesting to note that three of the five are bands that have been around for a quarter century or more. And they said rock wouldn't last!
The Sundome in Yakima officially opens with a luncheon on Jan. 16, followed by a concert the next night by Kenny Rogers and Marie Osmond. The $12.3 million, 8,000-seat, multipurpose complex is on the Central Washington State Fairgrounds. Sundome officials hope to make it a major tour stop. Also booked for the new hall are the B-52's on Jan. 18.