This morning in Wichita, we lost a legend of the local music scene - Kirk Rundstrom of the band Splitlip Rayfield. His battle with cancer finally got the best of him. There aren't words to describe how much Kirk meant to the local scene and to anyone who knew him. I'll admit I didn't know him personally, but I talked to many who did. Every person who met him shall miss him sorely.
Harvey Girls - Burning For You (Blue Oyster Cult cover) After my last post on the Harvey Girls I delved even deeper into their stuff, including this slinky and sexy cover of one of the ultimate mullet rock songs of all time. Verses are scaled back to mainly organ and beats with some flourishes on guitar. The main riff sounds like it was stripped from the kind of movie you aren't supposed to admit that you've ever seen. All I can say is...wow.
Volebeats - Maggot Brain (Funkadelic cover) Here I go again posting another band that I know nothing about. Best as I can tell, this group of guys play a fairly standard version of alt country, but you give them the song that was once called "the hardest song of all time", and they turn into funky guitar heroes. If there was ever a song that is deserving of a spot on "Guitar Hero III", its gotta be Maggot Brain.
Flaming Lips with Cat Power - War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover) I get asked about this cover all the time so here you go. Wayne is no match for early Ozzy, but man, the band sounds great. And the looks on Chan's face are great. If you get a chance to catch this on a re-run on PBS or something it's worth watching.
Toad the Wet Sprocket - Hey Bulldog (Beatles cover) Somehow Toad's name has gotten mired down to a reference to the run of the mill earlt-to-mid-90's boring rock, but it really isn't true. Toad shows off a bit more of their rambunctious rockin' side with this track showing off what made their music so compelling.
Rufus Wainwright with Kate McGarrigle - I Eat Dinner (Live on KCRW) (Kate and Anna McGarrigle cover) This is a particularly interesting cover because here you have one of the songwriters paired up with her son while giving the story behind the song. The imagery in the song, as Kate mentions, is quite strong. I've never heard the original, but I can't imagine it's much better than this. And the mother-son pre-song banter cracks me up. "Mummy! Bridge."
Ray Charles - Wichita Lineman (Jimmy Webb cover) Ahh...my favorite country song. And then you add Ray's strong voice, shimmering strings and one wicked bass line...and I think I'm in love.
Kings of Convenience - Gatekeeper (Feist cover) After Feist appeared on several KoC tracks, it seems only right that they swank on down with a Feist cover. The "June July August" harmonies are spot on and quite lovely...much like Feist herself.
I have committed an error. I mistook Andrew Bird for someone else. I mistook him for an entirely different artist. I even managed to convince a friend of mine not to listen to him anymore because of my mistake. Seriously. After talking to the extremely enthusiastic girl at the Dosh concert, I decided to look into Andrew and his music again and I realized my mistake. Oops.
So I've been listening to his music now and really liking it. And to my friend - I'm sorry. I'm definitely gonna buy you a new "Mysterious Production of Eggs" CD.
Review: Dosh with This Is My Condition and Boo and Boo Too
Saturday night me and my friend Nathan got off our butts and headed down to Lawrence to check out a show at the Jackpot Saloon, which is a great place to see a show. Neither of us had ever seen and of the bands before so we were ready to rock. The wonderful tool of Lawrence.com said the show started at 9...it was only an hour-and-a-half off...
Finally first to the stage was This Is My Condition, a one man show otherwise known as Craig Comstock. Craig sets at his drumset with a looping pedal at his foot, a guitar laid across the snare and floor tom and a microphone with enough reverb to make Jim James sound natural. Craig slammed and rubbed the drum sticks on the guitar strings and tore the drums to shreds in a way that would make Zach Hill run for cover. I was quite surprised at the riffs that Craig pulled off with just two sticks - the final song had riffs strong and funky that Tom Morello would have been proud of. At the end of the set we all clapped and cried out for more but unfortunately there was no more to be had. Later on, during Dosh's set, Martin even showered Craig with complements: He said that if anyone in the house was an A&R man, they should sign TIMC right away beacause "he'll make you millions of dollars." All Mike could manage to say was "Wow". We all agreed.
Next up: Boo and Boo Too. Ever since about halfway thru their set I've been having a dilemma as to what to say about BaBT. I've decided to be brutally honest. The drummer, Gaurav Kumar, was the main attraction. Flawless playing. However, most of the time we saw chord changes but didn't hear chord changes because they were far too busy trying to be loud. Every song devolved into a game of "Who Can Strum the Fastest." That being said, there was some flashes of the underlying talent and possiblity for great music, including one number that had kind of a dance rock, !!! type vibe. I'll give the boys another chance, but it won't be soon.
And then the man that we were really there to see took the stage: Dosh. I had only just heard Dosh recently so I really was unsure what Martin's live show would be like. Talking to an extremely enthusiastic girl from Omaha (who unfortunately totaled her car on the way to Lawrence for the show) we learned just how related to Andrew Bird the music of Dosh is. Not being a big Andrew Bird fan, I suddenly was confused. But then Martin and fellow multi-instrumentalist Mike Lewis took the stage and blew away any confusion. I got a great spot right at the front of the stage in the left hand corner and was able to not only watch Martin and Mike set their loops, but I also got to watch everyone's faces light up and heads bob as the songs got put together piece by piece. I could describe how the loops came together but I think this video does a far better job:
Then after the show I stopped by the merch table to pick up a Dosh CD, and the man almost seemed embarrassed as everyone shook his hand and told him how amazing the show was. But man, he deserved to be told.
Patrick Cleandenim is a jazzy 21 year old guy who just wants you to swing a little. He's managed to create a fusion of jazz/swing music and indie pop music that doesn't make you feel grimy when you're done listening to it. Lush melodies slathered in strings, horn sections, and marimba carry out Cleandenim's piano and lazy vocal lines with ease.
His new record, Baby Comes Home, is smooth. Really smooth. Sade level smooth. (By the way, I don't know how to put the little accent on the "e" in Sade. Don't write me letters.) It'll be coming out at different times depending on who you ask. Some people even say its already out. I don't know. Maybe ya'll are smarter than me and can tell me when it comes out. But when it does, you should buy. Trust me on these things.
The band, which hails from Southern California, has been making great alt-country-type music for several years now on the Get Up Kids' imprint, Doghouse Records. As a matter of fact, if you strip away the angstier influences of the Get Up Kids and add more Americana influences you may get a decent idea of the sound the boys are making. I haven't been drinking to their music (yet...) but I'd imagine it's great drinking music.
They've finished recording their new record with super-producer Ed Rose at Black Lodge Studio and it should be available sometime this spring. Before then, however, we can get a good glimpse of the sound of the record when you can stream some of the new music on an unfortunate day on the 14th of this month on "some nice websites", as they put it. And then the new single, "Big Drag", will also be available on their extensive tour. Look at the dates below. The boys are gonna be tired. But try to get out to see 'em. They sound great live.
Also, swing by the Myspace Page to download my personal favorite, "Sin City".
Tour Dates: 02/03 La Jolla, CA @ UCSD - Price Center 02/21 Santa Barbara, CA @ UCSB - HUB 02/22 Long Beach, CA @ Fingerprints - Instore! (time TBA) 02/23 Murrieta, CA @ Monte Vista School 02/24 Tucson, AZ @ Plush 02/25 Tempe, AZ @ Zia Records - Instore! (5PM!!) 02/26 Bountiful, UT @ Graywhale Record Exchange - Instore! (time TBA) 02/28 Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge w/ the Only Children 03/01 Omaha, NE @ Sokol Underground 03/02 Madison, WI @ Orpheum Stage Door 03/03 Milwaukee, WI @ Exclusive Company - Instore! @ 3PM 03/03 Milwaukee, WI @ Mad Planet 03/05 St Louis, MO @ Creepy Crawl 03/06 Lansing, MI @ Mac's Bar 03/07 Pittsburgh, PA @ Garfield Artworks 03/08 Dayton, OH @ The Nite Owl 03/10 Norman, OK @ Univ. of Oklahoma (free show) 03/13 Little Rock, AR @ Juanita's w/ As Tall As Lions, Dear Hunter, Keating 03/14 Tulsa, OK @ King of Clubs w/ As Tall As Lions, Dear Hunter, Keating 03/15-03/18 AUSTIN, TX @ SXSW - Details Soon to come
THE BEARS TOUR W/ HOT ROD CIRCUIT & THE FORECAST
04/04 Buffalo, NY @ Club Infinity 04/05 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop 04/06 Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick 04/07 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean 04/08 Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity 04/09 Ames, IA @ Maintenance Shop 04/11 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre 04/12 Salt Lake City, UT @ Club Sound 04/13 Boise, ID @ The Venue 04/14 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon 04/15 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre 04/17 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill 04/18 Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction 04/19 Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour 04/20 San Diego, CA @ Soma 04/21 Tempe, AZ @ the Clubhouse 04/23 Austin, TX @ Emos 04/24 Dallas, TX @ the Door 04/25 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live 04/27 West Palm Beach, FL @ Rays 04/28 Orlando, FL @ the Social 04/29 Tampa, FL @ Orpheum 05/01 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade 05/02 Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle 05/03 Charlottesville, VA @ Starr Hill 05/04 Philadelphia, PA @ Northstar Bar 05/05 East Rutherford, NJ @ BAMBOOZLE 05/06 Hartford, CT @ Webster Underground 05/08 Toronto, CAN @ El Mocambo 05/09 Ottawa, CAN @ Café Dekcuf 05/10 Montrea, CANl @ Club Lambi 05/11 South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground 05/12 Boston, MA @ Middle East
I don't think I've ever taken the time to tell you guys just how much I love Prince. The man is amazing. His talent level is off the charts and he has continuously and consistantly put out great stuff since the late 70's.
His last record, "3121", was just as good as most anything else he's put out and he hasn't lost an ounce of the funk.
And the fact of the matter is that he's going to DESTROY the Super Bowl halftime show tomorrow night. (Here's a hint - think Hendrix...) As a preview, give a listen to his performance from the Brit awards last year. Two tracks from last year's 3121 and two classics. Not to mention Sheila E...