I used to go to in-stores all the time when I lived out in the Bay
Area, but they just don't seem as popular in this neck of
the woods. Finally one worth an afternoon jaunt happened though -
the Kingsbury Manx were promoting
album "Bronze Age" at Schoolkids by playing some songs. As with
all shows I've seen by them, the place should have
been packed but just a few dozen people showed up. There may not
be another band more under-appreciated than
the Manx, both locally and (I'm assuming) nationally. Thy
sounded great, or as great as you can in a record store not
designed for live performances. They performed a lot of songs
from the new record they were there to promote, with
a few older tracks sprinkled in. Most notably, they played my
very favorite song of theirs "Pageant Square," and it took
all of willpower not to sing along. I wasn't the only one having
a good time - a number of band members seemed to
have their kids with them, one of which vacillated between dancing to
the music and heckling his father. An afternoon
well spent by all.
It's not often I go to shows on a whim in my advanced age, but it was
Friday night, I was fat and happy from stuffing
myself with sausages from the Capital Club next door, so why not.
Hell, even the old lady came with me, as rare an
occurrence as panda bears fucking!
was the first band, and my main impetus for being there. It's the
work of Dave Hartley, best known as the
bassist for the fantastic War on Drugs. When we stepped in the
room they were already playing, and I was pleasantly
surprised to see my dude Brad from Megafaun playing with the
band. I knew he was friends with all those War on
Drugs peeps, so why not add a little extra guitar to the
proceedings? I had never heard Nightlands before - they had
a very pleasant indie soft rock sound, maybe in the vein of an American
version of the Clientele. the wife's impressions
were there must have been a rule that you have glasses to be in the
band, and the drummer looked bored. I neither
would or could argue against either of those points. Good band
though - I'd definitely see them again.
Danish band Efterklang
were the headliners. Apparently they are huge overseas, but in
the North Carolina they only
get a half-full Kings. They definitely had the feel and sound and
"professionalism" of a big-time band. I remember
liking their record "Magic Chairs" that came out a few years back, but
not being too thrilled with their more recent out-
put. It all sounded pretty good live, sort of a sparse, dramatic
pop - the kind of sparse where the lack of music is
almost used as an instrument itself. There were six band members
(seven if you count the bassist's mustache as a
separate entity), but the one dude back near the drummer had a bank of
electronics set up including four (!?!) different
Apple laptops and seemed to be doing most of the musical heavy
lifting. The band were excellent performers, the front
man in his dapper suit was particularly effective, and even if I wasn't
a huge fan I enjoyed myself. For a show I just went
to on a whim, I count that as a success.
The wife doesn't get the appeal of Jonathan Richman, but the man's
music is like crack to me. It makes me extreme-
ly happy that he continues to tour so much, because it gives me the
chance to see him perform every year or two. I got
there a little early after stuffing myself silly at Carrburitos, and
was worried the might be sparsely attended - there had
been some winter weather that day, and even a hint of slick roads
freaks folks out around here. But by the time
Jonathan took the stage, the place filled out nicely - not packed, but
well attended especially for a venue the size of the
Cradle. Things started out rough - the man runs his own PA on the
stage, and he just could not get satisfied with the
settings. After a few minutes he got settled though and lit into
a nice set of his more recent songs. Sure, I'd love to
hear A LOT more of his older material, but like usual all we got was
his classic "I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar," a
damn fine song that always gets the crowd pumped up...or at least as
pumped up as anyone gets at a Jonathan
Richman show. Other highlights included "Because Her Beauty Is
Raw and Wild," "Old World," an epically long ver-
sion of "No One Was Like Vermeer," "Her Mystery Not of High Heels and
Eye Shadow," plus a few of his foreign
language songs whose titles I never remember. Lots of
dancing from Jonathan, some sleigh bell shaking, and no
shortage of mellow Tommy Larkin drum solos. All in all, a great
time as usual.
"Breakfast, shmreakfast. Look at the score, for Christ's sake. It's
only the second period and I'm up 12 to 2. Breakfasts
come and go, Rene, but Hartford, "the Whale," they only beat Vancouver
once, maybe twice in a lifetime."
Adam Franklin - Autumn
Leaf. Solo work from the frontman of
Swervedriver. Sounds like...a mellow Swervedriver.
Hurts To See You Go.
Born Ruffians - Hedonistic
Me. I have nothing interesting to say about this band
but I like this song.
King Khan & The Shrines - Land
Of The Freak. King Khan records are like an awesome
mixtape of the various
punk and garage sub-genres over the last fifty years.
I bought a Roy Orbison box set so I would
expect there will be a lot more of his songs posted here. He was
a genius. Love Storm (Demo Recording).
One More Time. Pretty One. Problem Child. Tryin' To Get To You.
I may not listen to Stereolab as much as I did in the
nineties, their music from that era is still some of my favorite
ever. Cybele's Reverie. French Disco. Jenny Ondioline. Ping Pong. Wow and Flutter.
Two Thousand and Thirteen***
Sad news abounds - Max, the mascot and patron saint of this website,
the dog pictured just below the title in the
sweater has passed away this month. He was an awesome dog and
will be greatly missed. I made him a little
memorial page in the Photo Journalsection.