I just got this from the folks down in Austin. I need fellow KCians to hang out with this March, so don't hesitate to apply. Dream big, honeychile.
SXSW 2007 Music Festival Showcase Application Final Deadline
Austin, Texas - October 31, 2006 - For over 20 years, South by Southwest
(SXSW) Music Conference and Festival has been bringing musicians, record
company executives, club owners, radio programmers, journalists, publicists
and countless other people working in the music industry together. Over one
thousand showcasing artists and solo acts from around the globe perform on
60 stages over the course of five nights, March 14 - 18, 2007 in Austin,
Texas. Online applications to perform at this extraordinary event are being
accepted until Friday, November 10, 2006.
Applications to perform, MP3s and press materials are now being accepted
electronically. Please access the website at www.sxsw.com/showcase and fill
out the application online. The final application deadline is November 10,
2006 for domestic acts, with a fee of $30. (The late application deadline
for international acts has passed.) This year, all showcase applications
must be filled out and paid for by credit card online. (Visa, MasterCard,
American Express, Discover, and Diner's Club are accepted.) Once the online
application has been completed, the primary contact will be sent a
confirmation email with instructions on how to upload MP3s, a biography, an
artist photograph and a press kit. No more packing CDs, paying postage or
worrying if SXSW received the packet!
Some of the musical genres featured at the SXSW Music Festival include
alternative country, bluegrass, blues, country, DJ, electronic,
experimental, hip-hop, jazz, Latin, metal, pop, rock, punk,
singer/songwriter, world, and reggae.
2007 will be the 21st Anniversary of SXSW Music taking place March 14 - 18
at the Austin Convention Center and on stages throughout downtown Austin. In
addition to the music festival, the conference will gather music business
professionals to participate in panel discussions, workshops, one-on-one
interviews and the Trade Show and Exhibition.
For more information or to register for the conference, visit www.sxsw.com
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
One Jason Harper not enough for you? Check this out:
Despite what you've heard, the closest I come to being "dreamy" is when I wake up at 5 a.m. from a startling nightmare and spend the next four hours in and out of a sleep-dream state that plays out imaginary real-life scenarios, like what happens when I walk into the Mexican market down the street while it's getting held up by a man with a gun (I would, of course, attempt to disarm him and get shot in the process, and as I was dying, I'd buy a tamale, because they're so good there it might take the edge off, you know, death). I somehow doubt Dreamy Jason Harper -- who in addition to being a Little Rock newscaster owns a "new music/coffeehouse ministry" -- experiences this kind of thing.
One of the scenarios I've probably half-dreamed in the past month was meeting the girl who beaned me with a beer can at Doris Henson's final show. Oh yes. I was rocking out down front to one of my favorite bands that Friday night, weeks ago, and I drained a PBR can and casually tossed it forward. It bounced off a monitor and rolled about a foot away from trombone player Mike Walker, who sort of kicked it dejectedly, but he was dejected the whole time because of the band breaking up, not solely because of my littering. It caused no disturbance, really, but it pissed off a girl next to me. She scolded me trashedly, and I waved her off.
First, the news: The Argument Machine, which began as the forum off of the long-inactive local music Web zine The Zone, then grew a life of its own as, basically, a scenester message board that involved more general humor and beef than discussion of music, is NO MORE. Its working moderator, a local musician, killed it today, putting up in its place a message citing personal drama as being the reason why he took down the site. What a fitting end to a local forum that had become characterized by hostility, incivility and rampant exhibitionism.
We may have to start a music forum on the Pitch's site -- one that would fight the b.s. or die trying.
[Since making that "fight the b.s." statement, I've been told by knowledgable people that I don't know what I'm talking about. They're probably right. -- Me Today (Monday)]
Now, if you're strapped for things to do this weekend, here are some goings-on you might consider haunting in a badass or just plain bad costume.
There's quite a party scheduled to go down at the loft of one John Bersuch (one-half of Bacon Shoe) in the West Bottoms at 1524 St. Louis. Equipped with a new hypeman (alas, 'Toine went to Korea and had to be replaced, but I hear the new guy is the tits), the Shoe will throw down later in the night, preceded by a band called Ewok Grinder. The whole loft will be done up like a haunted house maze. It starts around 9:30 and goes 'til probably three. It costs $5 to get in and a buck buys you a Boulevard beer. There will be nacking and mortification. It will be sick. "Don't come if John Bersuch hates you," says John Bersuch.
Over at the Record Bar, a group of local musicians -- I dunno who all -- are performing "the hits" with Be/Non. The event is called ROCKStar and it's sponsored by PBR, which means it might be worth going to score some schweet schwag. I've been lusting after a Pabst toque since I first saw them giving 'em out at Mike's last winter.
Get in free to the Brick tonight by wearing any sort of costume, and see tribute bands Rat Salad (Black Sabbath) and Funhouse (the Stooges).
The Brick's going even bigger tonight with its annual Pirate Party, featuring the Architects, the All Sorts and the Corpses -- and you dresssed as a pirate.
Elsewhere, it might finally be time to check out that new club on Main and Westport, the Embassy (which used to be Slam-Erz, and before that, Muddy's), because tonight, fabulous turntables-computers-projections DJ troupe Nomathmatics. The event is called "ROBOT DEATH GO 2 HELL," and there's cheap drinks, and "sweatbands and robots" get in for free. Shit, I'm sold -- my best friend is a sweatband named Ted, and they usually charge him extra at the door (OK, so maybe I like to put on athletic wear, pop a couple pills and pretend like my clothes are talking to me -- fuck off).
Skipping ahead to Tuesday the 31...
Boozeday Tuesday at the Brick (starting at 9 this time for parents with young trick-or-treaters), features Crazytalk, the Golden-Hearted Whores and a costume contest judged by the gals of Sad Dog (still alive despite the AM's demise), Kandi Kanabi and someone dressed up like Jason Harper. 2 for 1 drinks and .75 tacos, too.
Whatever happens this weekend, one thing I'm sure of is that it'll be more fun than dying and being reincarnated as a jellyfish .
Actually, that's kind of a tall order.
Because we were only able to run an excerpt of the exclusive, last-minute interview we were able to get with Lemmy Kilmister to preview Saturday's Motorhead-lining Freaker's Ball at the Community America Ballpark, I thought I'd post the complete interview here. Enjoy it in all its hoary glory. The interview was conducted by Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, whose questions are in bold. -- Ed.
You got the job as the Jimi Hendrix Experience's roadie because you were sleeping on Noel Redding's floor as a guest of his roommate, who was already their roadie. You've said that, on certain nights, Jimi Hendrix was "absolute rubbish."
If he was having a bad night, he would just stomp on his fuzz box until it broke into bits and then just leg it. [Laughs.] 'Oh, it's not working.' But there weren't many of them, only a couple I remember. He's still the best I ever saw for guitar. We all knew he was a revolutionary, and that nobody had ever done that before, but we also knew that he was still playing the blues. So he attracted all the blues guys and he attracted all the rock guys. The only people he didn't attract were the blacks, mostly. The Black Panthers got in on him: 'why you playing for them honkies?' and all this shit. He never really thought of himself as black or anything else, 'cuz he was half-Indian anyway. He started listening to them, which is why we got the bloody-awful Band Of Gypsies, bloody Buddy Miles. It's a bad reason to swap good musicians for poseurs.
He couldn't think of himself as black or white -- he said he was as a unicorn from another dimension.
[Laughs.] Well, there was a lot of acid around, you know.
In your book, White Line Fever, you talk about the Beatles being the street toughs and the Stones being from a more genteel background.
Liverpool is a very tough city. It's like being down on the seafront in New York. It's tough and it's mean and it's broke, because the shipping industry had moved on. The Beatles come from a very depressed hard-man area, and the Stones came from the suburbs of London. It was a complete mistake; Epstein dressed the Beatles up nice, and Andrew Oldham didn't dress the Stones up in suits. But you gotta remember that when the Beatles came in, that was what you did -- if the Beatles hadn't opened up the door for rock and roll again, the Stones would never have been there.
It's hard to think of both bands dressing up as what they're not.
Well, there you go. A lot of people do. There's a lot of weekend ravers around. [Laughs.] How many people do you know in your general life so far that have turned out to be not what they profess to be. Then you find out that the guy with the longest hair tends to think like a fuckin' schoolteacher.
L.A. seems too fake for you. What do you get out of being there?
It's isn't fake. There's a lot of really talented people here too, don't forget. And anyway, home is in your head. You live inside your head. If you ain't comfortable there, it doesn't matter where you live. And if you are comfortable there, it doesn't matter where you live. [Laughs.] So I'm quite happy. I've made a lot of really good friends in the States. I like Americans, apart from the government. I'm having a good time over here, so why shouldn't I live in L.A? It's no worse than anywhere else. There's a lot more fakes in New York, I think, 'cuz of that fuckin' artistic scene. All them wine and cheese parties in the afternoons. Painful.
How many of those have you been invited to?
Only one. [Laughs.] My god, have you heard the way these people talk? Do they study at some sort of college for this shit?
You just have to pray they have some good booze and some good food to stuff in your pockets to take home.
[Laughing:] Pockets full of cheese biscuits and leggin' it for the door!
It's a good approach.
Sure -- get some hors d'ouevres and that. So you don't have to bother making them yourself.
You mentioned the American government...
I don't like any government, truly. I hate all politicians just by defnition. If somebody wants to be a politician, there's already a serious question mark next to them. Imagine wanting to kiss other people's babies! Fuckin' 'ell, it's hard enough kissing your own, you know! You have to be two-faced. That's the first requirement. In case the party changes it's stance on something, you gotta be able to turn straight around 180 degrees and lie.
And say 'I always felt that way.'
Yeah: 'I always thought they were cunts!' [Laughs.]
What's your take on 9/11?
9/11 was George Bush's Reichstag fire. It's exactly the same. Politician seizes disaster and takes away civil liberties in the name of freedom. It's just crap. The American people are no safer than they were before. It's just difficult to get on a plane.
If you could say one thing to George Bush, what would you say?
You've said you named [the Motorhead album] Orgasmatron after the three things you hate the most in life -- organized religion, politics, and war -- but you have a Nazi paraphernalia collection...
Ah, yes, well the trappings of war are always attractive, but the real thing is always different.
What is it about Nazi stuff that you like?
The graphics, actually. It's the most flamboyant government. You've got to remember, they were only around twelve years. Motorhead's been going almost three times as long as the Third Reich! But have you noticed that the bad guys always have the best uniforms? The Confederates, the Nazis, Napoleon. And they had the best flags. Look at the Union Jack. Fuckin' 'ell, that's a terrible flag. The Swastika was used in America a lot before the war as a good luck symbol. It was the trademark of many companies, including California Fresh Fruit Company.
They cribbed it from the Hindus.
From everybody -- Red Indians had it, the Druids had it, Ancient Greece/Sparta...it's all over the world. 'Cuz if you get a stick and you scratch it in the dirt for half an hour, you're going to come up with a Swastika, right? It was originally the four seasons cycling. India still uses it a lot.
You've said that if you ever find any live recordings of the original, Larry Wallis/Lucas Fox lineup of Motorhead, you would burn them.
So would you.
In the slick Hugh Grant film, Love, Actually, there's a shot of a party DJ wearing a Motorhead t-shirt.
There is? Apparently, there's one in Taxi Driver as well. One of the street scenes. Probably not visible to the naked eye. Some looney fan --
Probably magnified it like a million times.
I know, winding the film foreward and backwards. [Mimics squeaky film-winding sound]
Taxi Driver seems a little more appropriate.
That would be more in keeping with the ambience.
Colin and Annie and I got to the Pistol -- which is booking shows, I mean, parties again now that it's no longer sweltering hot upstairs -- around 9:30 last Wednesday. Cans and bottles of beer stuffed into their coat pockets and I with my Sun Fresh bag full of PBR (preferred luggage for any occasion, actually — fuck those man purses and things in them other than beer), we went up the stairs off Union Street, hurrying out of the bludgeoningly cold wind. Oh, except Annie wasn't hurrying, evidently, because it took her twelve minutes to complete unidentifiable actions with her purse with one leg out of the car while I stood in the wind and froze my tits off. Then we went up the stairs. (Ain't it great ribbing friends who can't defend themselves. J/K!!! I'd give my pancreas to you, Annie!!!)
And when we got to the top, the place was almost dead empty. I spotted a couple of artists-cum-West Bottoms hooligans, Richard and Luke, sitting on a lumpy couch still wrapped up in coats and knit hats like dockworkers. Across the expansive loft, a group including local artist Jaimie Warren, was sitting at another lumpy couch. A couple dudes from one of the two bands — either the Chromatics or Glass Candy -- were setting up the meager PA and whatever amps and stuff they'd brought. We'd gotten there so early because we'd been told Glass Candy would probably go on about 10:30. Knowing they were the headliner, I figured we would be right on time. I wasn't concerned, though. The people would come, and, besides, I had a whole bottle of wine in the car I could start in on if I ran out of beer, which was likely, since I'd only brought three. Man, BYOB shows are the bomb.
We stood and chatted with Craig Comstock, who is extraordinarily nice for a guy who plays wicked-ass shit, i.e., hammering drumsticks on a guitar and a drum set at the same time while screaming into a toy microphone. Though, I guess there's no reason to assume someone who plays like that would be a jerk — a little odd, maybe, but Comstock's completely sane. His other band is the Blue Leaves, and I have yet to see 'em. Hell, he could play acoustic guitar and croon like Neil Diamond -- the very epitome of sanity, n'est-ce pas!? -- in that band for all I know.
At some point, I wandered away from my friends and found myself talking to the frontman of the Chromatics (the one with the cool, patchy eyebrow in the MySpace photos), thinking he was in Glass Candy. After five minutes of misapprehension, I realized my mistake and wept, but he didn't seem to care. I recovered, then slid behind the merch booth, where stood the goddess-like Ida No, singer for GC. I didn't ask her any of the questions I had written down to ask her over the phone a week before the show (we never got in touch). Instead, we talked about corporate journalism and her day job at a Kroger grocery store in Portland, Oregon, where the band is based (in the city, not the store). I can't remember what she said she does, exactly, but it's not the checkout line or anything. If I walked into a Kroger and saw a woman that gorgeous working there, I would want to see her either making flower arrangements or butchering meat. Preferably the latter.
(ASIDE: An email just popped up on my screen from a publicist. It asks me "Remember the Barbara Mandrell Variety Show?" It's a good example of the mass e-mail shit I get every five minutes and delete without reading. Worse are the ones I feel compelled to keep without reading, like, "Sister Hazel Show in Your Area." Because, I have a duty to Sister Hazel fans as much as Ida No fans. Wait a minute...no I don't! Fuck them! Why must I be tormented, oh!)
A warm rush of sound came over the two-speaker PA just then, and it was absorbed by a decent crowd of 30-50 bodies. An exchange of real and electronic drums began, along with serrated, echoing guitar, and the Chromatics had begun. I was hoping to see more dirty art school kids at the show. There had been pleeenty last time these bands came through at the beginning of the summer, and I was looking forward to seeing what level of unhygiene the feral children were practicing nowadays. But there weren't many — possibly not any of the type I speak. Then I remembered, oh, the Ssion isn't playing tonight. Nor is anything involving J. Ashley Miller, our own local Devendra Banhart. That's why the crowd is so well washed. And tame, which isn't always the most fun — in fact, almost never.
The Chromatics were good — it's less danceable, more atmospheric-rocky than the sound of its tourmate band. I don't know if she's out permanently, but the female lead singer the Chros had last time was absent, and that guy I was talking to earlier did all the vocals, running his voice through a heavily reverbbed mic so he sounded kind of like Jon Spencer, filling the room with intermittent hoots, calls and falcetto coos. Despite their decision not to close with "Now I Wanna Be Your Dog," which brought the rafters down last time, it was a good showing.
By that time, I was well into the wine, a New Zealand Pinot Noir that I'd found on sale for $8 at Sun Fresh but had bought mainly because of the screw top. The mouth of the bottle had begun to smell like feet. I drank it anyway, but I will never run around with a bottle of wine at a BYOB show again. Ew.
It was Glass Candy's turn, and when they started up, I saw the instant-party-starting sight of Jaimie Warren cutting it up down front, dancing like a mad Indian and shaking her big, gold mane like a feathered headdress. For some reason, when Warren begins dancing, it becomes (in my mind at least) OK for everyone to follow suit. I certainly did, and pretty much didn't stop until the last, last encore -- and I succeeded in getting my friend Annie to dance, which she never does, though that's a coup probably more attributable to the band than my badass mojo-shakin' werewolf moves. For full taste of the band — glass and candy both — I recommend you go to this fan site and download it all. I'd talk more about how and why they're the most seductive white dance band in the country right now, but I'm going to write about them in earnest someday, plus I'm exhausted and half to walk home today. A cop out, I know, but ain't that life. If there's anything I didn't cover — i.e., what I was wearing (a diaper), whether Annie's hot and single (she is), whether I made it home without being kidnapped by terrorists (not sure) — post a comment.
Not all in-office music experiences can be tragically hip. Local underground literary heavyweight Chris Packham, who's currently working at a title company, knows this painfully well. Here's the story of a typical day in his occupational — but not vocational — life.
Phil's microphone might as well be directly connected to my office.
Here at Sub-Strata Title Co. [some names have been changed to protect people's jobs], we are committed to serving our customers to the best of our ability with timely, accurate information, a knowledgeable staff, and competetive pricing. One of the ways we achieve our goals is by subjecting our employees to a non-stop repeating loop of adult contemporary music at an audible but unobtrusive volume level. We're not sure why this is so fucking good for business, but goddammit, we're going to play Phil Fucking Collins four times a day whether Warren Buffett thinks it's a good business idea or not.
What follows is a time-stamped list of the songs that actually penetrated the veil of soul-killing numbness induced by title work on Wednesday, October 18, 2006. Note that it is not a complete list of all the songs that were played, just the ones I actually noticed.
Playlist from hell:
7:41 A.M - Do You Believe in Love? -- Huey Lewis and the News
7:47 A.M. - Waiting is the hardest part -- Tom Petty
8:03 A.M. - Uptown Girl -- Billy Joel
(Got busy for a while with phone calls, 8:05 - 8:50.)
8:50 A.M. - Jesse's Girl -- Rick Springfield
8:55 A.M. - Something crappy with harmonies in the chorus
9:03 A.M. - TELL ME! HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A SHOOTING STAR! ONE WITHOUT A PERMANENT SCAR!
9:06 A.M. - Something stupid by Shakira.
9:08 A.M. - Can You Hear Me Running -- Mike & the Mechanics (??) [It's called "Silent Running," and it is by M and the Ms. — Ed.]
9:22 A.M. - We're In Heaven -- Bryan Adams
9:25 A.M. - Something crappy with a repetitive chorus
(a number of songs with levels too low to recognize over muted speakers)
9:40 A.M. - My Heart Will Go On -- Celine Dion
9:41 A.M. - The Tide is High -- Blondie
9:45 A.M. - Something stupid I don't recognize.
9:51 A.M. - Sledgehammer -- Peter Gabriel
9:55 - 10:10 A.M. -- Crappy songs I don't recognize
10:10 A.M. - Infatuation -- Rod Stewart
10:27 A.M. - I CAN'T LIIIIIII-IIIIIIIIVE! IF LIVIN' IS WITHOUT YOU! I CAN'T LIIIIIII-IIIIIIIIVE! I CAN'T GIIIVE ANY MOO-OORE! [WTF, Nillsson rocks! — Ed.]
10:34 A.M. ONLY THE LOOOO-OONELY! ONLY THE LONELY CAN PLAY! (No, this is not the Roy Orbison song, or a cover thereof. It is a crappy �80s song that contains a crappy �80s saxaphone solo.)
10:41 A.M. - I Miss You -- Adam Ant
10:43 A.M. - Some Alanis Morisette song I don't know the title of
10:51 A.M. - Drive -- The Cars
10:58 A.M. - I FO-OUND SOMEONE! TO TAKE AWAY THE HEARTACHE! -- Cher
11:00 A.M. - She Drives Me Crazy -- Fine Young Cannibals
11:13 A.M. - Tell Me All Your Thoughts on God -- Dishwalla
11:20 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. - Innocuous, quiet songs I couldn't hear
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:
-- Where in the hell are the Barenaked Ladies? They practically define this genre, by which I mean they're a band that 40-year-old white people believe will make them cool, like Dockers pants and Chrysler P.T. Cruisers.
-- Yes, you could argue that at least Tom Petty shows up in this wretched playlist for some relief, but you could also argue that it's a demonstration of mercy to allow a sleep-deprived Guantanamo prisoner to get in 15 minutes of R.E.M. before uncoiling the fire hose again.
Hear ye! Glass Candy and the Chromatics play tonight at the Pistol, 1219 Union, in the Bottoms! It'll be a lot like this. I recommend you go.
It's always the nights when you expect nothing out of life that you end up getting your face rocked off for a couple of hours and then top off the night dancing sockfooted in the back room of a bar.
Last Monday evening began at the Record Bar, where a local band I'd never heard of, Bleeding Hands, was set to open up for the Heartless Bastards of Cincinatti (not to be confused with the Heartless Bastards of Washington, DC). Having watched the band intently, I have come up with two theories as to why the Bleeding Hands' hands are bleeding: (1) from playing too hard on the drums, guitar, bass and Fender Rhodes; (2) from rolling rocks across your mama's flowerbed and ruining her irise, for no other reason than to watch her run out onto the porch in a dirty yellow slip with her pendulous breasts falling all out the top. Indeed, there's plenty of lust and rebellion left in Stones-influenced Southern rock, and that's why we're lucky to have this new band, along with others like the Pink Socks, and, well, that's all I can think of that really fit the bill, locally, though the Gaslights are certainly close (but a little more country).
Speaking of the Socks, one of the Bleeding Hands, singer and guitarist Matt Erickson, used to be in a band with those guys called the Litigators, and Erickson's new band kicks ass in a similar way, musically, if not performatively (there's no wild frontman in Bleeding Hands, yet). Monday night was their second show ever, so it was noticeably rough at times, with several fuckups they owned up to with smiles, but they had a ball and I love what they're going for — rock that has soul. Most soulful bandmember that night was ex-Gaslights bassist Johnny Eggerman, who played guitar and keys and whatever else they gave him to wail on, and sang -- and boy could he sang. He's got the kind of voice that's so hoarse and loud it grates and strangles just about every note he tries to belt out, and it sounds fuckin' great. It's like a hardcore punk singer sitting in with a roadhouse band. Speaking of punks, badass drummer Rachel Myers used to be in Hot Fruit and currently beats skins for the Rather Nots, which are/were both all-or-mostly-all-girl punk bands. On another side of the spectrum, Bleeding bassist Justin Rogers plays for Jon Yeager and mod rock band Seaside Riot, which was on the verge of breakup there for a minute but is back in the ruckus.
But none of that matters. All that's important is that when the Hands come together, they bleedin' rock, and all signs indicate they will.
The Heartless ones were juuuust fine. As with the last non-blues Fat Possum band that came through, the Bastards drew a small contingent of fans who knew the words to songs and weren't embarrassed to dance and yell all night. That was OK with me. The band — a three piece with occasional keys -- has a powerful, dark and trashy pulse that petite singer and guitarist Erika Wennerstrom spurs along with her howl. She evokes a young Robert Plant at his most baleful (don't say he couldn't do it — "Battle of Evermore," motherfucker!), and her guitar could drive loose nails back into the wall, but I was disappointed she didn't have any backup vocal help from the two boys in her band. That'd really round out their sound. So, Erica: Fire that doofy bass player and get one who can sing.
It was then decreed that we all (by which I mean me, my friend Highball; Jon Yeager; Richard Gintowt; a guy whose destiny at James Bond theme parties is to be Oddjob; and two respectable ladies named Jen and Juice) go to Karma. It was at this Karma place that I would later realize that the problem with a $10 minimum charge on credit card transactions is not that you end up spending more, but that you end up drinking more, especially when the cocktails are only two freakin' dollars. Fortunately, I had read from the biblical book of Morrissey earlier and was on fairly strong guard against embarrassing myself — otherwise, I would have ended up with my shirt off instead of just my shoes and jacket when we were all sockhopping in the back room -- me, Highball, Gintowt, and the two tall drinks a' woman. I apologize to the night's excellent DJs, Automatic Westy and Tony Bagga Donuts, that their most appreciative audience chose to dance in seclusion. Thanks for the tunes, boys.
I saw the Republic Tigers last week at the Record Bar, and the following night at the Brick, and they were good. There are six or seven guys in this band, with a couple of backing tracks to boot, so it definitely has a "team" feel. That's appropriate, considering the band is named after the mascot where bandleader Kenn Jankowski, also of the Golden Republic, went to high school in Republic, Missouri, which is outside Springfield. (Kenn has also been rumored to throw down a thick wad Banana Republic once in a while, purely out of his love for republics — but, please, don't call him a Republican.)
Spread out across the stage and playing expansive, semi-orchestral pop, the Tigers are an interesting ensemble. It's as if there's three frontmen: Jankowski's in the middle, cutting a small, elfin figure between the towering, mustachioed electric guitarist Adam McGill and the not-quite-as-tall acoustic guitarist Justin Norcross. It would benefit the group to either appoint KJ full-time lead vocalist — which is what they seem close to doing, anyway — or trade off more obviously between those three guys, all of whom look equally born to lead a band. That way, years from now, fans could argue about who sang which song on the Tigers' first album, like the way young Beatles fans are when they're learning to delineate Paul from John, especially on the howlers, where Paul's voice turns into that curly-lipped Isaac Hayesy chesty baritone like on "Lady Madonna." Christ, anyone still with me?
OK, so the Tigers need stronger lead vocals all around, and more focus on whoever it is that's doing 'em. That's my main point of critique.
Everything else is pretty great. Electronic-based, heavily layered pop can get meaningless fast, devolving into chatter and directionless jubilation (like on many of Broken Social Scene's tuneless jams or the average Flaming Lips concert*), but so far the RTs have demonstrated a devotion to melody and song structure that transcends any urge to throw sonic streamers all over the place and make a big mess.
Catch a Tiger by its toe** when the band plays the Main Street Cafe (now in the building the Icehouse used to be in, 3111 Wyandotte) on Friday, October 20.
And click here for the Tigers' song, Made Concrete
*Hey, I love the Lips, but at their concerts these days, it's like, Shut up with the blathering and Santa Clauses and play, Wayne!
**That's not racist, is it?
Tomorrow night, meet me at Bembe Night at the Hangout on Broadway for the widely appealing styles of lady DJs Madame E, Lady J, AmJanda, RobN and the inimitable cQuence. If rock's your speed, check out Killer Cars (local) and the Spores at Mike's on Saturday.
Sunday, respected local singer-songwriter Chad Rex, who has a new CD out called Gravity Works Fire Burns, plays with Coloradans Drag the River and locals Our American Cousin.
But whatever you do, don't drive drunk, but do spill some beer for our late homegirl Doris Henson.
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Thanks Charles. That settles it then!