LATE-BREAKING SHIT: The Pendergast/Drams show that was supposed be at Mike's has been moved to the Brick, 8 p.m. tonight. More info below the following rant.
US Soldiers in Iraq — now that's a touchy subject. So I'm not sure what to do about this but just point you to this dude and let you decide for yourself: Kansas City, meet Major Mike. (For instant jams, click his Myspace).
Corrado is a North Carolina-born Kansas City transplant (24th Marine regiment) who spent a year in Falluja and just got back last March. Before that, well, here, let me just quote his press release — it's sort of convoluted: "Corrado, an infantry officer with the US Marines originally served his active duty commitment then exited active duty to pursue a music career. After leaving active duty in 1997, he hit the road as a singer/songwriter performing 250-300 shows a year as a headliner as well as opening act for large national acts: John Mayer, Edwin McCain, Train, Vertical Horizon and many more. Mike and his band had been touring for 4 years when the September 11th attacks came. Corrado was then recalled back to active duty and later deployed to Fallujah where he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in connection with the support of combat operations in Iraq."
There you go. Yesterday, he tried out on NBC's Star Tomorrow contest. I don't know how he did or even where to find him on the contest's Web site. I guess it hasn't been posted yet.
Anyway, judging by a listen to some of the good major's songs, he was on the road with similar company back in our happily oblivious, pre-9/11 America. OK, I think I will talk about Mike's music. After all, just because he put his life on the line for this country doesn't mean it should be taboo for a lazy, liberal fuckup like me to say what I think about his songs (nor should I be intimidated by the possibility that he could cut out my eye with a boot knife in three seconds).
I realize that as a soldier, the major's a Bronze Star-winning badass, but when he picks up a guitar — dude. There are people who are into this kind of music, and these people are known as soccer moms. Anyone who likes it and isn't a soccer mom is probably drunk.
Also, though it's a heartfelt ditty, I'm not a fan of the war song Mike's pushing, "On My Watch Tonight," which contains the lyric: My blood runs red, white and blue / I'll brave the cold, the rain, the pain, the bullets / So you don't have to. etc. etc.I'll keep you safe on my watch tonight. I would just prefer the guy not be such a sap. With all due respect, you spend a year in the arduous, potentially deadly conditions of wartime Iraq, and the best you got is a patriotic love song? I'm not saying dude's gotta write a protest anthem, but let's at least cut down on the schmaltz. It's war for God's sake!
Now that I've alienated everyone good in America, let me recommend a cool show going on tonight at the Brick. It's the first anniversary of Slimm's Boozeday Tuesdays matinee showcase, and to celebrate, ol' Slimm's got locals Pendergast and Texans the Drams, playing hourlong sets beginning at 8. The show was supposed to be at Mike's, but for some reason that bar had to close for a few days. Brick owner Sheri Parr suspects that it's because of a new test the city is running wherein an inspector fills sinks, drains them, and if any water bubbles up in an adjacent, empty sink, you have to shut down until you get it fixed. R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S. That's not verified as the reason Mike's had to close abruptly, but it's a plausible theory, no? Tuesdays at the Brick bring cheap tacos and 2-for-1 drinks, so I'd say this is quite a felicitous occurrence.
Anyway, the bands: we all know and love Pendergast, the platform for Tony Ladesich's great songwriting. The Drams are new-old band, led by Brent Best, who used to sing in a Denton, Texas, band called Slobberbone that was really great. They were back when alt-country was way underground, when taking country classic "Dark as a Dungeon" and turning it into a longhaired, dirty lament was still pretty foreign. With the Drams, Best brings in a pop sensibility that Teenage Fanclub fans could get behind, and he doesn't lose any of the backroads grit he's best known for. I saw the Drams open for the Drive-By Truckers at SXSW, and it was pretty awesome.
Esteemed Pitch fellow Andy Vihstadt attended Sunday night's Go! Team concert at The Granada. Here's his report, short and only a little sweet:
The Go! Team is a bit of a novelty act, so I expected to see a room full of Welcome Back Kotter afros and knee-high athletic socks. Surprisingly, though, Go! Team fans don't seem to drink or smoke like the typical Granada crowd (I found myself alone at both troughs). It could have been the oppressive heat, but I think it was mainly a testament to the group's ability to put on a show. Its six members, three of which hopped back and forth between instruments, were as fun to watch as a "Bring It On" style pep rally. Ummm. So where were the horns coming from? Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. The handful of new songs that made the set list were as promising as anything on the debut, but like most novelties, and pep rallies for that matter, an hour was the most I could stomach.