Thursday, January 24, 2008

1/23/07 - Nick Luca, Sean Kirkpatrick, Telegraph Canyon

snagged a mid-week show at dada, since i'll be tied up all weekend. gotta feed the beast when you can...

no Beard at the door - wtf? i thought that dude never left that stool.

first up was Telegraph Canyon. i'd seen these guys last march, and it's taken this long to finally catch them again. my gawd, was i glad i did. they were even better than i remembered. 6 people on stage (plus beard), sometimes 7. lotsa geetars, plus keys, accordian, harmonica. an absolutely beautiful collection of folk rock tunes, some joyful, some wistful, some stirring. all incredibly written and wonderfully performed. love chris johnson's voice - not that it's a big booming voice or anything, but it's just got such character. this was easily the highlight of the evening for me. totally dug the addition of the organ (soulful, bill h called it). gal on keys drove my pants crazy. bot the cd (with a little help from debbie (thanks!)) and gushed at Chris for a sec after the show. will definitely not wait another year to catch these guys again.

next up was the Sean Kirkpatrick trio, who i've seen many times now, and i don't know what it was, but this was easily the best performance of theirs that i've seen. don't get me wrong, i've liked it every time i've seen them, but last night topped them all. maybe it was the environment, the sound system, or a slightly different set, i don't know. there did seem to be less of the seemingly-random key plinking that i whinged about last time. whatever - it was an awesome set. oh, and sean knows the two secrets to doing a great cover: one - pick the right damn song (very rarely done, IMO), and two - make it your own. totally dug 'jesus and tequila'. i did miss 'turn on the interference', tho.

last up was Nick Luca, from tucson, who plays with calexico, DeVotchka, and Niko Case. 4-man band, all geetars. based on the myspace, i expected straightforward indie rock, but what i heard was more folk-influenced with a tinge of alt-country. some very nice songs, some talented geetar playing. maybe it's because i was still so smitten by telegraph canyon, but what kept coming to mind during their set was, this is telegraph-canyon lite. not sayin it wasnt good stuff or anything, but i thot they lacked the depth and character of TC.

definitely had too much to drink, which led to (guess what?) me babbling incoherently at debbie, brian, and amanda. mebbe that should be my catch phrase - babbling incoherently. seems to be a recurring theme.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Best of 2007

Well, Ok, everyone seems to do some sort of 2007 "best of" list, so OK, here you go. better late than never, eh? (p.s. - i am drunk)

2007 was an uh, interesting year for me, one of personal transitions, revelations, transformations, blah, blah, blah...

while i could easily come up with a top ten list of personal revelations for 2007, i really dont think anyone would give a shit, so here's my list of the top 10 performances i saw in 2007 (yeah, ok, no one gives a shit about this either, i know):

1. Chemistry Set, Calhoun (Club Dada, 1/11/08) - final show for Chem Set. on one hand, a glorious night due to the extended set by my favorite local band. on the other hand, deeply depressing since it's their last show. see below to view my opinions on this truly awesome band. stephen duncan is a musical genius, and the dallas music scene will not be the same without him. here's hoping he keeps making music, as he promised me. this evening was bolstered by an awesome set by calhoun, another one of my favorites.

2. tartufi (club dada, 12/8 and haileys, 12/9). truly transcendant live music experience. enough said. check. them. out.

3. o'brother, comrade, broadcast sea, pompeii, dignan, new frontiers, quiet company (haileys, 1/20). this was one of the first shows i went to, and it set the standard for months to come. this was where i was first introduced to pompeii, so it has to rank near the top, if only for that. but the new frontiers and quiet company sets ranked highly also. fantastic night.

4. method entertainment night at club dada, 8/18. unbelievable collection of fantastic bands in one night: greater good, chemistry set, calhoun, latture, and airline. nice job, solis.

5. paul banks (cavern, 7/21 and 9/29). you know i hate the fuckin cavern, but the absolute genius of paul banks transcended that shithole of a venue. this dude can write one hell of a song, and he's got the pipes to belt 'em out, too. absolutely phenomenal.

6. ra ra riot, red monroe (haileys, 3/13). fell in love with ra ra riot and their cello- and violin-playing. also rocked out to the exquisite red monroe for the first time. magical, even though eric stormed off the stage early cuz of hailey's awful sound problems.

7. rufus wainwright (nokia, 8/10). rufus has been one of my favorites for years, so to have him come to dallas (finally!) was such a fantastic gift. a truly beautiful, funny, entertaining evening. hate the fucking nokia, tho - $15 parking, $6 rumandcokes. fuck. you.

8. animal collective (granada, 5/26). ok, i wasnt even gonna go, but i won tickets from bigDlittled, and goddam, am i glad i went. no, i didnt enjoy every song they played, but when they played a song i dug, it was an exhilarating experience.

9. the whigs, wild sweet orange, calhoun (club dada, 1/16). this was when i was truly turned on to the greatness of calhoun, in addition to the other two outstanding acts. great night.

10. demigs, new frontiers, dear and the headlights (haileys, 8/1). tk fell in love with the demigs, which makes it easier to get him out more often so i dont have to go out alone, so this night has to rank up there just cuz of that. got to see new frontiers again and belt out 'mirrors' at the top of my lungs, too (poor tk). loved dear and the headlights, too. gooood night.

other bands i saw and dug in 2007, in no particular order...

bosque brown
happy bullets
the felons
matthew and the arrogant sea
jd whittenburg
telegraph canyon
record hop
the campaign
sean kirkpatrick
three fantastic
the dodos
tammany hall machine
quiet company
david ramirez band
1000 miles from home
the aimless never miss
robert gomez
hardin sweaty...
burning hotels
the gunship
million year dance

there's another list that needs to be compiled, and that's the list of people who have completely transformed my life in the past year, ranging from a new group of friends at work, to music-scene insiders who have managed to make me feel at home in a world that is completely outside my comfort zone. but that's a thing for another night, after waaay more vodker...