Posted by flotz on Monday, June 9, 2014 | Live Review

Everything you’d expect from a GBV show: cooler of beer on stage, Pollard doing high kicks, Pollard ranting between songs, guitarist & bassist chain smoking through entire show, long set, a bunch of forgettable new songs to start things off and then a bunch of anthems rendered as desired, legion of acolytes up close singing along.

Opening band was great, awesome showboating drummer, genre hopping tunes, good shit.

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Posted by flotz on Saturday, May 10, 2014 | Live Review

Had always seen the name but never seen the act, so busted up to the “North Country” in Shoreline for Crack Sabbath. Great show. Loud. Skerik shredded on the sax with some seriously tricked out effects, including a one where he could play chords. And some other pedals that compressed and freaked the fuck out of his sound. Just read his Wikipedia page, damn.

They played some great covers, including “Misirlou” (Dick Dale, Pulp Fiction), “Good Times Bad Times” (Zep of course) and the James Bond theme song. Vocalist joined them for some tracks, dude tore it up with operatic hardcore, great front man, bustin it out, super entertaining, on one tune chanting MAKIN BACON over and over. Drummer “straight outta Bremerton” with a jazz composition. Ended first set with funk jam that segued into doom metal and back again. 

Fun show. Love genre bending shit like this.

Posted by flotz on Friday, February 14, 2014 | Live Review

Great show with organ, guitar and drums, no bass. D’Vonne Lewis amazing, playing around and against the beat, adding so much texture while others soloed. The organ, played by Delvan Lamar, had the walking bass covered as well as explosive organ solos. Guitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi with this buttery tone, spidery solos and thoughtful comping.

They played a Monk tune, also Coltrane Afro Blue. Another tune called “I got it bad and that ain’t so good.”  And a Grant Green tune too, which is interesting cause on Wikipedia it sez Grant Green often played in a trio with an organ and drummer. Really loved the sound these guys got that night, in front of a small appreciate crowd on a rainy Monday night at Tulas.

Posted by flotz on Thursday, January 23, 2014 | Live Review

Was a big Enon fan back in the day, so had to go check out John Schmersal’s latest incarnation at the Croc.  Very Enon-like really, although even less of a pop hook. Lots of effects, crazy set up, including Ableton Live, vocal synthesizer, a rack of strange keyboards, pedals galore. Schmersal played bass mostly, only on guitar a little bit. Lee got some strange sounds out of his many keyboards. Drummer was tight and the sound overall was angular, crisp.  Best quote was Schmersal: “We are the only surveillance-core band in the world.”

Opening was Half Kingdom, some nice building climactic songs. They were young compared to the 40 something crew that was Crooks On Tape and the smattering of Enon/Brainiac fans that were there in attendance. Oh and everything went down in the back bar of the Croc, which worked for the number of people that were on hand.

Posted by flotz on Sunday, December 29, 2013 | Live Review

Fun show to a full house. He’s been coming to Jazz Alley since 1975. Damn. Perennial favorite indeed. Lots of great players in the current configuration of 8 guys on stage: trumpet, trombone, saxophone, percussion, drums, bass, piano and of course Pancho on the congas. The percussion all blended with a constant rhythmic undertone as different soloists got chances to shine. As did the percussionists, one dude getting in a sweet bongo solo in and then the drummer with a crazy drum solo that was fast, fiery. Closed with two covers, first “Afro Blue” made famous by Coltrane and then “Shotgun” by Junior Walker. 

Here’s a rad photo from his website with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

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