Here’s some indie rock, hum-alongable and a little odd:
Finally made it to Barboza for a show, cool space fer sure. Long and narrow with gorgeous bar, curtains hung on the walls, big mirror at one end and stage at the other, with freaked out, hallucinatory, Lynchean blue lights illuminating the band, who were Limes from Memphis, countryfried rocknroll, with a classic crunchy SG guitar sound, drummer with muted snare that sounded sweet, female bass player, all evoking that early nineties sound, like Grifters, Bassholes, etc., lines like “Don’t want to break your hand punching the wall” and their record was recorded by Doug Easley, speaking of Grifters, Memphis and analog street cred. Cool shit.
The Triple Door now doing singer-songwriter showcases in the Musicquarium lounge on Tuesday nights. Other than the giant pillar that sits right in front of the stage, it’s a great space for intimate singer songwriter stuff. Dig the giant aquarium. Glad to see the Triple Door supporting the singer songwriter scene, giving folks a venue to play.
On this past Tuesday, first up was Beth Whitney accompanied by a standup bass player who added texture to her tunes, a Jaco Pastorius/Joni Mitchell vibe. She had some nice tunes, a sweet voice and a spry presence. Did a Dylan cover of “Make You Feel My Love.” Always thought that was a weird line. Not sure it works.
Next was Susy Sundborg on the keys. Refreshing to hear the piano, so much more complex than folk guitar which tends to be limited to strumming major/minor triads whereas the piano lends itself to modulations, sharps/flats, inversions and generally more chordal nuance. She’s a facile piano player. Played one tune without vocals that was damned pretty. Did a cover of a Christian rock anthem from the 90s ballad style.
Last up was Kate Lynne Logan, who was joined by a guy playing bass ukulele, straight up country style. He added some nice harmony too. She’s got an alt country thing going on with a real breathy voice. Would be cool to hear them with a drummer.
You see some pics from the show by George Bentley here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gwillie/sets/72157630415665454/with/7499801120/.
Bettye Lavette mesmerizing last night, living up to her billing as “emotionally charged soul maven.” At 66, she commanded the stage with such warmth, wit and verve, not to mention a vocal delivery capable of eliciting chills and tears. She would bend notes, deliver lines with weird flourishes, and generally own every word, every syllable. Captivating to watch on stage as she danced and gesticulated, performing, aware of her presence. And, when she wanted to emote, she could just rip yr heart out.
If you aren’t familiar with her repertoire, it’s about the interpretation of classic rock, lots of British invasion tunes, others as well. She’s straight up about it, saying at one point (to the mostly white boomer crowd) “These were the songs of your youth, but they were a nemesis to me. When they started to get popular in the sixties, it was the death of black music on the radio. The Supremes barely survived.” But interestingly, this project of hers has been the resurgence of her career, leading to two grammy nominated records, which she enjoyed pointing out. She played four tunes by the fab four, starting out her set with a Beatles song, “The Word” from Rubber Soul. Also, “Blackbird” from The White Album, “Isn’t It A Pity” by George Harrison from All Things Must Pass and “It Don’t Come Easy” by Ringo Starr (which was released as a single in 1971). Another one of her great quips: all these songs were written by white boys who were high, now they’re being sung by a black woman whose drunk.
Other tunes she destroyed included “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young, “Love Reign O’er Me” by Pete Townshend, “Joy” by Lucinda Williams and “Your Time To Cry” by Joe Simon. She closed with one of her own tunes, “Got My Own Hell To Raise” exiting stage right to a standing ovation while the band still played, and then re-emerged, still singing on the remote mic, then the band exiting and she closed with a bone chilling acapella song.
Speaking of the band, they were of course amazing, so restrained, never over playing, tight as hell, always subservient to what the song needed, bringing out the compositions. Guitarist played some sweet ebow on “Isn’t It A Pity” and had many moments of glory on a Fender Strat through a Twin Reverb.
She’s playing again tonight – definitely worth seeing someone who truly is a soul diva legend.
Caught Thomas Marriott at Tula's. Exquisite set with top notch players. Marc Searles on the keys was golden. Had a killer sound with delay and sustain, provided this deep layer underneath everything. Sometimes he'd have one hand on the keyboard and one hand on the grand piano. So tasteful. That's a good word for the quartet overall. The sounds Marriott coaxes out of his trumpet and flugal horn are rich and melodic. Bassist Jeff Johnson and D’Vonne Lewis on drums never overplayed, but kept it cookin. Cool to hear some new tunes; you could sense the band was exploring them for the first time -- Marriott would play the head, take a solo, and then sit down and listen to what the band did with his composition.