Monday, October 17, 2005

Rock and Roll Weekend

The weekend was pretty eventless aside from excellent quality time with Ms. Carolyn.

However, there was rock to be had.


the weekend kicked off with seeing my old colleague and future family man, Joshh, play bass for The Daily Pravda at the Pill night at Great Scott's in Allston. Joshh doesn't write the songs, he found the band needing a bassist through craigslist, but i really want to see how this determined bassist performs after hanging out and working with him for almost a year at the Joslin Diabetes Center. When it comes to the office, he's always good for a chat (thus helping me stay sane in the office environment), but dogged when it comes to doing his job. a hard worker. no matter what it is. We got along instantly once we discovered we each love music and british music in particular. i made him a Morrissey card for his birthday.

back to the band: While the name and imagery seem to have been chosen without much thought (Dave, the lead man, has a Russian girlfriend, which i think was good enough for them). There was a USSR flag in the background, which wasn't in too bad taste, considering no one seemed to know more than your standard kid-from-the-80s knowledge of the USSR. No Stalin gulags in their heads. "Let's hear it for Russia" was thrown out there by Dave. head scratches for response. and some Russian words sprinkled through the set like the Russian candies at their merch table. The between song "banter" was awful. the guitarist whined about being the "guitar bitch" like 14 times and traded them with Dave. But not Joshh (and the drummer). Solid as an effing rock! groovin. they gave the rhythm section what they needed and nifty bass work.

musically, they provided some preeety good moments. Lots of Suede references. the vocals keened in the right spot enough to make you think of Suede's first album. Then off my brain went for the rest of the set getting some more brit-references, climaxing in a song that i heard Bowie, Lennon, early Blur and Oasis (yah i know) all at a time. what i'm saying is glammy britpop. which is not bad. i couldn't do it. but it was entertaining. for most of the set, the band seems to be working over some of Dave's old songs, which sound slightly more basic and lacking that brit-touch.

The Bowie came back for the last song, a cover of "Ziggy Stardust". its a great song, but at this stage in western civilization, unnecessary. Bauhaus wasn't cool enough to pull it off, and well, for the Pravda: "you just haven't earned it yet, baby".

but it was one of their first proper gigs, i think the first with a full band. so lets see.


The weekend ended with the BellRays at TT's Sunday night.

I was very interested because i (and many others) was a huge fan of singer Lisa Kekaula's job tackling Basement Jaxx's classic "Good Luck". Then i began to hear of her band, the Los Angeles BellRays. and i began to get excited. According to the BBC, here are the "facts": "The BellRays include MC5, Parliament, James Brown, Miles Davis, the Stooges, 60's R&B, and the Who among their influences". This is true.

They've been around for a while, built up a good name and have had the unfortunate record label problems which tend to stall great bands.

The important thing is Lisa Kekaula. She is soulful and fierce and works her butt off to fill the room with her voice, which as full and vital as the band behind her, who used any moment they could to jump up in the air and bring down some fast loud rock. Kekaula also used any way she could to get the sleepy Sunday night crowd going. She sang her heart out, got down in the crowd, looked people in the eye, and basically made the case in various asides and song lead-ins that if you can't dance at a rock show, then you have problems. live for today. which is true. but i'm still a shy, tired, neurotic Norteasterner.

My only complaint is that the band seems a little TOO practiced and slick while being intense and fast. It dulled the edge a bit, but perhaps i'm biased by younger musicians these days dirtying up the blues like the originators. i like the dirty. but still, you can't fight the power.


listened to:
The Fall - Fall Heads Roll

1 comment:

linzi said...

...and who was to know...?