Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Everest Open For Alberta Cross At The Troubadour

I'll admit it's been a while since I've seen Everest give a show, but they came roaring back to vibrant life in front of an adoring audience at The Troubadour on Tuesday night, July 24. They've been out on tour with Alberta Cross this summer and this was their Los Angeles stop. Picking up their latest album last week, before the show, I was bowled over to find this third album, Ownerless, every bit as exciting and dynamic as their first two releases, so I couldn't wait to hear it live.

Doing a little more homework, I also bought the latest album by Alberta Cross, Songs of Patience, and found it to be a tight record with a familiar '70s dinosaur rock wall of sound, with some pretty melodies, so I figured to stay for the headliner as well. The opening act was one of the guitarists from Alberta Cross, Aaron Lee Tasjan in a solo set. I really did enjoy his rambling, stream-of-consciousness songwriting. Like running into a talkative speed-freak at a truck stop. But his songs were both funny and acute.

I got a chance to say hi to Russell Pollard and Joel Graves as they were running around the club rounding up the band. We haven't seen each other in a while and it was great to see them again. But they took to the stage like rock stars. Everest played a set pulled from all three albums in what amounted to a greatest hits collection, liberally sprinkled with many songs from Ownerless.

"I See It In Your Eyes" from Ghost Notes and "Let Go" from On Approach were given new life with robust performances, while songs like ""Give a Little", "Far Off, Away" and "Raking Me Over The Coals" showed off some of the most impassioned vocals and aggressive instrumental performances that characterize much of Ownerless.

The band was at the top of their game and seemed to enjoy every minute they were on stage. That's infectious. And to see Russell, who has bloomed from a somewhat shy frontman to this rock and roll beast. I mean he really throws himself completely into the music and it was inspiring to both the audience and to his fellow band members. The excitement was palpable.

Working up a sweat and dancing around the stage, even scrunching down on the center stage and beating his tambourine on the floor as he listened to his band, made your realize he was relishing every minute. Surely world-wide fame can elude them for only so long. It was a performance I won't soon forget.

I was left weary and spent when Alberta Cross took to the stage at about 10:15, but they launched into some of my favorite songs on their record right away, so I stayed for a while. While the band is technically highly proficient, there's something a little glossy and surface about their music. But I did enjoy hearing their lead singer's powerful voice, the harmonies, and the wall of noise accompanying songs like "Lay Down" and "Life Without Warning" was decidedly impressive.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Feed Your Head Night at Lot 1

Well, this is a bit last minute, but this show has been a bit last minute and somewhat challenging, but finally it's ready...and not a moment too soon. It's tomorrow night.
It's such. an honor to feature Tenlons Fort every time Jack Gibson comes through town. And each time it seems the band reaches a higher plateau. Watching them get tighter and tighter with each show, this one should really raise the roof. Some of the finest singing, songwriting and playing of any band around, don't miss this chance to hear him in the homey confines of Lot 1.

Rodman was brought to the bill by Tenlon's Jillinda Palmer, and their strong suit being simple guitar picking and subtle, smooth vocal harmonies, I'll be very excited to see them on Saturday. Their song "Wolf" at Bandcamp is astonishingly pretty.

As a big fan of Castledoor ever since I saw them years ago at a show The Monolators gave at Tangier in 2006, I was thrilled to see Nate Cole join Tenlons Fort on stage at The Troubadour (at right) in June at the Judson show, where his voice gave the vocals an extra heft. Now that Nate and his wife Liska Cole have relocated back to California, I am especially proud to be presenting their first local performance as Doom & Gloom, the cheery moniker they have chosen. But the music is far from gloomy, bringing that twinkly pop sound they perfected with Castledoor into a different realm.

Downtown/Union saved the day, and jumped on board at the last minute and it's always a pleasure to host them, and they can bring any night to a rocking climax. Bo Bory and his band mates are among the hardest working bands in town and the work pays off handsomely. They also happen to be great friends.

This was going to be my Saturday night on July 7, until I learned about the big shindig at Echo Country Outpost to say a big, warm farewell to Olentangy John as he moves to New York. I'm sorry we're losing him, but anyone who doesn't want to live in New York City at some point in their life, as far as I'm concerned, is missing a vital component in their intellectual curiosity.

Back to the point, this starts at 5 and I can spend a few hours there before heading over to Lot 1. There'll be BBQ, refreshments, and music, music, music by the likes of Tommy Santee Klaws, Fort King, Leslie Stevens, RT n' the 44's, Ruthann Friedman, Evan apRoberts and too many others. I'm also looking forward to getting over to Echo Country Outpost, which seems to cast a spell over everyone who goes there.

It's going to be a good weekend.