The lovely Mrs. Ghia does a lot of research for me. She will peruse the Stranger Music Listings and she will look at all my favorites; The Tractor, Conor Byrne, The Little Red Hen, and especially Darrell's Tavern. This week I just couldn't make up my mind, I was going out, just where was the question. I am an adventurer; I don't have one style or band I am looking for...OK, if the 1Uppers or Black Crabs are playing I am there. But besides them, I am open, I just want to hear some live music. I was thinking of the punk show at the 2 Bit, or the show at Slim's (which I am sure was great: Izzy Cox, The Wild Snohomians and The Shivering Denizens) and actually I was headed to the latter when she said the magic word.
I have dogs, at the moment I am lucky enough to be able to have 4. 3 are rescues; I can't tell you how passionate I feel about rescuing these precious lives. I am privileged enough to have plucked 2 from the jaws of death, both within 24 hours of destruction. I wish I could have more...4 is my limit.
I only mention this as I am a big walker and my dogs lead the way. One day they led me to a lovely couple and their Rat Terrier (?). We were at Meadowbrook Park and he introduced himself as Justin, I am sorry I cannot remember either of his other mates. I saw him and few times; he mentioned he played music, the name of the band was odd, something to do with evolution.
Fast forward 2 years...I had been seeing the name of this band all week but it never clicked. I always check Darrell's first. It is close, great bands, beer, sound, crowd...my favorite place to see music. I read the name but it took the vocalization of Mrs Ghia: The D.Evolution.Aires, to wake me up.
What, what did you just say...she mumbled the last thing she had said. No, what was the name of the band? Oh shit, that is Justin's band. Least to say the destination was set, my buddy Mark and I headed to Darell's at 9.
Mark is a great sport, he let's me decide where we are going on Friday's. He never questions: I changed my mind 3 times Friday night, he didn't care. He and I have been buds for 20 years, he knows I have decent taste in music. He also knows that we always have fun at Darrell's.
The crowd was good and we procured our favorite spots at the far side of the bar with an awesome view of the stage. The first band was Barton Carroll, a local singer-song writer. He had some killer musicians with him; Dan from Mudhoney on drums, Justin on bass from Whalebone and Jim from Built to Spill. The were phenomenal playing originals I would assume penned by Barton. Great musicians all, I was especially impressed by Jim; incredible guitar work. That combined with Bart's beautiful voice, Justin's strong bottom and Dan's pounding percussion; I was so happy I came to Darrell's tonight.
I had seen Brett Netson the week (or two?) before at an early show and he destroyed; great guitar and driving-dirty-grungy sound. Brett and Jim are in Built to spill. Jim was of the same ilk as Brett; I can't imagine the two of them in one band. I have really missed the bus on this genre. Jim was just playing these incredibly tasty licks; not too much, just enough...appropriate and all necessary. I always loved George Harrison for his tasteful, subdued, but killer guitar work, I thought of him when I listened to Jim. I was just amazed at his addition to Bart's sound. the whole was greater that it's sum of it's parts. I bought all of the cd's Bart had to sell and drooled all over him.
Note: when an artist says he has cd's to sell; buy one. They are cheap, usually 10 bucks and every cent goes to the artist. Support your local musician!
The next band was the D.Evolution.Aires; I had seen Justin in the audience. I also recognized the drummer Tim Tom by his distinctive look; the obvious lack of hair and a soul patch. Russ was in a hoodie as he plugged his bass in the amp. When they got on stage, the front row moved back a few feet. The action was hot and heavy; the bass player was banging and plucking like a mad man. I swear I saw the soul of a stand-up bass in that boy, damn he was good and really fun to watch. Justin was wailing on the guitar and singing with strong vocals. They were very tight as they have had some practice. They have been all over the America's and are headed out again. They played Argentina last year and are going to Montreal this month.
Playing all original material, Justin writes with poignant humor, his music making comments about his views on life. As he states on their site, "Our sound is beginning to anger...", this was high energy rock with a huge side of psychedelia. Go to their site and buy their music, they need and deserve our support. Here is a link to their site: http://devolutionaires.com/
He knew a lot of folks in the crowd so he had a lot of commentary. He had a deal for the audience; buy a cd and I will buy you a beer. Scott the tech-sound man and I agreed that that was a deal we couldn't pass up. After the set I approached him and bought one; he recognized me and ended giving me two for the price of one. I have listened to it 5-6 times since I heard them last night. Thanks Justin.
I am looking forward to seeing Justin and the boys again. I hope they have a successful tour, they deserve it.
The last band was The Sterling Loons, another extremely talented set of musicians. The thing all these bands had in common were: 1) They all played great original music, B) they all had awesome lead guitars, stellar percussion, and dynamite bass and •they all rocked the house. The crowd was appreciative giving each band big applause.
The Loons were a sweet little trio, they had pop influenced rif's all presented with a powerful big sound. Eamon on lead vocals and guitar, J. Curtis on vocals and drums and John on bass and vocals had psychedelic overtones that I loved. It was a fresh sound with a classic rock aura.
Find them here: http://www.sterlingloons.com/
I was fading, I had been out the night before to see some friends at Slim's and I had plans to see Drunken Prayer at Coner Byrne Saturday night. I had to pace myself. I left at midnight after 4 great tunes, I will see them again.
My last Friday night ritual is to stop at Dick's; 1 Deluxe, 2 Cheese, 1 Chocolate. Home it goes and I wake the family up with warm food. I get the Deluxe, Mrs. Ghia gets one Cheeseburger and the kids share the other. We all suck on the shake. Guaranteed to give you good dreams.
PS: Music Recommendations; Lindi Ortega, Little Red Boots. Ole Tinder, Brave New Surf on Double Crown Records, Whitey Morgan and the 78's.