Sunday, March 4, 2012

Death Polka, Guardian Alien and Mystery Ship at Darrell's 3-3-12

Imagine the Tiger Lillie's on speed. They are already on acid right? Now add a handful of amphetamine. Ando came on the stage like a tornado; stomping his feet, twitching his face, rolling his eyes, frothing at the mouth and singing like he wants you to understand something really important. This was Death Polka!


He was flashing these menacing grins like he knew something that we didn't; I kept my hand on my jacket just in case I had to make a quick exit.

 
His hands were alternately blazing and caressing. He played a classic style accordion; sometimes slowly and in a standard polka fashion, sometimes blazing fast and manic. All the time he is moving and rocking. He and his drummer are on the same plane, checking in, eyes meeting to confirm the plan; amaze the kiddies and have fun!


This was hard core punk with a slice of polka, just enough to keep you guessing. I had to put in my ear protection for these two guys...two determined guys. They were not leaving anything on the table; they were all in, it was really fun. Death Polka, the name says it all.

Greg had to play to the crazy man up front; he did a great job beating out some creative percussion. There were times when Ando was on the depressive side of his sickness and the tempo slowed to a crawl. He had to be on his toes to stay with Ando.

The Shut Up Polka was memorable, I think they were referring to me: You dropped out of English and learned to type with keys, your sense of grammar is a mockery...

They play locally, go out and see them for the music and especially for the theater. Here is a link to Ando's site: http://deathpolka.com/


Next up was Guardian Alien, banjo driven hard rock and electrica was the description. I found it was that and so much more. Here was a phenomenally original and entertaining band.


Scott the booking agent and sound-man for Darrell's gave me a run-down of tonight's fare. He said that the banjo player was unlike anything I have ever heard; electric and played through twin fender amps. To say that he was creative would not even touch the talent he has; at times I imagined him as the Jimmy Page of the electric banjo.

The most wonderful thing about these guys was the evolving themes running through their tunes. The composition and pace changed as they moved from classic banjo/hillbilly licks to more serious and menacing psychedelia. I knew that when Guy hit the yellow button at his feet, we were in for some heavy guitar right out of that incredible banjo.


Guy also sang most of the vocals, aided by his also very creative drummer. The solos he was playing were magical, I can't give a good enough description. You are going to have to see/listen for yourself, here is a link to their site: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Guardian-Alien/130315417030469?sk=wall


"Get off your butt" was the cry, "get off the couch, take a hot shower and get out"! I could not have said it better. I loved the music, the theater and the message. I am a new fan of Guardian Alien, Happy music from three talented musicians.

Doug Sowers was on drums and vocals; he was having a good time breaking out in big smiles, I love that. Providing great percussion, he was a wonderful compliment to Guy Davis' amazing banjo.


Eric Kubista was playing bass; mouthing the words to Guy's vocals he was a talented craftsman and artist.  These guys were providing some killer, unusual and very original music. I am looking forward to seeing them again.

When I had come in some two and a half hours earlier I had seen the next band sitting in the back corner behind the pool tables. Two guys looked just like Gregg Allman; long stringy hair, one had a fu-manchu style mustache, the other mutton chops. There was a bunch of hanger-oners, and they kept showing up all night long. By the time they came on stage they had a full dance floor; groupies all.


One of the best things about Darrell's and their talented crew is that they work hard at putting together a creative and entertaining bill. They have 3-4 bands every weekend night. The mix is always different; last night it was indie grunge, psychedelia, hard rock and punk. This evening it was polka on speed, electric banjo rock and next; 70's rock.

Now having said that, I do not want to limit this band to some retro-tribute band. They are so much more than that. They are a great rock band that could stand on any stage in any rock era.


Mystery Ship came complete with their own audience. Beautiful tall women dressed in wonderfully slutty clothes, young kids bopping their heads lost in the music, others mouthing the words to their favorite tunes. I had to move around the the side of the stage to see them. Their fans were right on top of them, one even had a foot on the stage; knocking heads with the bass/lead vocal. They knew their base and were giving them what they wanted.


I am sorry for the lack of photos on this band, my camera battery died about halfway through their show.

Michael, Josh, Alex and Travis put on a great show playing all original rock and roll with a 60's and 70's influence. I recognized the basis of their approach, I was there in the 60's to see Jimi, Jimmy, Ritchie and Alice. I bought in from the first lick, but they didn't just mock the classic bands, they added a unique twist.

The didn't play any covers but I heard snippets, lines, chords and chorus' that took me back. Each musician added their own special talent. The two Allman Brothers (sorry about the poor pics) shared the lead duties, both great at that. They played both classic and original licks, I loved the juxtaposition of these two accomplished musicians.


The lead vocal was also the bass guitar player, he looked like he belonged in Creedence. He was constantly moving, sometimes on the dance floor in the arms of his adoring fans. Great voice and stage presence; I see why his peeps like him so much.

Travis was keeping beat and adding original percussion to this great mix. He was fun to watch, it is probably a gas to play surrounded by loved ones...
See them here: http://www.facebook.com/mysteryship

One last thing, I saw 6 bands this weekend and the thing that stood out was the percussion. Travis was just one of 6 killer drummers I saw. There were only 2 musicians in 2 of the bands I saw, the drummer carries a heavy burden. 2 other bands had only 3 members, again the drummer has to be a technical expert plus a creative artist. I really appreciate all the effort and talent displayed in the bands this weekend. Thanks to all.

This was a double Darrell's weekend for me. If they keep keep hosting the killer music I will be there. I know I will be attending next Saturday for White Trash Whiplash, I haven't looked to see what the bill is on Friday. Thanks to the whole crew at Darrell's, Dan and Scott especially. Nobody has more fun in your place than me.

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