Saturday, April 14, 2012

I Can Lick any Son of a Bitch in the House, Arliss Nancy and The Riffbrokers at Slims Last Chance 4-13-12

I Can Lick any Son of a Bitch in the House.

I'll bet I said it 10 times on Friday. My work peeps know I go out to see live music. They always ask where I am going, I can lick any son of a bitch in the house was my reply. I loved saying it, it always got a great response. I was like Bart in the Simpsons when asked by Homer what he learned in Sunday school. He said "Hell". BART! yelled Homer, "but that's what we learned about, Hell, hell, hell..."

I Can Lick any Son of a Bitch in the House. I love the sound.

And they lived up to expectations; by the end of their set I was battered and bruised, more of that later.

As I perused the offerings for Friday night this show stood out. There were a lot of good bands but based on past experience I chose Slims Last Chance for the destination du jour. They have good food, good bar, great atmosphere, intimate band experience and Jim. If Jim is at the controls all is well. The musicians are happy, the crowd can hear every subtle sound, and it will never be too loud. I saw Dave of ICLASOBITH blowing him kisses during their set. He is a pro. I always tell Jim how much I appreciate his work.

First up was The Riffbrokers, a local Seattle band with roots in Boise. 4 talented musicians; they played a mix of genres. I heard twang, punk, pop with a hint of the Crawdaddy's. Heather on bass and singing back-up vocals along with her hubby Nick on lead and lead vocals made beautiful music. Nick has a great voice and the combo reminded me of many wonderful duos. At one point I looked up through my fuzzy eyes and saw Exene Cervenka of X, her harmony reminding me of same.

The married couple along with Chris on the guitar and Dan on drums make up this long lived band. They had all the earmarks of longevity, great tight sound, killer guitar solos, rocking rhythm that got us up and dancing. A marvelous quartet that knew how to please and did just that.

The two guys on guitar traded lead; Chris taking most of the first part of the show and Nick assuming control at the end. Both were accomplished musicians. Chris was laying down some very tasty licks on tunes that had Beatles influences. There was some folk mixed in there too.

When it came right down to it this was just great rock and roll. They were all talented artist and played with great passion and technical skill.

I am not sure what I was expecting to see tonight but The Riffbrokers surpassed my expectations. I loved this band and will look for them again. I was disappointed that I didn't see any CD's for sale. They mentioned they have music; I would like to support them as best I can.

See them here:

 Arliss Nancy was up next. I had seen their rig out front; they were obviously on the road. A small utility trailer was being pulled by a customized van. This was their world, that and all the stages, hotels, restaurants and pavement between here and Fort Collins Colorado. It must be a hell of an experience living out of a car. I am sure glad they came by Seattle.

Cory on guitar and vocals, Dominic on drums, Chris on keyboards and vocals, Kyle on bass and vocals, and Jason on guitar and vocals make up this killer band. From the first lick they had me. I was standing next to the sound board and I turned to Jim to see if he was enjoying it as much as I was. He smiled and opened his eyes as if to say, wow.

Right off the bat the drummer broke the foot pedal for his bass. The musicians in the other bands put down their tall PBR's and sprang into action. A new pedal was located and they were back in action. It was fun to watch most all of the other band members scrambling to help one of their own. The brotherhood of live small club musicians. This is one reason I love to do this so much. The community is marvelous.

 This band had a very distinctive sound, the keyboard added a lot to the sound. They had many influences. Tom Petty was the obvious first hit; the keyboards again (and the way they were played) were reminiscent of the Heartbreakers. But that was just the first blush, this band was another great rock band with a captivating stage presence. Kyle was so delirious with passion his hat was flying off his head with every song. He finally left it sit.

Cory had a great delivery, sometimes crooning, sometimes growling. He hunched over the mic and sang lead vocals on their very original tunes. He was aided in the vocals by all four of his front-line mates. Kyle sang lead on a couple tunes. The interaction and harmonies were special. My buddy Mark and I agreed they couldn't be pegged and just decided this was killer rock.

I moved up close and got a front row seat to the fun. They were tight and well schooled with their tools. Jason on the lead guitar was killing the solos, he also sang back-up vocals adding great depth to this already rich sound.

 One of my fellow Sbux partners (Kevin) showed up for a couple pints after the Mariners game. He asked me why I came and I told him I see a lot of live music and I had made the decision to come here tonight. I was beaming to Kevin in between tunes..."we chose well".

I absolutely loved these guys. You can see them here. Purchase one of their CD's, they could use the support.

Speaking of which, my regulars know I purchase a lot of music and especially if I can buy straight from the artist. Last night I made my way to the merch table and encountered one of the guys from ICLASOFABITH. He was quite pleased as I purchased all the CD's that were offered. 2 from Arliss Nancy and 4 from them. 2 of the discs I got were out of print and were the last copy's available.

I made my way back to the my seat with my booty and gloated to all of my neighbors on my score. One young gent was all smiles and mentioned that he might have had a part in some of that music. I inquired further about his status and he pulled out 4 of the CD's beaming that he had played on all of them. He picked one out saying how great it was; a drunken session that lead to some dynamite music. We got along famously and Dave was gracious and proud of his band. He thanked me profusely for supporting them.

Funny tho, as it turned out I purchased a display copy of Arliss Nancy's Simple Machines, their new CD. I got home and it felt mighty light, no CD. I am not bummed about losing the dime, they deserve my support. I am bummed I don't have the music. I will have to get the CD online.

 I Can Lick any Son of a Bitch in the House came on like a tsunami. They had been standing around with their fans drinking since 9 and they were ready. I had mentioned to Mark that it might be just the band and us as the place was absolutely empty during the break. But that didn't last long.

This band came with their own crowd of loyal fans. As soon as they hit the stage they were surrounded by love. It was actually kind of funny. There was nobody in the house 2 minutes ago, now if you wanted to see the band you had to move right up close. That is not a problem for me, I love to watch close enough to really experience the band. I tried to blend in with their fans, but it was hard to keep up with them. There were old fat guys grooving, young skinny boys banging heads, older women shaking with the palsy, all absolutely lost in the music.

I tried to get a decent shot of the fans, but they were a blur.

I turned around to see what was going on behind me. That is when I noticed that every lip in the house (except for me and Mark) was voicing the words to every tune. These guys had been around for a while and they had a rabid following covering the whole spectrum of humanity.

And there was a reason why; these guys rocked. My new friend Dave was playing the killer harp. He could make that thing sound like a banshee wail, manipulating the sound with his pedal. He was having a gas. He waved to me from the stage and then went on to melt his harp.

By the second tune Mike looked like Sasquatch. His long hair was matted on his face with sweat, he was hunched over his guitar belting out the vocals. Killer original rocking, moving, music. If you were not up and dancing you were dead. I loved Mike and his passion for his art.

He had me convinced of the sincerity of his words. They started with American Fuck Machine and it went downhill from there. This was a absolute wall of sound. Jim had them dialed in and the place was shakin'.

Handsome Jon was blazing his guitar; singing vocals, his eyes closed adding to the rich sound of this over the top band. He and Mole were trading lead licks, they were one in the madness that is I Can Lick any Son of Bitch in the House.

Flapjack Texas is in the back trying to kill his drum set. He was glowing red as he beat the crap out of the skins. I moved in close to witness; I think he was elevating the whole set with his exuberance.

This was a freaking natural disaster tamed down for public viewing. They beat the shit out of everybody in the short 45 minutes they were on stage. Just when I thought I could escape without any damage, they threw a sucker punch. Scream was screamed by Mike and the boys with an intensity I don't get to see very often. Yikes!

See them here:

I was impressed. I will be looking for them in the future. I also have 4 CD's so I will continue to be bludgeoned with their brand of belligerence for some time to come. Thanks to I Can Lick any Son of a Bitch in the House for coming up from Portland and kicking our asses. (Ha, I got to say it again).

If you haven't heard Petunia and the Vipers you must. I am just getting deep into their new CD and it a a phenomenal example of Western Swing. Incredible vocal range, kazoo and yodeling; Petunia has it all. Please take my word for it, these guys are incredibly original and fresh. See them here:

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