Music to Your Ears
R.I.P. R&B—Hello Harlow's! Yes, Club Rhythm and Blues may be gone for good, but there's a new kid on the block and her name is Harlow. Harlow's on the Hill, that is. It's easy to spot Nob Hill's newest club on the southeast corner of Central and Carlisle, especially since the old digs are sporting a new coat of paint that would make Oscar Wilde blush. So who's responsible for this fantastic eyesore? Matt Gregory--the impossibly tall, blonde, smart-ass server who used to bring us our whiskey sours at Gecko's. Apparently, Matt can't get enough of the nightlife in Nob Hill, because he bought up the defunct bar across the street from his old employers and set out to craft his own neighborhood haunt. Harlow's is positioning itself as a laid-back indie rock bar with a mix of live and DJ'd music, a dance floor and food from the club's onsite kitchen. Amenities include a big front patio with willow trees, black slate tile floors and a gorgeous black granite and redwood bar. Word is that they'll be open for lunch and dinner, too. Call 268-0182 for hours and a menu description. Welcome to the neighborhood, you sweet young thing!
with special guest Robert Skoro
Saturday, July 30; The District (21 and older): It's unclear what sparked Ian Moore's transformation from a hack version of Stevie Ray Vaughn to an inimitable singer/songwriter with a folky, psychedelic sound. Whatever the impetus for the change, Moore's new and more mature music is a fusion of folk guitar with a country twang that's intensely inviting. His songs have an unmistakable thickness to them that stems from Moore's rich, despondent vocals and reverberating guitar. It's not music that entices you to get out and run a few laps around the park, but it doesn't make you want to lie in bed and mope either. Previous albums have seen Moore journey from funky, FX pedal-injected rock to flamenco guitar rhythms and gospelized singing. With his latest album, Luminaria, however, Moore seems to have found the right mix of spontaneity and continuity. Many have compared Moore's music to bands like Wilco. I, personally, prefer Moore's gentlemanly crooning to Jeff Tweedy's more boyish approach, but both evoke a similar tempo and tone in their songs. Former Mason Jennings' bassist Robert Skoro will open for Moore at The District on Saturday. The free show starts at 8 p.m.
with Kathleen Edwards
Friday, July 29; Kiva Auditorium (21 and older): There's a line from the first track on John Prine's new album, Fair and Square, that's a rather sound description of the man himself: "Oh the glory of true love/Is it will last your whole life through/Never will go out of fashion/Always will look good on you."
Gingerbread Patriots--I'd Fight For My Freedom To Eat Them
After making us wait over a year and a half for new songs, Albuquerque's Gingerbread Patriots (like actual patriots, but with sustenance) are offering us a hard copy of aural stimulation. The quartet, comprised of John Brophy on guitar, Jeshua Brophy on bass (he's the mastermind, according to John), Megan Mcgaughy on keyboards and Ed Burch on drums, produces a dreamy but oxymoronic sound.
Von Bondies Chomp at Bits
If The Von Bondies' drummer Don Blum doesn't like this article, I'm going to get served when he comes to town with an all-out dance fight in the streets
Detroit rock ’n' roll outfit The Von Bondies met around the turn of the century, drew inspiration from Tokyo's Guitar Wolf, a punk band formed in the late '80s who dress up as '50s greasers, formed their instantaneously successful band, recorded with Jack White and put out three records, to the critics' delight. Despite their success, Don Blum says the band is basically unknown. When I disagreed with him on this point in a phone interview last week he asked that I let him hang onto his delusions. OK, Don, you just eat your cherries and play your drums.
Tracy Bonham Blink the Brightest (Zoe Records)
Tracy Bonham, the multi-instrumentalist and indie songstress who brought us one of the most memorable chick rock anthems of the '90s—“Mother, Mother"—offers up gold with her third album, Blink the Brightest. What's that? You didn't know she made a second album? That's all right, I didn't either. It could be that three albums in 10 years aren't enough to stay on the radar. It could be that her music still sounds like it was written in 1995, too. Either way, this record is worth three times the attention it's likely to get. See you in five years, Tracy.
The Gingerbread Patriots on Fish Sticks
Where do the Gingerbread Patriots stand on the fish stick issue?
John--I guess I wasn't aware that there was an "issue" so I haven't had time to form an opinion.
Megan--They would be nothing more than mush if stood on.
Jeshua--In the kitchen usually. Then I mash them between my toes and gum them with my mouth.
What are the pros and cons of fish in stick form?
John--Pros: When it looks like a stick it's easier to eat, I guess. Cons: "Fish sticks."
Megan--Great for meals on the run.