A jazz musician’s most important asset lies on either side of his or her head. As trumpeter Bobby Shew said a couple of weeks ago at a concert at The Cooperage, “You can’t play this music if you don’t listen.”
Alt.country and Western is one of the most honest genres to emerge from America within the past couple of decades. As popular country music continues to dissolve into the shimmering, surface froth of “just pop,” the alternative remains immersed in vast landscapes, organic production and sincere articulations. The listener gets a traditional kind of music rounded out with a modern vibe.
Citizens of Earth: The spaceship known as Leeches of Lore flies into Burt’s Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW) this week, pounding high hats and Mai Tais while shredding the clothing right off your body. The Spittin’ Cobras (which contains members of ’80s psycho-sexual punkers The Dwarves and German industrial band KMFDM) joins the intergalactic mission along with Black Guys. The rock invasion, which shall only be beheld by those over 21 years of age, can be sighted free of charge Downtown near the tenth hour on Tuesday, Dec. 8. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
Muni Kulasinghe’s howling vocals, his violin skittering across the music like beads of water on a hot skillet. John Sandlin’s ax felling bar after bar of music with ferocious dexterity. Jared Putnam’s slaphappy bass and slyly sweet vocals. Drummer Fernando Garavito’s irresistibly low-down grooves. It’s all here on six covers the group has perfected over the last few years on the bandstand. The many high points include the churchy baroque intro to “House of the Rising Sun,” which then descends into fevered desperation, Sandlin’s solo on “Belleville Rendez-Vous” drunkenly dancing across a fence top, and the deliriously locked-in groove between Putnam and Garavito on “Minnie the Moocher.” “Frère Jacques,” “Straight Up” and “La Mer” round out the collection, each with its own ear-opening moments of inspired lunacy. While paying close attention to every tiny detail—the dabs of echo on “Jacques,” the perfectly timed cat’s yowl on “Belleville”—Le Chat plays with a demonic abandon that makes you suspect they’re having even more fun that we are. (MM) CD release on Saturday, Dec. 5 at El Rey Theater!
Mildred McGillicutty (nom de screen of a local blogger) is a keeper of books, collector of velvet matador paintings and murderer of goldfish. She is also a closeted lover of Joni Mitchell, and she was very relieved that none of the sweet, soprano songwriter’s ’60s swill tainted her randomly shuffled playlist found below.