Last Thursday night's Mountainside YMCA local band showcase was a smashing success. The second event of the “Band-It” showcase series featured Camden, the Ryan McGarvey Band, Someday, Gingerbread Patriots and Unit 7 Drain. All of the above gave spirited performances, but the surprise of the evening, at least as far I as was concerned, was 17-year-old blues guitar prodigy, Ryan McGarvey. With a little more vocal seasoning, just a tad more experience and a few additional original tunes, this kid's gonna be as jaw-dropping a performer as Alex Maryol. The YMCA's “Band-It” series will resume in the spring. ... El Paso's Cantina Flys will appear at Pucinni's Golden West Saloon on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 9 p.m., after appearing on KUNM's “Ear to the Ground” program at 7 p.m. ... and right next door at the Launchpad, you can catch the Punx Unite Tour, featuring The Casualties, Lower Class Brats, Frontline Attack and The Visects. Children of all ages are welcome at this one, but details regarding just what the “punx” are uniting for or against are hazy as of press time. ... Acclaimed axman Greg Osby is slated to appear on Monday, Oct. 4, at the Outpost Performance Space at 7:30 p.m. If Joe Anderson bought bigger ads, I'd have more space to tell you all about this show, but you'll have to settle for calling 268-0044 for more information.
Friday, Oct. 15; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 8 p.m.): G. Love (a.k.a. Garrett Dutton) got his sauce back; that is, in reviving his career, he had the foresight to re-enlist the formidable contributions of original Special Sauce ingredients James “Jimi Jazz” Prescott on upright bass and Jeffrey “The Houseman” Clemens on very sparse drum kit. The resulting album, The Hustle, soon to be released on San Francisco's Brushfire Records, is a return to the urban hip hop-meets-ragged Delta blues sound that proved to be one of the freshest things to happen musically or otherwise in the mid-'90s. (There are, after all, very few among us who can honestly claim to not have sung out loud the chorus of “Baby's Got Sauce” out of pure delight for the song.)
To say that Samite's journey thus far has been difficult would be to understate the enormity of loss and struggle that has marked the Ugandan musician's life throughout. Extraordinarily, though, Samite has distilled the whole of his experience—the good and the bad—into lyrics and melodies that seem to have very definite healing powers. Not in that slightly creepy standard “new age” way, rather in a visceral, primal, beating-to-the-rhythm-of-your-own-heart way.
Forgive me for weighing in rather late on this one, but I honestly thought it would grow on me. It didn't. As one of the last vestiges of the infamous (and quite infamously overrated save for Neutral Milk Hotel) Elephant 6 collective, Elf Power's seventh record is about as average as they come. If the whole Elephant 6 phenomenon isn't completely out of gas at this point, then Elf Power have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's running on fumes at best. Walking ... isn't a bad record, but it's lackluster and boring to say the least.