One for the Road—It's an exciting time for local crooner Tommy Gearhart. Last September, he released a collection of standards called Autumn Serenade; his way of cracking open a window in a charming but creaky old house, inviting a fresh breeze to circulate through its rooms and ruffle the pages of the American song book. And now velvet-voiced Tommy will carry the torch of, well, torch jazz on a four-city tour across the Midwest (specifically, he'll light up Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Cincinnati).
The Launchpad presents "Underground Rising 2," a beatified battle royale with Mantis Fist, Living Proof, Durt-e Sol, Habeas Corpses, SaintSinnerSuns, The Zoo and others. It's free, but only if you're over 21. Sorry, children. (LM)
Trumpeter, composer and educator Ralph Alessi doesn’t have a problem winging it.
For Nick Pena, frontman of Santa Fe's Latin rap-rock trio La Junta, school taught him a somewhat unintended lesson. "In high school," says Pena, "I was never really a good son or a good student. Looking back, I think that if it weren't for my art and music classes I wouldn't have stayed in school."
Eek-A-Mouse is still in Ketchum, Idaho, when we speak. It's hard to imagine what the 3,000 or so people who live in Ketchum think of the Mouse, a six-and-a-half foot Jamaican reggae legend. But Eek-A-Mouse loves the West. He declared himself a cowboy in the mid-’90s and has donned a cowboy hat ever since. He's been on tour for about three weeks now, though really, he says, the road has been his home for the last 30 years or so. "That's how it goes," he says. "It's my life."
What does "indie rock" even mean anymore? Minmae, kind of a rock-starless anti-band, is what I wish it meant. 835 gives you your simmering tempos under no virtuosity and that peculiar male indie rock/folk voice. But Minmae, which is mostly Sean Brooks, takes it further with delicate, wilting arrangements and surprising instruments. Brooks is not a guy who's afraid to let his pop sensibility deflate and crumple into a noisy heap, though I hear this is actually his most accessible work to date. Why is it that the guys who aren't necessarily trying to make pop are often the best at it?