Monday, May 24, 2010

Fan-made video slideshow to El Smasho's "May 11."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Didn't see it til this morning, but my soul brother KK wrote up his musings over the final End Times trio performance a week or so ago. He says the show "felt like a church service -- a little Robert-Mitchum-in-Night-of-the-Hunter, but mostly comforting in a 'we share your pain' way." I can handle that. Thanks, baby.

Don't know if I'd call Pillow Army "Americana," however, as their reliance on "orchestra nerd" instrumentation diminishes their potential for true traditional American folk sounds ... there's a higher brow sensibility at work there, even when you strip it all down to acoustic guitar, Tim Franklin's compositions are truly compositions, not the kind of simple three-chord melodies that identify American folk music. The songs still work stripped down to the base bones like that, though, as evidenced by Pillow Army's set with the End Times in Tacoma, where Tim took the stage alone with only cellist John Simpson as accompanist (aside from a lovely take on my song "Everything Breaks My Heart" that he worked up with Tyson, maybe the best version I've ever heard). Pillow Army worked hard and gigged hard to touch the tight bombast the full band is capable of on good nights, but I still have a soft spot in my head for Tim's early excursions, which featured him as strumming troubadour surrounded by only a string section.

Oh, and Kris, if you hadn't already noticed that band geeks have taken over indie rock, then you aren't paying close enough attention. Orchestral pop is the 2-piece guitar/drum combo of the late Aughties. Still trying to wrap my head around kids copying the Decemberists instead of Bantam Rooster, but I guess that's what the generation gap is all about ... I know a lot of jazzers had trouble digging Coltrane at first, too.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Once we secured ourselves a regular rhythm section, Jeni Lee made quick work of booking up the band's calendar ... The Great Tribulation are back at the Elbow Room in Ypsilanti this Saturday, and after that we have four (maybe five?) more shows in Detroit, Ypsi and Lansing over the next few months, including a stop at Mac's Bar, where we'll open for Wally Pleasant. Life moves sideways ...