Mar 302011

Thursday, March 31

Idiot Glee with the Butchers

Al’s Bar; 601 N. Limestone. 9 P.M.

Those of us actually old enough to remember when cassettes were the primary portable music medium do not look back on that time with fondness. For your ten bucks in the record shop you got crap sound and the promise that one day—maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and when you least expect it—you’d be fishing miles of magnetic tape out of some tiny crevice between your deck’s play head and eject mechanism, praying to the music gods the tape wouldn’t snap, and then snapping it yourself because you got so fed up with the damned thing.

Then you had two options: get out the cellophane and try to splice the tape back together, or just chuck the cassette in the trash and sit around and for CDs to show up. And god help you if you left a cassette in a hot car; I’ll never forget the anguish of discovering my Memorex copy of Run-D.M.C. turned to Hershey’s syrup one torrid July afternoon, a quarter-century ago.

That was the one redeeming attribute of the cassette: if you owned a dual deck it was easy to make copies of other cassettes, which vexed the record companies (if they could only have seen the future!), but even that advantage disappeared with the advent of the CD burner. So, to paraphrase Sam Jackson, yes the cassette deserved to die, and I hope it burns in hell.

But now the cool and trendy kids have “rediscovered” the cassette, and evidently they’ve even begun releasing their cool, trendy music on this godforsaken medium. I’m sure there’s some functional reason that I can’t quite grasp, like…no, can’t quite grasp it. But you people must know something.

So obviously Idiot Glee is releasing music on cassette, else the discussion above would have been pointless. And what’s on these cassettes? Strange, unearthly sounds. Abstract emotions made (a)tonal, really. Some tracks are sort of ecstatic, and others are narcotized…there is even fear sometimes, of loneliness maybe, of the void and what’s beyond it, but there’s beauty and wonder too, a joie de vivre, a reveling in a world gone mad:

A world that resurrected the audio cassette.

Friday, April 1

G-Funk All Stars

Buster’s; 899 Manchester. 9 P.M.

Now, G-Funk play the kind of music that you used to get on your cassettes. I mean, a whole generation of folks had their Prince on nothing but pristine eighth-inch polyester film. But since these days prices for Prince tickets start at $147,625.00 before surcharges, it’s a lot more economical to go see the G-Funk All Stars, who will play a range of previously cassette-only tracks for your bootie-shaking pleasure.

Michael Locke Band

The Crossroad; 286 Southland; 9 P.M.

Michael Locke is a veteran guitarist out of Dayton with a well-oiled blues machine behind him, but what I’d really like to promote is the venue itself, which has been around for more than a few months and may have escaped some readers’ attentions, given this paper’s geographic focus.

So if you don’t know it, let me tell you: The Crossroad is pretty great. First there’s the menu, which is heart-attack inducing all the way, but…man, they put bacon in their pulled-pork sandwiches. That’s worth an angioplasty or two. Add an airy-yet-warm atmosphere and solid acoustics, and you’ve got a sweet place for music. Go, if you haven’t yet.

Saturday, April 2

The Felice Brothers with The Diamond Doves

Buster’s; 899 Manchester. 9 P.M.

Prior to audio cassettes the world had vinyl and 8-track, and those mediums frequently communicated the music of Dylan, Donovan, and Simon & Garfunkel. You couldn’t duplicate unless you had reel-to-reel, and most folks didn’t, so you couldn’t make anything like a mixtape. This gave rise to K-tel collections, which, we sometimes forget, were immensely popular throughout the 1970s and into the ‘80s.

And that’s a bit like listening to The Felice Brothers; it’s as though you’re listening to a folk-leaning K-tel collection circa 1972, but instead of “Scarborough Fair” and “Jennifer Jupiter” there are all these songs that sound familiar, even though you’ve never heard them before.

This isn’t necessarily a good thing. At times, listening to their recorded work, that the band seems to be channeling a whole swath of Vietnam-era bands, moving from “in the style of…” to “in the style of…” on successive tracks. Their adeptness at it makes it tolerable, and even inviting, and they do throw in enough ironic dissonance to keep things sounding fresh-ish, but you wonder if they’re still searching for a sound of their own. Come to Buster’s and help them find what they’re looking for.

Thursday, April 7

Saint Bernadette

Natasha’s; 112 Esplanade. 9 P.M.

I make no secret of the fact that we in the NoC music department have no special connections or contacts in the local or regional scene, that we are too lazy to develop any, and that all we do when constructing this biweekly calendar is browse through venue calendars and band web sites, which is something you could well do for yourself, but are perhaps yet lazier than we are, and thus find this little exercise useful in some small way.

So when decided to select Saint Bernadette for a preview-ette, understand that we only did so because we were surfing the Natasha’s site and ran across the following passage:

“Led by femme fatale vocalist Meredith DiMenna, the quintet offers a boozy, erotically charged aural accord that meshes a disparate template of psychedelic-meets-arena rock, with a peppering of jazz, all candy-coated with sing-along choruses.”

Since we perk up mightily at phrases like “femme fatale,” we began frantically image-searching speedily discovering more about Ms. DiMenna’s musical vision, which, as it turns out, does encompass something resembling arena rock, and alternately mines the same sort of dozy, seductive bedroom pop Mazzy Star exploited so effectively a couple of decades ago. So imagine a bastard child of Hope Sandoval and Lita Ford and go feel the charge.

Friday, April 8

Jessica Lea Mayfield with Daniel Martin Moore

Cosmic Charlie’s; 388 Woodland. 9 P.M.

Look, it’s late. We chose this show because Jessica Lea Mayfield is a truly interesting musician with an uncommon take on American music, but there’s no way anything useful is gonna get written at this hour. Therefore, for our convenience, and yours, we’ve presented you with the following free-verse summary of key descriptors appearing in her official artist biography:

Mature; forthright.
Minimal, unadorned,
Guarded: dark.

And since we’ve still got some space to fill, here’s Daniel Martin Moore’s bio in haiku:

otherworldly good
fresh spiritual classic

That’s poetry, working for you.

Buck Edwards

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