Friday, August 31, 2007

Praise Jesus!

I've wanted a second chance to see Jesus Mullet in action ever since I saw them at a Babylon show a while back. I dig the Electric Wizard type rock they put out, and they were the many reason I headed out to this particular shindig. Once again they rocked. Even better, this time my flash didn't croak.

They started things off with some faceoff action. Unfortunately most of them weren't facing the right way for a good picture - oh well!

Jay Chapman bends a bit.

Andrew Rashotte left the toque at home this time.

Mark McGee's hair says party all the time.

Mullet action!

Jay sings!

Grimacing action!

Special guest action!

And finally, some stompin' bassist action.

Swell! Their next show, near as I can make out, is at Zaphod's Oct. 20 with Mad Parish and Tokyo Sex Whale.
  • Show reminder: Sadie Hell, score their first ever headlining show in Ottawa at Zaphod's with Mile Over Mecca. Sinequanon and The Flaps play the Avant-Garde Bar.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Back to the clubs

Ah, Valveenus! I last caught them knocking out some metallic punk noise at Club SAW back in December 2005. They haven't changed a lot since then. They were the opening act for Dr. Wily and The Robot Masters' official pulling of the plug July 19 at Mavericks.

One thing about Bluesfest - I forget how to use my flash and end up with a bunch of intriguing-but-fuzzy stuff like this (okay, more fuzzy than intriguing).

Ahem - now for an actual picture!

Drummer Darren Jones under surveillance.

Drew Collier scrunches for the microphone.

Guitarist Matt Rochon was a bit less bendy this time, but only just.

More singalong action, this time with a decent look at guitarist Cory Levesque.

And so on!

I just missed a chance to post these pics in advance of their latest show a day or so ago, but no doubt they'll be playing in the near future.
  • Show reminder: Hmm. just a couple of days after seeing one Design of Cities alumnus, another two hit the stage - this time in Rockets Fall at The Rainbow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dance academy

It's the end! Of Bluesfest 2007 posts, that is - and about time since the actual festival closed up about six weeks ago. My final act of the festival was Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. As anyone who's seen her show here in Ottawa (or elsewhere) before knows, it's always a funky evening with Ms. Jones and her stalwart backing combo.

Please welcome to the stage ... Ms. Sharon Jones! Or words to that effect from emcee and guitar-slinger Binky Griptite.

And here she is.

The ace rhythm section, Homer "Funky Foot" Steinweiss and Bosco Mann.

The horn section: David Guy, Ben Sugarman and a baritone saxophonist whom I can't find a name for.

More Bosco!

It's not a Sharon Jones show without audience participation. This guy definitely played his role to perfection. You can just make out guitarist Tommy TNT Brenneck at right. My photos of him at the last show I caught were much better.

The ladies get up next. The Black Sheep Stage is no Babylon, so Jones had to help heft a few gals up herself.

Speak up!

Shake it!

More Bosco'n'Binky.

Sharon shows off a few more moves of the funky and possibly chicken variety. In heels, yet.

Jones action!

Dynamite as usual.

She's Playing Montreal and Toronto Nov. 11 and Nov. 13 ... might there be a place for our humble city in the tour?
  • Show reminder: Neil Hamburger and Daiquiri yuk it up at Zaphod's.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Left and leaving

At last, a day off with no visiting family to squire around town. Jon McLeod of Design of Cities mentioned he'd be playing Zaphod's free showcase yesterday night, so I headed off to catch a quartet of acts, most of which I hadn't heard before.

Lost Inside have a new member - they used to get by on three guitarists, a bassist and a drummer; now they have a vocalist as well, but I'm not sure what chair shuffling has been done to accommodate him. They sound like a a lot of the metal-punk outfits doing the rounds these days.

Distant Society had the most pro sound of the bands that evening - they were very sharp, technical problems notwithstanding. There was a nice cover of Wish You Were Here.

After a couple of songs from The Semantics I found myself thinking I'd seen them before - then it hit me that I'd seen them opening for The Town Cryers. I was underwhelmed that time, and found myself unimpressed this time too. I think they need to be a bit snappier and speedier before I start to enjoy them.

Finally Jon did a solo acoustic thing; unfortunately I missed the end since I had to be back home by midnight, lest I turn into a pumpkin.

Now I'm going to see if I can stay awake long enough to try some lunar eclipse photography ...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Even Steven

Steve Forbert was the penultimate act I caught at Bluesfest 2007. He's a rootsy rocker whose records could snug up next to Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen's. There's a bit of Elvis Costello in his sound, too. He was one of the most active acts I saw - the fact that he's been gracing the stage for at least the last 30 years notwithstanding - and the one I suspect is closest to blowing a vein. He's quite good at the audience interaction side of things (he told me he liked my hat, which was nice of him - of course, it is a very stylish hat).

Steve sings!

Bassist Llorne Rall missed his calling - he should have been a character actor in Western movies. He's played bass for Robbie Fulks and a bunch of other folks.

Guitarist Steve Allen rocks the shades - at back is longtime Forbert drummer Bobby Lloyd Hicks.

Steve does his best Satchmo imitation.

Consultation action!

And so on!

Pretty entertaining, and I can see why he was once called the "new Dylan." Course, now he's the old new Dylan. I'm not sure who the new new Dylan is, or even the less new Dylan.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

String theory

I really like Gram Parsons and The Rolling Stones, so in theory I should like any band that's heavily influenced by the two, particularly if they have the talent to back it up. I do like The Deadstring Brothers quite a bit, but they incorporate the chapter and verse so well it may actually blunt some of my appreciation. They've switched a few members around since 2006, when they played Bluesfest as well.

Ringleader Kurt Maschke complimented Canada's friendly border staff. I don't think he was being sarcastic, either.

I couldn't identify Spencer Cullum last time around, but here he is again.

Masha Marjieh is definitely playing a bigger role in the band's sound.

E. Travis Harrett, looking just as he did last time.

Here are the new folks: "Willie Nix" on organ - I suspect it's actually Patrick Kenneally - and yes, this is my best photo of him and his mustard derby.

And Spencer's brother, Jeff. Not a very good snap of him either.

And now ... country rock action!

That Black Sabbath T-shirt is definitely Masha's fave.

They admitted on stage to being on a serious Willie Nelson kick of late; they covered Leon Russell's You Look Like The Devil and Uncloudy Day, both Nelson favourites, and Nelson sideman Mickey Raphael appears on their upcoming album, Silver Mountain.