The Body of an Irish Band

I went to see the Pogues in DC several months ago.  I was so excited for the show that I spent over 10 hours on a bus for fewer than 24 in the city for the show.  I’m not sure I’ve every been so disappointed.  At least when I paid an arm and a leg for Jerry Lee Lewis to play for only 30 minutes he had these moments that were just wild and, frankly, it was a thrill to be in the same room as one of the originators of Rock and Roll.  I had forgotten about the slurring McGowan and underwhelming performance until Matt of The Sound of Blackbirds sent along this tidbit from No Depression which reflects a similar experience.  In referring to their 1987 album If I Should Fall From Grace with God, notes that “[t]hey had never been this good before — and, alas, they would never be again.”  It’s sad to know that their declining performances don’t seem to have rebounded in twenty years.



While the first day of All Points West sounded like a muddy mess, I would’t have minded being there for Jay-Z’s cover of “No Sleep to Brooklyn” as an homage to the act he replaced as the day’s headliner.

(HT Brooklyn Vegan)

Garage Banjo

AltOhio recently interviewed Andy Bean of the Two Man Gentlemen Band.  I particularly liked this question and answer since I find the TMGB project to be quite deliberately conceived.  It speaks to the power of evolution, a strong base off of which to work, and perseverance.

AltOhio – I wanted to ask, obviously with the act you’ve put together in terms of sound and look, you’ve almost put together a method band. Obviously you weren’t just two kids in a garage with a guitar, obviously there was much more of a thought process to this.

Andy Bean – Not really. We were the two kids in a garage with a guitar, years ago that was us, and then we wanted to do it more on our terms. So, we started street performing around New York City about four years ago. We figured if we dressed up we’d make a little bit more money. Then, of course, (laughing) we got a little more into it. To answer your question, though, not too much thought in the beginning. The act really developed pretty slowly, we started out more country/rockabilly at first, and then we got into old time jazz.

You can access the full interview here.

Run Amok, Go Nuts

My good friend Adam, a.k.a. Domer has just recently put together a great video for the track “Run Amok” by DJ SmutVillian featuring Kats & Domer with illspokinn.  Check it out below and keep an eye out for the parties Kats and Domer have been throwing at the Bushwick Country Club (see  I went to an early incarnation when the events were at Huckleberry Bar and it was excellent.

Two Man Music Making Employment Strong in Weak Economy!

Matt at The Sound of Blackbirds reminds me that I have been remiss in reporting on our favorite makers of two man music, The Two Man Gentlemen Band.  Matt reports via the Gentlemen’s Blog and Email Letter:

The Two Man Gentlemen Band have just announced that they will be part of The Bob Dylan Show for three dates this summer. This Friday, they play at Fifth Third Field in Dayton, Ohio, and then on Saturday at Classic Park in Eastlake, Ohio. And then on the last day of July, Bob and the Gentlemen will be playing at the Amphitheater at the Wharf in Orange Beach, Alabama.

All of the shows feature Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp in addition to Bob Dylan and the Gents. The Gentlemen will be playing as a quartet.

I know that Andy Bean likes his minor league ballparks, so I bet that Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp are only part of the thrill. And I bet that Willie would love to guest on a slightly slowed-down version of “When Your Lips are Playing My Kazoo.” [TSOB]

I’ll be up in Vermont for the eponymously named Brewers’ Festival that weekend.  Word is that we’ll also be catching thetwo-man-gentlemen-band-albuDylan/Nelson/Mellencamp tour with the Wiyos opening.  Sadly this means that I’ll be missing the Gentlemen.  In a dastardly twist of fate The Gents will be in Vermont on the 17th, but I will be at the aforementioned Dylan/Nelson show.  The next night is the Gentlemen’s only show in New York City on July 18th at Public Assembly in Brooklyn but I will be celebrating brewers.

Jeffrey Foucault and Andy Friedman at Joe’s Pub – April 24th, 2009


Back in April Alison and I saw Jeffrey Foucault and Andy Friedman at Joe’s Pub.  The two swapped songs back and forth in front of a rather reverent audience.  My memory was that the set was heavy on Foucault’s newest album which consists entirely of John Prine Covers while Friedman was heavy on his newest album, Weary Things.  As it turns out it looks like Foucault only played one song from the album. I’ve had it on such a heavy rotation, I’m not surprised for the impression.  Shoot the Moon Right Between the Eyes is a powerful set of John Prine songs.  Below is a mostly complete set list from the night at Joe’s Pub:

  1. Road Trippin’ Daddy – AF
  2. Mesa, Arizona – JF
  3. Locked Out of the Building – AF
  4. Stripping Cane – JF
  5. I Miss Being Broken, Lowdown and Alone – AF
  6. Billy the Bum – JF
  7. Self-Potrait In White Knuckle Death Grip – AF
  8. Train to Jackson – JF
  9. ?? – AF
  10. Tall Grass in Old Virginny – JF
  11. Idaho – AF

Update:  Photos from the show below.

Michael Jackson

Some of my first media memories include the Challenger shuttle explosion and the premier of the video for Michael Jackson’s Thriller.  It probably didn’t hurt that we recorded the video on VHS–at the behest of my sister, I’m sure, who was ten at the time–and for years I kept going back to it.  And during the years following the LP’s cover is one that always stood out in my mind when I would flip through my family’s record collection.  I finally rediscovered and began to appreciate the album in college when the LP, transferred to tape, kept me company during many hours in the dark room during Intro to Photography.

Michael Jackson’s death upsets me more than I expect.  Maybe I had been holding out hope that there would be some sort of late career redemption from the slow, sad, steady decline of the last couple of decades.  I have a friend who just wanted answers about his enigmatic life.  The assumption also seems to be that he was incredibly unhappy and tortured, which I expect is right.  In the end this last part is the greatest tragedy.  Fifty shows in London or revelatory autobiography would have satisfied something in his fan base.  It is certainly possible that Jackson would have preferred this to his own happiness but unfortunately we are left with neither the comeback, the explanation, or the fulfillment.