I have noticed that recently, a lot of the indie bands that I have discovered for myself – I say for myself because nobody I know listens to these bands, I hope you do because they’re rockin’ – are starting to show up on television. I first noticed this when I Am The World Trade Center had a portion of a song played on The Surreal Life. A couple of weeks ago I saw a song by one of my favorite indie bands, Papas Fritas, on a Dyntyne Ice commercial. I mention this only because a great band called Brassy is playing at the Bluebird tonight. Brassy currently has a song that is being played on a Motorola commercial. For all you in Denver with nothing to do tonight, go check it out. Muffin Spencer, younger sister of Jon Spencer (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) rocks the mic and it’s bound to be a great show. I’ll make it if I can.
This morning I got an email from a music-loving friend of mine that informed me of some sad news. Apparently, legendary bluesman and cane fife player, Otha Turner passed away last Thursday the 27th of March. His death overshadowed by that of a particular children’s television show host. Otha Turner and the Rising Star Drum and Fife Band played a style of “blues” called American drum and fife music. Its influences trace most directly to both the drum corps of the Revolutionary War and traditional African music brought to America by slaves.
I discovered Otha’s music a couple of years ago from some random zine I can no longer remember the name of. What I like most about Otha music, in addition to it’s simple but driving beats and southern man-of-the-earth feel, it was great to party to. In fact Otha threw picnic parties every summer for whomever wanted to attend. Otha and friends would roast goat, drink margaritas, and play music. The summer I first heard Otha I brought his CD to all the parties I went to. My friends with an interest in music (and most of those who didn’t) always got their interest piqued when they heard it. If you haven’t heard Othar Turner yet I recommend you do so. Try downloading (left click) some of his tunes from here, here, or here.
After work on Friday I went over to my brother’s place. From there, a group of us went out to Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom to see Fishbone. I haven’t seen Fishbone play since my college days when they came in town for Thanksgiving. It’s been maybe 5 or 6 years since I’ve seen them last. Fishbone is by no means my favorite group but their shows are traditionally a good time, and I’m usually always down for a good time. It was the same high-energy show I remembered. We all had a blast.
But I hate those fucking moshers. Admittedly, I haven’t been to a show that had a moshpit since the early 90’s. I thought that music lovers everywhere had wizened up and realized that pushing each other around in a circle is an incredibly dumb thing to do. Apparently I was mistaken. During most of the songs the crowd was paying attention to the show, dancing, respecting each other’s space, smiling at each other and generally enjoying each other’s company. In fact, the crowd at this show was really friendly and I met a handful of really interesting people. But, during a few of the harder and faster songs the knuckleheads would start their nudging, elbowing and running in circles. Jackasses. I’m getting old.
Saturday night, after nursing my hangover all afternoon, I went to my old roommate’s engagement party. It was pretty fun, but nothing too exciting. The usual crowd was there. I got to see the Rod family’s new house, it was really cute and I’m sure I’ll be spending plenty of time in their backyard this summer. Congratulations to the newly engaged couple, you’re very good together. I wish the both of you a lifetime of happiness together, you both deserve it. After a couple of hours of catching up with friends and giving my congrats, I went to go see Rainer Maria and Mates Of State at the Bluebird Theatre. I really like Rainer Maria and I own all their albums, but I went to the show to see Mates Of State. The show was great. I just love Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel’s songs, lyrics and harmonies (I own all their albums too, and a couple of 7″). It is best to see them live. It is just the two of them on stage. Knowing they are married and loving every minute of it. They constantly look at each other, sing to each other, and croon each other throughout the entire show. It is no secret that many of their songs are written about their relationship and it really comes across on stage. At one point I saw Kori mouth the words “I Love You” across the stage to Jason. Seeing them play was truly an inspiration and it absolutely made my day. Plus I have a true celebrity crush on Kori now.
You can watch a video filmed at Emos in Austin Texas here.