Friday, February 08, 2019

New Things on the Stereo and Around Town

Playing right now: Bob Mould - Sunshine Rock

If this album is any indication, Bob's upcoming appearance in town (February 19) will blow away fans from all parts of his career. This album rocks hard. It's sequenced like a great live show, with very little break between songs. Dynamic shifts or variations in tempo are strategically inserted for best impact. Lotta heavy power chords, with no high-gloss sheen or phase on them. The vocals are mixed almost evenly with the guitars too, almost like those classic Mission of Burma records. Luckily there's a lyric sheet that comes along with the record.

Why, oh why didn't I request to have off on the 19th? That's the same night Ben Opie is playing a set of Ornette Coleman songs at Alphabet City too. Someone could play their cards right and see both shows.

And speaking of Ben Opie....

That's him on the left, sort of in the shadow, Dave Throckmorton on drums and Tony DePaolis on bass. Tony was filling in for Paul Thompson, so technically the group was not the Thoth Trio. But they kicked off a new weekly series at a brand new establishment in the Strip District called Kingfly Spirits. This series, curated by Ben, will pick up where Space Exchange left off. That was the weekly Tuesday series at the Thunderbird Cafe, up the road in Lawrenceville, which closed for remodeling a few years ago but appears to be ready to reopen in the next month or so.

Stop me if I've told you this before. But Space Exchange was a great gathering place for musicians and listeners. Sometimes the music was straightahead, right out of the book of Monk or featuring an organ trio. Sometimes it took a world music turn or went right into minimalist experimental noise. Maybe it wasn't always what you were in the mood for, but with no cover, a great bartender and a chance to catch up on what was happening in a variety of scenes....I don't know, I'd like to imagine it as being like the city's version of the Knitting Factory, a Venn diagram of musicians coming together.

So now Kingfly is doing it on Thursdays. Next week, Patrick Breiner (who has played in Battle Trance) is playing with a quartet. The following Thursday, Jeff Berman is there with his group BLINK, with Tom Wendt playing the last Thursday in February. The venue is really big and vast, with a bar toward the front and an area in the back for the band. Acoustic were good. Other than a few patrons who had no regard for the band playing mere feet from them (but who thankfully either left or moved after the second song), the audience grew as the evening progressed and they were into it. In fact, I think it was during one of Tony's bass solos, it felt like the whole building fell silent. 

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