Our good friend Jeff Luke saw Monsters of Folk last night at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis and took some excellent pictures. Jeff is an excellent photographer, check out some of his MMJ photos from Minneapolis and Chicago as well as the Great Lake Swimmers and Dan Auerbach shots, dude knows what he's doing.
Cullen's Pub in Oak Lawn saw an excellent night of music by Chicago's very own John Farrell and Model Stranger. The evening kicked off around 9pm with John Farrell taking the stage first with his band. Most of the material covered was from his excellent EP, In Passing, as well as some covers. I'd say the highlight of his set, for me at least, was an excellent electric version of his EP's closer, "Longest Day, Shortest Night." The song on record is a moody, atmospheric, goose bump inducing piece driven by piano and John Farrell's pain crippled and helpless voice. Live, the song takes on a new face with more energy yet the same vibe and the same goose bumps. The song is about a lost love one (you can read about the inspiration for all of his songs on In Passing at his website) and when he sings the lyric "But autumn can’t cure summer blues, So sick of breakin bad news" I want to collapse. To close the night out John and his boys played a wonderful version of The Beatle's "Get Back" that had the entire bar on their feet going wild. John Farrell has been playing and writing music for years now and is proving himself to be a very real force. He has a magnetic personality that bleeds genuineness and breeds kindness, think The Flaming Lips Wayne Coyne without all the hair. Get on the John Farrell band wagon, I firmly believe he is going to be something special.
Check out John Farrell's debut EP, In Passing. It is streaming on his site here as well as on the sidebar of The Steam Engine. He has a Radiohead pay-what-it's-worth-to-you system setup, check it out.
(Model Stranger with John Farrell, John is sans instrument)
The next band up was Model Stranger. I saw them about a month and a half ago in Schaumberg, IL and they performed as a 5 piece. Saturday night though, the band took the stage as a 3 piece and I have to say that in Model Stranger's case, less is more. The 3 piece consists of front man Stephen Francis on vocals & guitar, Kevin James on bass & vocals and new comer Brad Elliott hittin' the skins. They have a full length EP, Shaky Coma and their more recently released EP, A Boy & His Crown. While I am only familiar with their marvelous EP the Shaky Coma material translates well live and is not "bathroom break" material, I'll be grabbing that album very soon. BUT ANYWAYS, the evenings highlights for me revolved around their EP songs "Morning Paper" and "Sound the Sirens." Their MySpace and Blog both have these songs streaming and available for purchase. While their entire EP is good (and I would say even better live) I'd start with the instantly likable "Morning Paper." Stephen Francis really lets his guitar skill shine on "Sound the Sirens," as you can see in this video from a show in Indianapolis.
His guitar playing skills really blew me away though on Saturday night. The raging solo's in their cover of the Jimi Hendrix (yes, that Jimi Hendrix) song "Manic Depression" were technical, true to the original and dead nuts on. The energy they create on stage is surprising for a 3 piece but they really got the bar pumping. The 3 of them are tight group of young musicians hungry for exposure. They have technical prowess and front man Stephen Francis appears to be progressing into a unique and passionate song writer that is inspired by more than just love and heartbreak. It's refreshing and exciting and I cannot wait to see what they do next. They will be hitting the studio over the next few months to record another full length LP, keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime head over to their MySpace or Blog to check out their material.
Hoodoo Voodoo with the dueling guitar solo's between Nels and Pat is unreal, everyone knows Nels is a god but Pat is amazing, he was shredding with Nels. The new songs played live were great, Bull Black Nova in particular. One of the sickest At Least That's... I've ever heard. Tweedy has a different SG for everyday of the year man. His latest acquisition is one of these zoot suits, fucking bad ass.
While in the crowd I ran into one of the dudes responsible for the excellent iPhone guitar app, Guitar Tool Kit and also saw Jeff Tweedy's wife and kid, Sue and Spencer walking around right next to me. Pretty cool.
The sound was okay, not as bad as I expected for a 10,000 person "arena" but it left much to be desired.
You catching them this tour?
Wilco (the song) A Shot in the Arm Bull Black Nova You Are My Face I Am Trying to Break Your Heart One Wing Misunderstood At Least That's What You Said Deeper Down Impossible Germany It's Just That Simple I'll Fight Handshake Drugs Sonny Feeling Jesus, Etc. Theologians I'm Always in Love Hate It Here Walken I'm the Man Who Loves You ------------------------------
-- You Never Know Heavy Metal Drummer Just a Kid Kingpin Monday Outtasite (Outta Mind) Hoodoo Voodoo I'm a Wheel
Sorry for being such a stranger lately. Things have been chaotic to say the least.
This is some great weekend listening. Dan and Pat rip through some excellent Attack & Release material and their Captain Beefheart cover of "I'm Glad" gives me some serious chills, like, serious chills. The interviews are nothing to skip over in this either. While the DJ can get a bit annoying, Dan and Pat are genuinely funny guys. Pat's story about surfing is pretty good and I crack up when Dan compares Pat to a John McCain supporter (what is this, cuss cuss?). Anyways, I promise more to come soon guys.
Wilco on Sunday!!!!!
Couldn't find out who took the pic, but it's sweet, thanks and if you contact me I'll give you props for sure.
01 - Intro 02 – Same Old Thing 03 – Interview 04 – Strange Times 05 – Interview 06 – I’m Glad 07 – Interview 08 – Psychotic 09 – I Got Mine 10 – Outro
Acoustic set from Mr. Yim Yames. We get MMJ classics and some great Monsters of Folk material. Who's going to see them?!? TSE will be at the Chicago show on the 30th, anyone else checking it out?
It's an audience recording, thank you Brian Porter!
01 Intro 02 Wonderful (The Way I Feel) 03 The Right Place 04 IT Beats 4 U 05 Look At You 06 Gideon 07 The Way That He Sings 08 Losin’ Yo’ Head 09 Stage Banter 10 Magic Marker 11 Bermuda Highway 12 Smokin From Shootin 13 His Master’s Voice