Two incredible indie acts, two album of the year candidates, two personal favorites, two tremendous nights of music. And in between, a working “vacation” in
When a five-day span includes Mike Doughty, the New Pornographers and an escape from the desert to the Northlands, it’s hard to formulate much of an argument.
Doughty has assembled an upright bassist, a drummer who can handle the funk and even leans a bit hip-hop and a funky keyboard dude. This isn’t the subtle “small rock” of the last tour that brought him through
He stuck mainly to Haughty Melodic tunes, which was fine by me. He dipped a couple of times into Rockity Roll and Skittish tunes and played just two Soul Coughing ones – True Dreams and St. Louise, both personal favorites.
Not only was Soul Coughing one of my first concerts, it was probably the first new, hip, underground band I ever got into. The neo beat funky jazz or whatever they could be called really hit home when I was 15 and the sound has never left my soul since. Sure, I was big into Dylan and Springsteen and embraced both folk and punk, but Soul Coughing was pretty much the first band that I could listen to with knowledge that it made me intrinsically cooler than most people.
And from that first show in 1996 I haven’t turned away. Doughty’s solo re-emergence assured that. And two live shows the last two years have cemented my fandom.
Doughty is a tricky artist, and a tricky performer. Even with the band, I’m tempted to think of his solo stuff as mostly the folk-derived songs of Skittish. But he’s far beyond that and even though there’s a similar sound, solo he’s far divergent from Soul Coughing. Anyway, a hell of a Tuesday night.
Wednesday night was the drive to
The friends are few there now, but hospitable and warm. I’ll go again soon, and pay better attention next time to the whisperings and the frequencies of the place and the land.
As if to prove that diversity can have a decidedly ugly side, I left
The rural reservation farmlands of Coolidge and the high deserts from
And with hardly enough time to fire up a load of laundry I had to jet, destination Downtown and indie rock heaven. I stopped by Congress for a patio beer and alt-weekly reading before heading over to the Vaudeville-era
In my mind, the New Pornographers are honorary locals, thanks to Neko Case. This was the second time I’ve seen them at the
If only every week could bookend