Thursday, August 6, 2009

Jason Isbell review, Wailers, Soulive, Groovin' At Granite, B-52s

Had a good time at the Jason Isbell & 400 Unit / Sons of Bill show. To those of you who wouldn't take me up on my extra free ticket (thanks, Plan 9 contests!), I say get your priorities straight! "Oooh, I have to work early", "Oooh, I have to work late", "Oooh, I have too much work", "Oooh, I have to go somewhere for work." Come on people, a year from now will you remember a good rock and roll show or that you went into work an hour early so you could catch up on email?

Anyway, the show opened for me with Sons of Bill (I missed the first opener). This band is from Central VA and have a pretty good following as evidenced by the number of people singing along with them and that they are currently at #35 on the Americana Top 40 chart. (Please, would someone start an Americana station here in Richmond? It would absolutely KILL! If anyone wants to start one, I'll be happy to help.) They play alt-country and reminded me at times of The Silos and Steve Earle. Their originals featured good songwriting and some fine musicianship. They threw in some covers from Mississippi John Hurt and Alice In Chains (unexpected, but worked great). I would definitely like to check these guys out again.

Jason Isbell & 400 Unit were excellent. The new songs sounded great. When he played "Goddamn Lonely Love" for his Truckers days, they stretched it out and solidified its standing in my top songs of the decade (coming in December!). Here's their performance of that song in Cleveland in March:

Other highlights included a cover of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer", another Truckers' fave "Danko/Manuel" and the next to last song (sorry couldn't find a setlist and didn't know the name but it was an original)where the whole band jammed and really took it to another level, especially with the guitar interplay between Jason Isbell and Browan Lollar.

Onto this week's shows. Friday night at Innsbrook's Snaggletooth Pavilion, The Wailers play with Soulive opening. A pretty good double bill. I saw the Wailers a few years ago and they were fun to see, mixing the songs you'd expect them to play with some more obscure tracks. The lead singer was himself and wasn't trying to imitate Bob, which is welcomed. Soulive is a great funk band, so if you can stand the heat, the rain should be over and you can get out there and have a good time. Tix are $15, no Gold Circle (yay!), and the gates will open at 5:30 which means the show will start around 6. Here's the Wailers performing "Get Up, Stand Up" in Atlanta in January:

And here is Soulive at their 10th Anniversary Show in Brooklyn on 7/31/09 doing Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up" with Nigel Hall and John Scofield:

On Saturday, you can boogie down and help the kids at Good Shepherd Episcopal School. They'll be holding "Groovin' At Granite" at the Granite Swim Club at 6423 Glyndon Lane in Richmond. It'll start at 8:30 and go until midnight. Here's what it's all about: "Bring your swim trunks and dancing shoes for a night of fun to support Good Shepherd Episcopal School. "Groove Spot" will be providing dance music spanning from the 60's to now. Beer and food will be available. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the door or in advance by emailing . All procedes will be donated directly to GSES. This is a great cause! Please help us out."

If you are at home trying to beat the heat this weekend, watch other people sweat their asses off by watching the FREE webcast of Lollapalooza from Chicago. It'll be here,, starting Friday aftermoon, and then on Saturday & Sunday too. As usual, iClips doesn't have the schedule up yet because they are usually negotiating with bands to show them right up until the show starts. The first band comes on at 12:15 ET on Friday so check out the site then and see who they have lined up. Playing at Lollapalooza but not guaranteed to be on the webcast: Sound Tribe Sector 9, Ben Folds, Fleet Foxes, The Decemberists, Peter Bjorn & John, Of Montreal, Depeche Mode, Kings of Leon (Friday), Robert Earl Keen, Perry Farrell, Gomez, Coheed & Cambria, Arctic Monkeys, TV On the Radio, Ben Harper, Animal Collective, Tool, Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Saturday), Vampire Weekend, Neko Case, Lou Reed, Snoop Dogg, Jane's Addiction (Sunday).

Finally, on Wednesday, at Innsbrook, one of the greatest party bands of all time makes an appearance, the B-52s. Get you wig on and head on down that Richmond highway to the Love Shack in the middle of an industrial park. If you are really cool, you will wear a lobster costume. Or maybe a rock costume. "But it wasn't a rock! Was a ROCK LOBSTER!" Gates open at 6, no word on an opener. Tix are $12.50 in advance, $15 at the door, $35 for Gold Circle (boo!). Here they are in early years doing "Rock Lobster". Love Fred's cheesy mustache. He also provides more cowbell.

And finally I'll leave you with The Simpsons 10 Funniest Trips. Remember kids, don't do drugs. That'll leave more for me.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan