Skip to main content

House Show: Amo Joy, Son Drop, Christian Taylor

Hot's been a few days (four?) since I last posted. This is partly due to a wicked head-cold that's been creeping up on me for about a week and finally bit me in the ass. And of course, Friday night's misadventures didn't help delay the onset of this malady...but I did have an awesome time.

A few friends and I headed to a big ol' brick house on College Ave. in Midtown to catch a few local bands and one from Kalamazoo, Mich. The two local groups were Amo Joy and Christian Taylor (founder of Homeschool), and the one from Kalamazoo was Son Drop.

Sometimes I feel like I have a habit of gushing about concerts. But the fact is, when you're there, whooping it up, having a good time, it's really hard to come away with a lot of bad things to say about the music. Especially when you're listening to a line-up of groups that really have their sh*t together and approach the show with the same professionalism they would as a concert of 10,000 people. But seriously, without getting mushy, I saw some good music last night and became hip to some local groups--not just the ones that were there--that I'm definitely going to check out in the near future. Read some more below, and/or check out my review in NUVO this week...

There were three bands there with pretty different sounds/styles. Christian Taylor and his fellow Homeschooler Andrew Gustin played a set of stripped down electro folk that demonstrated Taylor's incredible songwriting talent and Gustin's versatility, handling the rhythm guitar, percussion, melodica, and a key-tar looking thing. Can't wait to check these guys out again at the White Rabbit on May 26th.

Son Drop played an awesome set of what they refer to as "working-man's psych rock." What it amounts to is a woozy, trippy kind of alternative rock that's not necessarily as pissed off as most alternative/grunge usually sounds, and draws a lot on Southern Rock and the Blues (but hey, what doesn't draw on the blues?). After listening to their album for most of the weekend, I'm totally hooked on these guys.

Lastly, Amo Joy took over and, whether it was because everyone was drunk, or because they had the most fans there, these guys got the house up and rocking pretty quick. After previewing their album, I expected these guys to have a sweet, Yellow Submarine, kind of sound, but in concert they brought a sound that was pure garage, while still maintaining the complexity of the album.

Not only did the show's kick ass, but the company was great too. Members of local band Sloth Pop were hanging around. Sloth Pop were originally scheduled to play at the show but cancelled due to an injury of one of their band members. Other perks of the show were $4 keg beer, grilled sausages out on the porch, and total, unfettered access to the bands, who hung out and checked out the show afterward.

If'n you ever get a chance, check out a house concert. It's an experience you won't forget. Even if you can't remember most of it...ha.


Popular posts from this blog

New Yorker Fiction Review #146: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Issue: May 9, 2016

Story: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Rating: $

Review: I feel like this is a somewhat tired technique, straight out of Creative Writing 101: write a story consisting of three or four different snapshots or snippets out of a character's life at different ages, sort of like a series of written photographs. Fun perhaps, but strikes me as a bit amateurish. However, I also think L'Heureux succeeds here by pushing it a bit further, playing with the character's tentative attempts at something close to faith -- in childish, adult, and mature adult ways -- and tying all three "Short Moments" together in a subtle and readily decipherable way.

L'Heureux's prose and his frank humor and his ability to glorify and find the meaning in the mundane events and thoughts of every day life, and thereby turn the life of an ordinary person into a drama with meaning and significance puts me in mind of John Irving. As well a…

New Yorker Fiction Review #151: "The Bog Girl" by Karen Russell

From the June 20 issue...

My loyal readers (if there are still any, which I doubt) will know I'm usually not a fan of Magical Realism, which, as you may also know, is Karen Russell's stock in trade. That said, there's nothing I love more than having my antipathy for magical realism shattered by an awesome story like "The Bog Girl."

Briefly, an Irish teenager discovers the body of a young woman who as been buried in a bog for over 2,000 years and begins to date her. What more do you need, right? If I'd read that one-line description somewhere else, and wasn't on a mission to review every New Yorker short story, I doubt I'd have read "The Bog Girl." But maybe I should start doing a George Costanza and do the opposite of everything I think I should do.

Where Russell succeeds here is in two main areas: 1.) Making us really love Cillian, the teenager who falls in love with the bog girl, and 2.) pulling the unbelievable trick making the characters…

Water Review: San Pellegrino 250ml Bottle

Damn you, tiny little bottle of San Pellegrino. So little. So cute. But what are you really good for other than to make me wish I had a full bottle of Pellegrino? 
Good as a palate cleanser after a nice double espresso, I will give it that. But little else. The suave yet chaotic burst of Pellegrino bubbliness is still there, but with each sip you feel the tragedy of being that much closer to the end of the bottle, that much faster.

This is a bottle of water made specifically for the frustrated, for the meticulous, for the measurers among us with a penchant for the dainty. This water does not love you in the wild, on a sunny porch or with the raucous laughter of friends. No...much the opposite. Whatever that may be.

Best drunk in tiny, tiny sips, while forcing oneself through an unreadable and depressing Russian novel one does not want to read but feels one should, on a cold, wet day in December that promises four months of gloom and depression...or in pairs or threes and poured over …