@ Kung Fu Necktie 11/11/12


I can’t remember the last time I was rocked and rolled on a Sunday. Such it was tonight at Kung Fu Necktie, as one local band and 2 touring acts performed lots of good, blues and experimental rock. Granted, I never cared much for KFN as a venue, owing to the weird feng shui of the place: the challenging sloping floor to the performance area, the stage area a bit askew, the decent view you’ll get for seeing the band unless you happen to be in the front section. Not only that, I suffered an ugly stomach bug in late January after my first time seeing the place (tho I’ve pretty much recovered). Nevertheless, the sound is generally good; you can hear most of the sounds quite well even from the front entrance.
I was made aware of a 2nd floor addition to the venue, with a free show by local bands, Birds Of Maya and Watery Love. I didn’t give myself the chance to go upstairs. Next time I certainly will.

The Mlkman’s Union from Portland ME, are trio that show off unique time measures, plus a thick groove between guitar and bass. My favorite song of the set incorporated programmed loops of the lead vocalist Henry Jamison’s sound at start and end. Very workmanlike in stance, no flash and dash, no posering, just standing and churning out songs with some interesting timings, mainly from Jeff Beam’s fretless bass. It’s a sound like your new favorite coffee: strong, loud, and some unexpected flavor.

Song Dogs & The Nightjar led me to this show, appearing as a six-piece with the reintroduction of Emily Southerton on keys, sister of guitar-slinger Mike. You’ve read my take on this garage-rock band before, and tonight was no different. There were mostly new songs in the set, with somewhat longer jams and spirited attitude. Mariama O’Brien, in one of her first gigs with the band since becoming a mom, took her usual role on conga and occasional tambourine; she stood up to jam more intently on the latter 3 songs. Mike, in relatively formal attire was fairly animated in his stance, crouching and leaping in place every so often, while everyone else kept to the strong rhythm and groove, Co-lead singer Ryan McCloskey was clad in blue denim and plaid, rather symbolic of the band’s music roots. Unlike their show at The Grape Room last year, Emily’s keyboard action avoided technical issues filled in the musical gaps pretty well this time.
The band is set to go on hiatus and get into the cycle of completing and marketing the new album, which is set to drop in January.


Here’s VIDEO of Song Dogs & The Nightjar:
Chamberlin hails from Vermont, proseltyzing a sound totally their own. There are elements of blues and folk within their brand of rock. They are winding down a long cross-country tour, sharing the East Coast dates with opener Milkman’s Union. Last year they supported Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (whose own guitarist had recored Chamberlin’s debut album in 2010). It’s a rather intense sound, with 2 guitars, drums, and an old organ, (the kind with tubes in them). There are some harmonies in the songs but it’s mainly their lead singer Mark Daly’s voice and words you hear. One song was a gritty, hard blues-rock version of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al”. Another song saw their rhythm guitarist grab an extra drumstick to strike their drummer’s crash in the chorus. Sonically there’s much that they share with Song Dogs & The Nightjar, along with a confident professionalism that I don’t see too often on stage. To that I recalled Canadian acts The Trews and Matt Mays for comparison. I chatted very briefly with their tour manager/drummer afterward. Seems that Chamberlin is preparing to work on a new album for 2013.

After the show I was introduced to members of local band Tin Horses, friends of Song Dogs & The Nightjar.

More photos  at my latest Facebook gallery

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One response to “@ Kung Fu Necktie 11/11/12

  1. Pingback: Radio Crystal Blue 11/18/12 news | radiocrystalblue

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