Archive | October, 2011

Sad-Eyed Ladies

13 Oct

Before I get into telling you all about the two Keith Mina Caputo & the Sad-Eyed Ladies shows I got to see this fall, I will comment on the ongoing discussion on “Keith goes Mina”. This is the only time I will write anything about it, so listen up.

Keith Mina Caputo & the Sad-Eyed Ladies @ Nachtleben FrankfurtFrankly, I am pretty furious. Especially when reading things such as the comments by some Pete person that followed the tagging of Life of Agony members in a flyer (posted by the band Confusion on Facebook). Don’t get me wrong, this is just one example and not the most important one, either. But it does stand for the many reasons we have to be disappointed in our fellow human beings. In a musical context, I don’t understand who gave any of us “fans” the right to judge personal decisions made by any members of bands. First of all – even if you grew up listening to a band and have seen them on stage a million times – chances are you DO NOT know these people. You do not know their minds, their life, not anything really. Secondly, you are supposed to be there for the music. That’s it. Just the music. Thirdly, how backwards must you be if you can’t accept someone else’s personal choices – especially if they do not have any effect on what you get out of the art they are creating? I am sure that a big decision like the one Mina made isn’t easily come by and takes a lot more courage than writing derogatory articles, comments and such. So: if the music is what you came for, stick to the damn subject. Respect these people as artists. And don’t forget: if they don’t affect you, other people’s lifestyles are really none of your business. I can promise you that the two shows I saw still had all the edginess, character, voice and spirit they’ve always had. So get a life of your own to comment on or something, you opinionated, macho fools.

Rant’s over. Now for the actual info on the Cologne and Frankfurt shows. The awesome thing about this tour: Cologne was almost the first show and Frankfurt was almost the last. I can’t say which I preferred but can tell you that they were not the same at all.

The show in Cologne’s Underground took place on September 9. For some odd reason, most of the Keith Mina Caputo shows seem to happen in September and October. Good for one of my favorite allies. Since my birthday is on September 11, she always has the perfect gift lined up. (Though she would really be at a loss if my birthday came round half as much as Jochem’s seems to…) Anyway, as is almost tradition by now, we went on the birthday gig tour. And this year, I got a set that was lined with the most beautiful sense of melancholy. I saw a band that seemed to have found a whole new equilibrium in the joy of playing together. Plus, “My mind is dangerous” was on the set list. I love that song. And not just because it’s an old LOA track. Also on the set list was some new stuff, “Alaska” and “Identity”. While the former sent my mind to…well, my time in Alaska this summer, “Identity” – although it’s velvet to the ears – reminded of the predicament we are in when we set out to find ourselves and what we find is not what we expected. All in all, poetic and powerful – just like the rest of the set, including an impressive jam by the Sad-Eyed Ladies and Ryan Oldcastle’s acoustic performance of “Blessed March”.

Easy to see why I went twice, isn’t it? Though the setlist was roughly the same in Frankfurt on October 11, it was a completely different show. The mood, though as intimate as ever, had facets to it that I have not encountered at a Keith Mina Caputo gig to date. Dark, intense and brooding – meet cheeky, boisterous and a sense of arrival. I am surprised how well you all work together. And thanks for having me over for some tunes.

More photos from the show here
More info on Keith Mina Caputo: keithminacaputo.com
More info on Cologne Underground: underground-cologne.de
More info on Frankfurt Nachtleben: batschkapp.de

Rock Stampede

6 Oct

 

Fate is a funny thing. At times, it can take one opportunity away and present you with another. And that, I suppose, is what happened when I went to see Godsized at the Logo in Hamburg. All prepared to take photos and do an interview, I arrived only to find that Godsized had had an unfortunate mishap on the way there. Burst tire, leaking gas pipe. And all that on a Sunday. Chances were, they weren’t going to make it to the venue on time. However, there were two other bands on the bill that night. I hadn’t really done my research but still decided to stay and watch the second act of the night, a band called Muffalo.

Muffalo @ Café Central WeinheimIn hindsight, of the three things that crossed my mind, two are hilarious. Next to totally falling for the “real rock sound” of Muffalo as a whole, I found myself thinking that a) the drummer seemed to really know what he was doing and b) the bassist seemed familiar somehow.

Why is that funny? Well. First off, I later wikipedia’d that the drummer is actually Gene Trautmann, former member of Queens of the Stone Age/Eagles of Death Metal. So I guess it’s safe to say he didn’t need my judgment on his talent. But good call on my (non-instrument-playing) part, huh? Secondly, as I was sitting on the train back from Hamburg, I flipped through “Everybody loves our town” – an oral history of the Seattle scene I was reading – and there was Dean Gunderson, bassist of Muffalo (and of Cat Butt/Jack o’Fire, as it turns out), staring back at me from one of the photo plates that I had looked at one the way there. Mystery solved.

Anyway, back to the falling for the real rock sound bit. After seeing Muffalo in Hamburg, I also went to the Weinheim show at Café Central where they were supported by Swiss rockers Navel. In the meantime, I had gotten my hands on “Love Songs and Battle Hymns”, Muffalo’s brand-new album. Now, I keep repeating myself but I am really not big on labels. So, when you get your copy of the album, feel free to tell me whether it’s garage, desert, southern, stoner or whichever other genre you can dig up by then. I will just tell you that the album rocks. As did their set. From honest rock tracks like “Stitches” to contagious tunes like “Purpose of Aging”, Muffalo showed what almost a decade of work mixed with fine rock heritage can accomplish. While former Mondo Generator member and Muffalo frontman Derek Myers’ voice and lyrics laced the beautifully down-to-earth songs with the necessary emotive quality, Dean Gunderson, Gene Trautmann and Darren Musatto (the tour guitarist and newest member of the Muffalo family) rewarded the audience at Café Central with soothingly real rock music. Too bad you weren’t there. Better luck next time, I guess.

More Muffalo photos

Extra reading before the next tour:
find more on Muffalo on muffalo.net
keep tabs on the Logo schedule on logohamburg.de
keep tabs on the Café Central schedule on cafecentral.de

Beer or wine?

4 Oct

“The guests seem more than pleased.
How is the wine?
We shall be underway
on the bye and bye.”

Clutch, Big News I

Although Clutch do enquire how I like the wine, they seem to have left the pressing of the grapes to another rock icon for now. Instead, they teamed up with New Belgium Brewing. The collaboration brew: a 80% stout, 20% dark sour wood beer that is said to be “riotous”.

Maynard James Keenan has, on the other hand, baby-stepped his Caduceus Cellars endeavor foward. For those of you that did not watch the documentary “Blood into Wine” (a must for any Maynard fan): Rumor has it that Tool’s frontman has turned some unbelievably unappealing territory into fertile soil for some exceptional wines.

So obviosuly the question is: beer or wine? I have a bottle of Caduceus at home which I yet have to try. Although getting a six-pack of Clutch to Europe also poses an interesting challenge. Well, I guess it’ll be wine for now and beer when it can be organized. Full report on that to follow. In the meantime: “cheers” if you live anywhere near these “sources”.

Clutch @ New Belgium Brewing: www.newbelgium.com/beer/detail.aspx?id=2776aec8-790e-4f38-a53e-8a42d914ab81
Caduceus Cellars: www.caduceus.org/