Thursday, June 26, 2008

Centro-matic w/ The Glossary @ Mercy Lounge (Nashville)

As previously reported, I'm out on the road seeing the Southern and Eastern half of this large and varied nation and going to weddings.  A lot of weddings.  But it's been fun.  Went to one last Saturday in Oxford, Mississippi -- a fine and bucolic little college town which, to make a Rockist connection, both inspired Dylan's "Oxford Town" and has hosted Modest Mouse's most recent recording ventures with Dennis Herring at Sweet Tea studios -- that featured a spirited and scrappy cover band of 50-something white dudes banging out the old standards ("My Girl", "Ain't Too Proud to Beg") but also peppered it with a little Boston and a good take on "I Saw Her Standing There".  

Anyway, my loving companion and girlfriend, as a reward for biting my tongue during "Brick House" (the most tired and stupid of all wedding songs, in my opinion) and doing my best to be a good date, got us tickets to see Centro-matic in Nashville as we drove back to Kentucky from Oxford.  It had been years since I'd first seen them open for DBT in Minneapolis and I'd always wanted to get back, but sadly was missing the M's/Centro double bill at RnR hotel a week ago. Such are the sacrifices we make when we quit our jobs to drive around for a couple months.

So happy was I to see these guys that I didn't do my normal due diligence on the opening act, Murfeesboro, Tennessee's own The Glossary.  I thought they might either be like The Format or a twangified Clientele.  Instead, they opened with a ripping version of My Morning Jacket's "Evil Urges", declaring their intentions rather boldly.  Only problem is, when you OPEN with a cover of a band that writes better songs than you, it serves to illuminate the fact that your songs aren't quite as interesting.  But that probably doesn't give them enough credit -- they were quite good, a lively show with solid songs and good musicianship.  Sort of like Thin Lizzy or Marah.  I'll be tracking their progress closely -- I suggest you do the same.

Between sets I helped myself to tallboy Pabst Blue cans, one of the best early signs of a good rock club in my opinion, and settled in for Will Johnson and Company.  Though not quite the revelatory performance I recalled from Minneapolis, this one was more intimate.  They did most of my favorites ("The Mighty Midshipmen", "Flashes and Cables", but not "Janitorial on Channel Fail"), and Johnson told some funny tales from the road with a refreshing North Texas wisdom and irony.  I write that not knowing that "North Texas wisdom and irony" really means, but let's just say he addressed the crowd as "homeslices" and it was genuinely very funny.  I rarely, if ever, have any idea what he is singing about, which makes it hard since he sings a lot and uses a lot of large, un-lyric like words, but I can say that -- in concert at least -- it comes out rather pretty backed by a pop-inclined Crazy Horse thing that will probably appeal to most card-carrying Rockists.

More dispatches from the road later, but for now, check out Centro-matic's latest, Dual Hawks, a joint double LP with Johnson's other (slower) project, South San Gabriel.

1 comment:

Ticket ALternative said...

Ticket Alternative @ the R&R Hotel are giving away 2 tickets to see Centro-Matic on Wednesday 11/19/08. All you have to do is go to this link:

http://www.talive.com/tickets/2008/11/centromatic-at-rock-and-roll-hotel---win-tickets-here-dc.html

and follow the instructions.

Good luck - & enjoy the show!