01.30.14 – A Night of Uncle Tupelo vs. The Jayhawks at Tractor Tavern – 5213 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98107 – w/ Star Anna, Evening Bell, & more!
Setlist: One Man’s Problem (The Jayhawks) / Haywire (The Jayhawks) / Until You Came Along (Golden Smog)
A simply fantastic way of heading into a planned two-month gig hiatus. Last year’s Unlce T tribute was a hoot, and this year’s was even better. The organizers chose to open up the repertoire a bit, including the catalog of Minneapolis’ venerable Jayhawks, and we thought it’d be fun to tackle some of Gary Louris’ poppier/more soulful material (including a song originally recorded with Golden Smog). These songs seemed to call for a little more guitar than what we typically feature, including a Mike Campbell-icious 12-string part on “Until You Came Along,” so we asked our old pal (and RJM alumnus magnificus) Patrick Porter to join us, and he graciously accepted. The near-capacity crowd ate up the ensuing shredfest, and we had an absolutely fantastic time. Thanks to Aaron Starkey and all of the organizers (and other artists) for having us…can’t wait for next year!
We met Marty a few weeks ago when he hosted our NYE show with LeRoy Bell, and he and I hit it off backstage when he asked if I was a Squeeze fan. I mentioned that we’d love to be on his podcast sometime, and a few weeks later, we were in studio, chopping it up with Marty and his co-host Michael Stusser, and generally having a great time. The fact that that live-stream video really adds a cool dimension to their show, and Dan trotted out his Wurlitzer 200a (last seen at our Triple Door show with Garland Jeffreys) to make the performance extra-special. We turned in great versions of “Bellar & Bawl” and “Skint City,” and touched on the origins of the band name and limp dorsal fins in a hilarious interview. Thanks to Marty (and Mary, Yaz, and Michael) for having us on the show…hope to be back soon!
01.11.14 – Bob’s Java Jive – 2102 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98409 – w/ Trees & Timber, Julia Massey & the Five-Finger Discount, Vigilante Santos
Setlist: Bellar & Bawl / Ron Nasty / Amy / Engineer / Pure Delight / Grow Your Own / Skint City / Listen Up / Never Found a Girl (Al Green/Eddie Floyd) / Someone Else’s Cake
This show started off as another instance of the circumstances of *getting to* the gig threatening to overshadow the gig itself…heavy construction and road closures in this part of Tacoma had essentially ‘fenced in’ the club, and only in-the-know locals knew the way around. We are neither local or in-the-know, so we spent about 20 minutes driving around within half a mile of the club, until we realized we should go ahead and drive through the “No Thru Traffic” signs.
At any rate, we made it, and Bob’s Java Jive is a divey little spot, but not without its charm. Ended up having a fun, loose, three-piece set that included an extended workout on “Engineer”. The crowd was small but enthusiastic, and our pal Spud Goodman even made an appearance. A nice way to blow off some steam after a tough week.
01.10.14 – Cypress Wine Bar @ Westin Bellevue – 600 Bellevue Way Northeast Bellevue, Washington 98004
Setlist: Poplar Bluff / Such an Easy Thing / Hook Me Up (Alex Chilton) / Hotel Chambermaid (Graham Parker) / So Long, Radiant Flower / Any Major Dude (Steely Dan) / Permit to Preach / Sweetheart Like You (Bob Dylan) / How Long (Ace) / set break / Bellar & Bawl / Ron Nasty / I Want You to Worship Me / AM / Skint City / Better to Be Broken Than Blind / Crow / Holiday Pathos / I’ve Forgotten More Lately / Kinda Kute (Joe Jackson) / set break / Engineer / Nickel & Dime / Pure Delight / Someone Else’s Cake / Never Found a Girl (Al Green/Eddie Floyd)
This night started off weird, with some transportation drama and even more confusion surrounding load-in. (Typically, we park right across the street from the venue and load directly into the club, but neither the lot nor the doors nearest the club were accessible this time. Curses!) I was exhausted from a long, tough workday, and I think the other guys were close behind me. But we managed to pull it together and deliver a very solid, if not particularly inspired (on my part, anyway) performance. The crowd was weird – much larger than what we’re accustomed to at Cypress, but strangely difficult to engage. We’d finish a song, spiritedly, and no applause, nothing. Typically, it’s the opposite there – an intimate, but friendly, listening audience. It probably had something to do with the fact that the New Orleans Saints were staying at the hotel, and a bunch of their fans/groupies were hanging in the bar, hoping for a glimpse. At any rate, playing to a full room (no matter how indifferent) looked good for us, and we managed to have a decent night, though I was walking dead by the end of it. (Stone sober, too, FWIW.) It was fun to finally get a bass player in there and give it to ‘em full-band style. Thanks, as always, to our good friend Maia for having us.