Music Tonight: Mississippi Indie Rock group Colour Revolt plays Covington's Mad Hatter tonight. Local Indie band Pomegranates open things up along with Empires (an MPMF.11 favorite) and Department Store Alligator also supporting. Colour Revolt's relatively brief history is a lesson in endurance despite personal/professional obstacles. After a few self-released efforts and name changes, the band set about recording a self-titled EP in 2005, but plans were sidetracked by Hurricane Katrina. They managed to record the EP eventually and it was worth the hassle; the release helped the band earn an opening slot on the road with Brand New and caught the attention of Interscope Records, which re-released the EP on its sub-imprint, Tiny Evil. The Interscope deal didn't last, but the band found themselves signed to the well-respected indie Fat Possum for its 2008 release, Plunder, Beg and Curse. Unsatisfied with Fat Possum's support, the group decided to launch its own label, New Fear, which teamed with their manager's label (the large indie Dualtone) to release The Cradle last year. Check out this clip of Colour Revolt performing the album's title track:
• Before his move to Nashville in the mid-’90s, Stacy Mitchhart was a popular staple on the Cincinnati Blues scene (remember Blues-U-Can-Use?). Since the move, though, Mitchhart has become an internationally-acclaimed artist with his consistent output of eclectic Blues and his consistently entertaining live shows. Mitchhart's career is well covered in the documentary about his life, NashVegas Blues, which has aired on the Documentary Channel. Mitchhart returns to the area tonight for a show benefiting the Soujourner Recovery Services organization, which helps people with substance abuse problems. Mitchhart performs at the Fairfield Community Arts Center tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15-$20. Check out the trailer for NashVegas Blues below.
• The War on Drugs, as U.S. (and global) policy, was/is a complete failure, but The War on Drugs, the vision of frontman Adam Granduciel, is anything but. The Philly group doesn't worry about genres or what section of iTunes their music will be placed, concocting a unique blend of Folk, Roots Rock and … ethereal Electronica? The magic of The War on Drugs is that they make it work; our own Brian Baker says TWOD "is incredibly adept at reworking ancient formulas into new equations and making fresh connections between familiar yet wildly divergent points on the musical plane." The group is currently touring behind its Secretly Canadian album Slave Ambient. Below are the videos for the album's "Baby Missiles" and "Come to the City." Check TWOD out tonight at Mayday (for free!) with guests Carter Tanton and Purling Hiss.
• Indie rockers U.S. Royalty play a free show at MOTR Pub tonight with guests Milagres, which recently released its debut album, Glowing Mouth, through esteemed label Kill Rock Stars. The album almost never happened; in fact, the Brooklyn band almost disappeared but were saved by, of all things, a rock climbing accident. The band's lead songwriter Kyle Wilson had given up on music and went on a Canadian climbing expedition for some soul-searching. He got more than he bargained for when he fell and endured back injuries serious enough to have him largely bed-ridden for a few months. During those months, Wilson was hit with a rush of inspiration and, when he recuperated, he returned to Brooklyn, reassembled Milagres and recorded what would become Glowing Mouth. Check out the delightful Indie Pop track "Here to Stay" from Mouth below.
• The Mad Frog hosts Indiana Reggae/Soul band Green Room Rockers tonight. The quintet (occasionally augmented by former Cincinnatian Chap Sowash, former trombonist for local Reggae/Ska band The Pinstripes) formed about a decade ago over shared influences, from Trojan and Studio One Reggae to Motown and Stax Soul, Toots and the Maytals and The Aggrolites to Ray Charles and James Brown. Below, check out a couple of live clips that show both sides of the band.
Momentous Happenings in Music History for November 4
On this day in 2005, U.K. rockers British Sea Power got more than they bargained for when they agreed to a jam session at a music festival with members of the pioneering Krautrock group Faust. The German group's Jean-Herve Peron reportedly wasn't happy with the way the jam went down — the story goes that Peron was so upset at the "avant garde" rhythms BSP were laying down during the session, that he ended up punching the British band's bassist in the face. While most fights between musicians seem to revolve around things like stealing girlfriends, launching fashion lines and getting stupid-wasted before a show, Krautrockers only fight over important things, like time signatures.
What the hell, you ask, is Krautrock? Check out the excellent overview below, a BBC documentary titled Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany. (It's about an hour long, but your boss won't mind — it's Friday!)
Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a date birthday include: Irish musician (The Clancy Brothers) Tommy Makem (1932); Blues/Rock singer/songwriter/guitarist/pianist (and harmonica teacher to a young John Lennon) Delbert McClinton (1940); co-leader of New Wave/Pop group Squeeze, Chris Difford (1954); the man who invented the concept of changing your name every couple of years for some cheap, easy press, Sean "P. Diddy 'Puffy' Puff Daddy Diddy" Combs (1969); and Pretenders guitarist James Honeyman-Scott (1956).
Akron, Ohio, native Chrissie Hynde moved to London in 1973
and eventually became a part of the burgeoning Punk Rock scene, playing
with a variety of bands (including early versions of The Clash and The
Damned). She started The Pretenders in 1978 and, after demo sessions
with various musicians (including Motorhead drummer Phil Taylor), she
sought out a permanent backing group, hooking up with bassist Pete Farndon and
Honeyman-Scott (drummer Martin Chambers replaced the original drummer
not long after the formation). The band was a success immediately —
their third single, "Brass in Pocket," went to No. 1 in the U.K. and
made it to No. 14 in the U.S. (it remains a Classic Rock radio staple).
Despite the success, after the group's second full-length, Farndon was fired from the band on June 14, 1982. Two days later, Honeyman-Scott was found dead; his death was blamed on heart failure brought on by cocaine use. Farndon was trying to form a new band, but he too ended up dying from drugs less than a year after Honeyman-Scott — Farndon was found dead on April 14, 1983, after passing out after taking heroin and drowning in the bathtub.
The Pretenders, of course, continued to have a lot of
success and are still going today, rolling through an army of
"replacement" players in the decades since losing half its membership so tragically. In 2005, The Pretenders were inducted into the
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Hynde and Chambers were the only members
to accept, which seemed a fitting tribute to Honeyman-Scott and Farndon.
During her "acceptance speech," Hynde thanked all the members of the
band from over the years, then said, "I know that the Pretenders have
looked like a tribute band for the last 20 years … We're paying tribute
to James Honeyman Scott and Pete Farndon, without whom we wouldn't be
here. And on the other hand, without us, they might have been here, but
that's the way it works in Rock & Roll."
Check out the following clips of the Pretenders from the TV show Fridays in 1981 (with a botched intro by the legendary Andy Kaufman, followed by an apology and proper introduction).