Free Music Friday!

CoMO will be celebrating the return of our student population and the best weather of the year with a long night of free, live music starting with The Reverend Horton Heat outside the Blue Note on 9th Street.

Then Walk the Plank Productions graces us with another free show afterwards at Mojo’s, featuring local duo, the Flood Brothers…

and Hillbilly Casino from Nashville…

and Chic Gamine.

Thank you, Walk the Plank and the Blue Note.  This will be a perfect way to end our summer.

Tumbleweed Wanderers at Mojo’s

After listening to Tumbleweed Wanderers, two things surprise me about the band: They have only been together for two years, and they are unsigned. I expect the latter to be remedied soon.

Their sound is described as a combination of soul, folk, and rock ‘n roll…but that doesn’t quite capture it.  Or maybe it does; I don’t know.  Give it a listen and decide for yourself.  It’s lovely and fun and upbeat.  They are experienced buskers, used to performing and connecting with audiences.   They would be a perfect addition to True/False.

Wednesday, August 14th at Mojo’s.

Weed Dating?

I’d be more apt to try weed dating than speed dating, and I finally have my chance.  Central Missouri’s first weed dating event is this Sunday, June 30th, at Deep Mud Farm in Callaway County.  It isn’t just for singles either; partnered folks are encouraged to attend.  Anyone who is interested in meeting like-minded people is welcome.  Register online and meet at the Root Cellar for carpooling.  See you there.

Pedaler’s Jamboree: Top Music Picks

Someone asked me which three bands, other than headliner Pokey LaFarge, are absolutely not to be missed at this year’s Pedaler’s Jamboree. Last year’s pick was Dirtfoot, which turned out to be a universal favorite. The picks this year are:

Molly Gene One Whoaman Band. She’s worth a listen based solely on that name, in my opinion. She really is a one woman band. And quite a force. Catch her at Lucy’s in McBaine starting at 10:30 AM on Saturday.

The Ben Miller Band played on the Jamboree last year and were responsible for the traffic jam at Rocheport. It was hot, broiling, but no one wanted to move on. They have an interesting collection of…items that make music. It has to be seen to be believed, and the Jamboree is the perfect event to get up close and check them out. They will be playing on the stage at Kemper, at 6 PM on Saturday.

JD Wilkes & the Dirt Daubers play two hours later at 8 PM.  This is the band guaranteed to get everyone, even exhausted cyclists, up and dancing.  GUARANTEED.

Pedaler’s Jamboree 2013

Last year was my first total Pedaler’s Jamboree experience, all 60 miles on a hot, dry weekend.  It exceeded my high expectations for fun and fabulous music.  This year the Jamboree starts in Columbia on Saturday, May 25th.  There is a long, leisurely ride out to Boonville with great stops on the way to fill up on music, food, and drink.  The highlight of that leg last year?  For me, it was Dirtfoot at New Franklin.

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The line up for the show Saturday night at the campground features Pokey LaFarge.  I caught them at Mojo’s once and could not take my eyes off the harmonica player; that man is a character.  Read the interview with Pokey here.  Other bands playing Saturday night:  JD Wilkes & the Dirt Daubers, Man in the Ring, The Ben Miller Band, and the Flood Brothers.  Burn Circus will perform at Kemper after dark.  If you haven’t seen fire spinners spin in the dark yet, you are in for a treat.  The crowd was mesmerized last year.

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Off Track Events adds more and more bands each year.  There are sixteen bands playing on Saturday and Sunday, and four more playing on the extended tour.  Extended tour?  Yep.  More than one person asked for an extra day, and their wishes were granted.  There will be more cycling on the trail, this time to Hartsburg for another night of camping and music.

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Check out this post to get all your questions answered about the Jamboree.  Some new additions this year:  tokens, yoga, a mustache competition, and showers at Kemper until 10 PM.  I am especially excited about the last one.  Ticket prices will go up on May 11th, and there will be a registration cap this year.

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On the ride last year, I took some time to make new friends and interview them in order to get some different perspectives on the weekend.  If you meet these people on this year’s ride, be sure to ask for autographs.

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Tracy and her daughter Ella travelled from Lawrence, Kansas, to join the Jamboree. Tracy is a spin instructor and has raced before. They camped in their VW bus.

Who had more fun–you or your child? I had more fun in the moment. A few days later, my daughter said it was awesome!

Did Ella have any trouble dealing with the length of the ride or the heat? Yes, the length was tough for her. She only made it eighteen of the thirty miles. I am still proud of her. She had only gone three miles before this event.

What did you think of the music? I loved the music. I really enjoyed Dirtfoot and the HipNecks.

What is one moment that stood out for you? The crew was very nice. I went to this event the very first year they had it. It has come a long way. I like all the vendors and options. However, what stands out the most: The music never stopped! I heard bands playing at 4 AM!

Aside from water and sunscreen, what was the most important item that you had with you? My family and friends.

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Jeff is from Rolla and joined his friend Vida for his very first Jamboree in 2012.  He bikes for fun and for transportation. He camped overnight at Kemper.

Was the Pedaler’s Jamboree everything you thought it would be?  It was a lot bigger than I expected.  I don’t mean big crowds, but more music opportunities and a bigger show production than I expected.

What made you decide to ride this year?  I really love live music, especially really rootsy or blues music, so I wanted to see bands like The Ben Miller Band and Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy.  Catching two performances of Dirtfoot was a real treat too.  That was the biggest reason I wanted to do the ride.

Aside from water and sunscreen, what was the most important item you had with you?  Other than a bike, I’m glad I brought some cash to buy beverages and the really great local food.

What was one moment that really stood out for you?  There was a cute little doggy that went right up on the stage when Dirtfoot started playing at Katfish Katy’s.  He hung out on stage for a good part of the show.  That and just so many bikes, whole herds of them at times.

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Bob and his dog Raven are from Republic, Missouri.  Bob bicycles for fun and discovered the Jamboree through a Meet Up group out of Springfield, Missouri.  They spent the night camping at Kemper Park.

What made you decide to take your dog?  I take my dog almost everywhere.  I didn’t want her to be left home all weekend.

How did she travel?  She travels in the cart I pull behind my mountain bike, though she would much rather run beside me.  On Sunday she ran on a leash for short distances, and we took many water breaks in the shade.  She is approximately 65 lbs and cart is 35 lbs with about 20 lbs of PowerAde/water/snacks.

What did you think of the music?  We both enjoyed the music once we finally made it there!  We found our friends and enjoyed the music front row.  Raven was pretty tired after Sunday, and it took her a couple of days to recover to her normal energetic self.

What is one moment that stood out for you?  What stood out for me was that most of the bikers wondered if everything was OK while we were walking on the trail.  We were thankful to have no flats, though I had extra tubes and tools with.  A big thanks goes to the volunteers supplying the water point at Pearson’s silo.  It was well needed for a lot of bicyclists, though we were all set.

Aside from water and sunscreen, what was the most important item that you had with you?  The most important items were my Camelbak and my cell phone (to keep track of time).

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And I give you the Numbnutz.

What is this Numbnutz group?  We are salty, sweaty, yet intoxicating.  We’re a group of fun-loving Midwesterners who enjoy music, belly laughs, and cold beer.  Oh, yeah, and cycling.  And the beer doesn’t have to be cold.

Where are you all from?  Most are from the St Louis metropolitan area, but we’ve corrupted…errrr…recruited team members from the Chicago area as well.

How would you describe your biking (serious/racer; for exercise; for transportation; for fun)?  We seriously ride from tavern to tavern for exercise and fun, in training for RAGBRAI, and always in search of the perfect blogger to kiss on the cheek.

Have you done the Jamboree before?  Yes!  This was our second year.  You can actually see a segment of our group rolling by in the opening shot of the video used to advertise this year’s Jamboree.

Is it more fun as a group?  Isn’t everything?

How would you describe the Jamboree?  A rolling mambo line of smiles, flamboyantly weaving its way to the next thirst-quenching oasis of sonic grooviness.

What did you think of the music this year?  We think “they” are doing a great job of plucking out quality bands that put out quality music.  Excellent music this year and last year.  Did you know that the Numbnutz happen to be Ha Ha Tonka’s biggest fans?  All because of the Pedaler’s Jamboree.

What would you add to the Pedaler’s Jamboree to make it better next year?  We plan on adding about another dozen Numbnutzes, if their parole officers will allow it. Ha Ha Tonka again would be sweet…but keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll be back.

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RIP: The Hairhole 2008-2013

This weekend marks the final live shows at local DIY performance and rehearsal space the Hairhole. Last month word arose that the owner of the building had sold the space and that the building was set for demolition. While I’ve heard some debate on when the building will face the wrecking ball (one source said the middle of this month), I do have something to say about it.

While there was a show previous to its widely considered opening date, the first show I remember was an afternoon show in August 2008 with Times New Viking and local band Dirtmotor (featuring a very young Jamie Davis on guitar – now of Hott Lunch). While there had been some ups and downs in terms of shows, I was introduced to a number of local bands there ranging from HC punk (Gran Mal) to 80s influenced thrash metal (Battlement) to more experimental thngs (the 48 Hur Bandathon in November 2010). Also, there were a number of touring bands I first saw there from the hardcore meets noise of Minneapolis band Serenghetto, to the poppy punk of Big Fiction. While admittedly the space wasn’t perfect, over time it did feel like home to some degree.

Which leads to this weekend shows, which can be seen as both a sad and celebratory occasion. It’s sad in that a local space to see bands that might not get a chance anywhere else in Columbia will soon be gone. However, for a DIY space to last roughly four and a half years is a pretty damn good run. Lots of similar spaces both in Columbia and elsewhere has come and gone in less time than that. The No Cast lasted about a year (2006-2007). The legendary What’s This lasted three years (1986-1989). Lots of others came and went in a flash. With this in mind, the run of the Hairhole is something to be proud of.

Eventually another space or two may open on the DIY level for bands to play and rehearse. While I have heard rumors already, I’ll err on the side of caution and believe it when I learn of a show.

So, in roughly 48 hours, the Hairhole will be history and exist only in people’s memories. A wide range of emotions will emerge in the people involved, but inevitably I think, for all the pros and cons that such a place can have, those who helped keep things going should be proud of what got accomplished in a space like that, a shoestring budget, and some desire to see something happens.

As for what’s up ahead, that’s anybody’s guess.

Grand Opening: The Studio of Morli Wilcox

The few times that I have had the opportunity to speak with an artist about her work while gazing at it, I have come away tremendously enriched. That was the case when I met with Morli Wilcox to learn about one of her paintings that I found hanging in the hallway of the catacombs.  (I snatched it up before anyone else could see it.)

A close up Big Bang Bug by Morli.

My painting is called Big Bang Bug. This is no ordinary painting, but Morli will have to explain it herself. I can’t do it justice. Another painting I found online has a similar story.

Morli recently moved to a new studio in the North Village Art Studios building and is holding a grand opening on Friday, February 1, 8 PM to 2 AM.  I am looking forward to seeing more of her work and, hopefully, getting an interview.  First Friday Love Fest will also be going on from 6 to 9 PM…two events well worth braving the cold.

COMUSIC REVIEW – Big Medicine, Mercer and Johnson @ Mojo’s

It’s January 12, 2013. Columbia is still in winter break mode – quieter in some ways but with a sense that the students will soon return and things will adjust to normal after the Holidays and the hangover of sorts that accompany them. As the second weekend of the year arrives the weather is suddenly getting colder and there’s talk of snow. There’s also several shows going on around town in spite of the sleet and snow that came in the early evening.

Burrows was supposed to play but got either snowed in or iced in after their show in KC the night before, making this an all local band show.

Mercer and Johnson navigating the bittersweet

 

Mercer and Johnson opened the night off with a mix of original songs and covers of some roots/country (real country) favorites. Beginning with just mandolin and bass, their songs of life, love, and longing had a bittersweet tinge to them. A switch to acoustic guitar a little over halfway through the set shifted the aural textures but the vibe remained. A mix of storytelling and longing permeated their set by this road tested local duo. Readers who are into more grittier roots music and country will definitely want to check this act out.

 

Eddie and Craig of Big Medicine

Big Medicine came on shortly after for their first show in over a year. Taking advantage of the vibe, they unleashed a set of roots rock full of driving beats and a vibe that’s almost equally rooted in honky-tonk country as in blues or early rock’n’roll. While the set was slightly sloppy (very understandable given the down time they had) there was a lot of energy here that got the crowd who braved the storm to make it here. Driving drums and blazing guitars were in full effect here until the end. Good to see Big Medicine playing again.

After the show, the crowd hung out, paid their tabs, and made small talk in an attempt to avoid the inevitable venture into the winter storm situation outside Mojo’s. As we ventured into the inevitable snow and what that entailed, many of us had wondered what would be ahead. In the next week students would return to town and life would slowly veer back to business as usual. For now, it was winter weather and hoping things weren’t too bad tomorrow.

Winter Farmers Market

Columbia Farmers Market will be open on Saturdays from 9 AM to 12 PM at its winter location at Parkade Center through March 30. I had a chance to visit a few weeks ago and loaded up on eggs, veggies and beef. And pumpkin seeds. It feels odd to me to go market shopping without the sun on my back and the wind in my hair, but I’m delighted to be able to get my fresh farm goods during the winter months.

 

COMUSIC REVIEW – BALD EAGLE, MEGAZILLA, JACK BUCK @ Mojo’s

Okay, so I know that 2012 is literally in it sfinal moments as I type this. Snow is falling and within 24 to 48 hours we begin the slow transition from holiday mode to business as usual (though the college winter break will make it linger on a little longer in Columbia). However, at a time when a chunk of the college kids are off with families and taking care of things elsewhere what could arguably be considered the best event of 2012 happened on December 29th when reunion fever of sorts took place at Mojo’s with the return of Bald Eagle (playing thier fourth reunion show) and Como band turned Austinites Megazilla (playing their first show since breaking up a little over four years ago).

Jack Buck

Jack Buck kicking the night off with a small explosion.

The opening slot was held by St. Louis band Jack Buck, who offered up a set of pummeling noise rock full of thick bottom end and sometimes dissonant guitars with humbucker tones that almost have to be scooped out of the speakers. The results lie somewhere between noise, punk and metal with a touch of the experimental thrown in for good measure. Some of the songs had a feel slightly similar to No Means No but the band is far from a copy of that. An interesting set that hinted at the aural carnage to come.

Megazilla

Corey of Megazilla driving home the noise.

 

After a few minutes to set up and making sure things were ready Megazilla returned to life playing the middle slot of this show. The duo took no prisoners with an intense set that merged noise rock aggression and fury with elements of almost prog like precision using just drums, the occasional sample, and an 8 string bass (tuned in fifths). Tight, heavy, harsh, and somehow melodic that band delivered some heavy music that drew on the energy of the night and made you like it. It was great to see Megazilla back (especially for those people who didn’t get to see them the first time around) and playing as if they never stopped.

 

Bald Eagle

Behold the ferocity of Bald Eagle in action.

A short time later Bald Eagle came up on stage to tear the place apart. Delivering a setof their patented post metal riff rock, the band’s dual guitar delivery blended precision and heft for a sound as heavy as it was intricate. Hard driving with an occasionl lush synth element at times, the band created an energy loop that fed off the crowd and returned the vibe with an intensity that had to be witnessed to be understood. In a truly just world Bald Eagle would be album rock mainstays (or at least regularly featured on their metal shows) but for now its the crowd on the ground who’s there to see what’s up. I don’t know if there will be more shows but that would be cool if there were.

As the last distorted power chord vibe faded into the ether and we ventured out into the cold we were drained a bit from the energy inside. However, it was time to head for parts unknown and see what was ahead. 2013 was around the corner but tonight was the good early way to send off the final moments of 2012. A great show and one that met all expectations.