Friday, April 20, 2012

Like A Rocket and Eternal Fair @ Tom Grainey's (4/19/12)

Unemployment doesn't really bother me too much (aside from that whole lack of income thing), but it does wreak havoc on one's procrastination.  I mean, how can you put something off when there's nothing else to do?

Such was my dilemma as I sat up at my place last night.  I asked myself, "Is there nothing to distract me from writing this review of RJ Smith's The One: The Life and Music of James Brown?"  Luckily, I checked Facebook for the 20th time in the past two hours and found my deliverance: a free show at Tom Grainey's starting at 10 pm.

Playing on the main stage of Grainey's was Like A Rocket, a Boise-based roots-rock power trio.  I like to think that James Brown wouldn't be too bothered by my setting aside a book about him to see this band.  Considering Max Klymenko's rapid-fire, funky drumming and Z.V. House's fluid, propulsive bass, it was almost like I'd never left it.  Meanwhile, Speedy Gray could've almost been Drive-By Trucker Mike Cooley's brother with his slim frame, shaggy black hair, pleasant sprechgesang croon and undulant, stinging guitar solos.  They played a combination of strong original material and fantastic covers (Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm," Wanda Jackson's "Let's Have a Party," an "I Fought the Law" that struck a nice balance between Bobby Fuller and the Clash).  I gather that Like A Rocket will be playing Thursdays at Grainey's for a while.  I may well go see them again sometime soon.

Playing downstairs in Grainey's Basement was a group at once heavier and lighter than Like A Rocket: Seattle-based power trio Eternal Fair.  While drummer Daniel Nash, bassist Chris Jones and lead singer/ guitarist Andrew Vait's tenor harmonies reminded me a little of Crosby, Stills and Nash, their roiling, muscular "neo-psychedelic" rock called to mind Seattle-born Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsies.  These guys have some serious chops, but they don't take themselves too seriously: in addition to playing a couple of pretty good Jeff Buckley covers and jamming out on what they said was a Stevie Wonder song ("Too High," I think), they busted out a cover of Toto's "Africa."

You can find more info about these two bands on Facebook and hear their music on there, Myspace or Bandcamp.  Oh, and I will finish my post on RJ Smith's book soon.  I promise.

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