Aplscruf's Music Blog

Diary of a Married Groupie

Latest Happenings…

Lots of great music happening all over the world right now and an the near future! Here are just a few picks…

Will Kimbrough and Brigitte DeMeyer’s tour moves across The Pond. Paul Kerr of Blabber ‘n’ Smoke added his two cents to the stack of glowing reviews on this duo: https://paulkerr.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/brigitte-demeyer-will-kimbrough-mockingbird-soul/ See Tour Dates for a show near you.

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Japandroids

Japandroids, a Vancouver-based punk band, invaded the West Coast, including a stop in Seattle this past weekend. They’ll head to Europe mid-April with a gig at Melkweg in Amsterdam before continuing the tour in UK into the first week of May. They return to Europe in June to play a few more gigs including Spain and Italy.

Oliver Gray , Americana music promoter (I hereby dub him Americana’s Duke of Winchester), is visiting SXSW.  I’m looking forward to his take on the scene. Here is last year’s post: http://olivergray.com/south-by-south-west-festival-2016/

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Jesse Dayton is heading West after SXSW to Seattle’s Tractor Tavern. The man is a beast on guitar and puts on an incredible, entertaining show. Jesse has a new album out called The Revealer. Here’s my review of his show with John Doe a few years ago: http://nodepression.com/live-review/john-doe-reigns-triple-door-seattle-wa. Dayton was featured in No Depression in October: http://nodepression.com/article/unsung-heroes-americana-music-jesse-dayton-real-country-music

John Doe will also tour this summer with a few stops up north.

Jeremy Nail was also featured in ND this month: http://nodepression.com/article/jeremy-nail%E2%80%99s-new-album-climbs-above-health-struggles

Jenny Whiteley, Canadian folk artist, was recently nominated for a  JUNO award, Canada’s version of The Grammys for her latest album, The Original Jenny Whiteley. Awards ceremony is in April.

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Dean Owens, a man from Leith–a Celtic Americana  artist via Nashville–has a new album, a movie in the works, and a new single called “Julie’s Moon” on iTunes with a chance to donate through Marie Curie.Check  Dean’s Facebook Page for more info and make a purchase to support this favorite Americana artist.

Kilkenny Roots Festival  happens 28 April – 1 May in Kilkenny, Ireland. Always a quality lineup, many artists from America. Western Centuries, a top-notch country band from Seattle, will attend this year.

Massy Ferguson’s April show at The Triple Door in Seattle will be a sell-out event. The annual show is a must-see for Ferguson fans. We just saw them play a lively set in a suburban venue called Capps Club, just blocks from home. It’s nice to finally have some quality  music venues outside of the city limits.

Speaking of suburban venues, McMenamins offers a variety of music throughout its Oregon and Washington properties. We are lucky to be minutes away from Anderson School where Fernando, McDougal, Jesse Dayton, Massy Ferguson, Ian McFeron, Sean Rowe, and Aaron Lee Tasjan have played–just to name a few artists since its grand opening over a year ago.

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Jeff Finlin’s brilliant new album The Guru in the Girl is due in May, and I’m giddy with anticipation for the rest of the world to hear it. The album is a perfect balance of darkness and light; of regeneration; of love and loss. It embodies poppy folk songs to naked, soul-baring blues. The haunting title track stirs and elevates the soul.

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Flight to Mars

Flight To Mars is landing at The Showbox May 12-13 for two RAWK shows with Mike McCready. Proceeds support Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

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March 20, 2017 Posted by | 2017, Alt-Country, Americana, aplscruf, Brigitte DeMeyer, Canadiana, Flight to Mars, Folk, Japandroids, Jeff Finlin, Jenny Whiteley, Jeremy Nail, Jesse Dayton, John Doe, Kilkenny Roots Festival, Massy Ferguson, McDougall, McMenamins, Music, No Depression, Oliver Gray, Seattle Rock, The Tractor Tavern, The Triple Door, Western Centuries, Will Kimbrough | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Get on Board! John Doe is Coming Back to Seattle!

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John Doe, legendary punker/frontman/bassist/vocalist/singer-songwriter/author/actor/Renaissance Man, is coming back to Seattle for a couple of shows. One at Benaroya Hall on May 26 to celebrate Woody Guthrie; and another at my favorite venue, the Tractor Tavern on Wednesday, June 29.

Oh, you know I’ll be there.

john doe triple door

Some dork wanted her picture taken with Mr. Doe. You can imagine her saying, “Holy shit! I’m gettin’ my picture taken with John Doe!” and pointing at him, so people know that’s John on the right…

Here’s my review of his show at The Triple Door last June: http://nodepression.com/live-review/john-doe-reigns-triple-door-seattle-wa

More on the Triple Door show here: https://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/john-doe-reigns-at-the-triple-door-seattle-june-19-2015/

John’s New Book

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Under The Big Black Sun – For more info and to order the book, check his website here: http://www.theejohndoe.com/utbbsbook/

John’s New Album (he’s been busy)

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John Doe’s new album, “The Westerner”

To order his new album, check here: http://www.theejohndoe.com/music/

Read an article in Rolling Stone and stream the album here: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-john-does-desert-influenced-new-album-the-westerner-20160422

X is also touring again soon. See all tour dates here: http://www.theejohndoe.com/live/

Here’s my article on X for No Depression: http://nodepression.com/live-review/all-i-want-x-mas

More pics of the X-Mas show: https://aplscruf.wordpress.com/2015/12/19/x-for-xmas/

April 26, 2016 Posted by | 2016, John Doe, X | , , , , | 2 Comments

John Doe – “Get On Board”

From John Doe’s long-awaited upcoming album, The Westerner dropping April 29. See the article on NPR’s “Songs We Love” here: http://www.npr.org/2016/02/16/466316620/songs-we-love-john-doe-get-on-board

Check out John Doe’s revamped website for more info: http://www.theejohndoe.com/#new2016

Support his new album and get some perks: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/johndoe

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John Doe’s upcoming album, “The Westerner”

 

 

 

February 16, 2016 Posted by | 2016, John Doe | , , , , , | Leave a comment

X For Xmas!

X at the Showbox, Seattle, December 18, 2015

Mike Watt opened the show

What a fantastic night of Punk Rock, and a perfect way to end Concert Season 2015! I’ll write a review soon. Here are some pics in the meantime, taken with my Canon PowerShot SX710 HS. Only my second show with this camera, so it took a few shots to get used to the settings. Limited to where we could shoot, too.

 

 

December 19, 2015 Posted by | Concert Season 2015, John Doe, The Showbox, Uncategorized, X | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

John Doe Reigns at The Triple Door – Seattle, June 19, 2015

John Doe

John Doe – Photo by Jacob Knight

John Doe with Jesse Dayton at The Triple Door – Seattle 6/19/15

[see No Depression for a concise, concert-only review here]

I was in junior high when John Doe’s punk band X started picking up speed.  I remember a vague mention of X in high school, maybe a song or two, but they disappeared out of my radar completely as I headed for college.  Seattle, although it tries to be trendy, forgot to send me the memo.  They slipped right by me, along with The Fleshtones.  Also, I tend to get stuck on one artist every few years and miss all the contemporaries.  Musical poverty.  Musical ignorance.

A John Doe Virgin.

I missed out on John Doe as a solo artist, too, until a musician friend posted some lyrics on his Facebook page:

you are the hole in my head / I am the pain in your neck / you are the lump in my throat / I am the aching in your heart

I looked up the lyrics, which led me to “Golden State” a track on the album, A Year In The Wilderness by John Doe.  Thee John Doe.

I purchased A Year In The Wilderness.  It didn’t leave the CD player of my car for a solid month. I fell in musical love.  How did I miss him all these years? The tone of his voice, the lyrics, and the Americana style of the melodies really hits my sweet spot.  I checked his website for tour dates. He mostly stays in California these days, but makes a few trips up north every year.  Its seemed like every time he was up here, we were going to another show or were out of town.

Finally, this June, I was able to purchase tickets to The Triple Door, a swanky dinner theater in downtown Seattle.  I secured a photo pass for my son Jacob that night, courtesy of Doe’s manager, promising to write a show review for No Depression. I was thrilled.  Pat had to miss it, but at least Jacob would be there with me to enjoy the night.

After surviving terrible Friday rush-hour traffic and quickly eating before the show, Jacob and I settled in to Booth 13.  The six-person booth comfortably seats four.  Jacob’s shoulders alone take two spots.  We were all pins and needles waiting for the show to begin.  I was a proud mama watching my son, with his press pass proudly displayed on his shirt, adjust his camera settings to prepare for the shoot.

Finally, at 8:00, the lights dimmed and Jacob took his position across the theater and I readied my pen and journal, crushed between the other booth guests.  I was pleasantly surprised to see several guitars, drum kit and upright bass on stage.  I thought it was going to be an acoustic show, for some reason.

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On with the show (the following is a copy of my post on No Depression):

John Doe Reigns at The Triple Door

John Doe brought his punk energy and some Texas twang to The Triple Door in Seattle.  Doe is in the middle of a short tour to promote The Best of John Doe This Far, his multi-decade collection of greatest hits. The genre-bending performance entertained and engaged the audience from start to finish.

Opening for John this night was Austin’s Jesse Dayton, who, like Doe, is a bit of a renaissance man.  He’s a top-notch session guitarist (he played on Waylon Jennings’ last two albums), a stage and screen actor, producer, zombie movie star and soundtrack artist, screenwriter and film maker (ZOMBEX), raconteur and comedian.

Jesse Dayton

Jesse Dayton

Dayton, who played a dark and dirty Gretsch guitar, was accompanied by Chris Rhoades on doghouse and electric bass, and Eric C. Hughes on drums. The three boys let ‘er rip with some rollicking alt-country and Americana tunes with humor and big Texas style.

Jesse was “brangin’ it” (his motto) with a screamin’ rockabilly solo on the first song, “Daddy Was a Badass” and a slappin’ bass beat. In a faux bravado move, Jesse held his hand up to his ear and begged the audience to make some noise for him.  The crowd whooped and clapped heartily.

He said he was from a parallel universe called East Texas, and dedicated the song, “We Can’t Help The Way That We Are” to Waylon Jennings.

“Beautiful Thing” is a song about the creole woman from Louisiana who helped raise Dayton. When he was a boy, they spent the weekdays listening to blues artists like Lightnin’ Hopkins.  On Sundays, she only allowed gospel music. “She was my best buddy,” he said.  He played a soulful acoustic slide with a nod to his favorite blues guitarists.  One lyric in the heartwarming ballad really stood out: The Funeral was black and white / but our tears were all the same

Jesse with Chris Rhoades (bass) and Eric C. Hughes (drums)

Jesse with Chris Rhoades (bass) and Eric C. Hughes (drums)

Not wanting to get too sentimental, Jesse kicked it up a notch and quipped, “It’s all drinkin’ and cheatin’ songs from here on out!” Sticking to his word, he introduced the next tune, “I’m At Home Getting Hammered While She’s Out Getting Nailed”, by proudly exclaiming that it has “two whopping chords in the whole song, and no bridge or chorus”.

[Up on a scaffolding, on the side of the stage behind the curtain to most eyes, I spied a man with black-rimmed glasses looking down on Jesse’s performance.  My heart skipped a little beat.  It was him!  I discreetly pointed and showed my neighbor, who verified that it was indeed, John Doe checking out the show.]

After a few more tunes, Jesse joked, “I hope we passed the audition tonight.” His last song was dedicated to Eddie Spaghetti of Supersuckers.  Jesse first told a story regarding the beautiful time he had traveling with Eddie on tour and stopping at a  Love’s Truck Stop for some duct tape. Eddie wanted to purchase some chrome girly mud flaps for his garage wall, too.  In a “Shakespearean white trash epiphany,” Jesse promptly went back to his car and wrote a song called “Arkansas Chrome (Duct Tape Song)”.

Check Facebook and Jesse Dayton’s website for more details on this multi-talented Texan.

John Doe is a singer / songwriter with almost four decades of songs to his name.  He’s an actor (with a long list of credits), a poet, a teacher, a horseman, and punk royalty.  Doe is most recognized as the bass player and vocalist with the renowned L.A. punk band X with Exene Cervenka.  He was also with The Sadies, The Knitters, and participated in other collaborations.

The talented and beautiful songstress Cindy Wasserman from Dead Rock West  joined Doe on vocals this night. He facetiously introduced her as the meanest woman in rock ‘n’ roll.  Cindy’s harmonies blend perfectly with his clean and controlled vocals.  The tone of his voice is still so powerful; he can hold a note and take it for a ride into the stratosphere.

Doe played an eclectic set, mixing X songs with his solo projects and included a few covers. Singing from the heart on moody ballads, he also balanced out the tone with politically-fueled rants and up-tempo rockers.  With Jesse Dayton’s band backing him, it was high-energy rock show overall, but infused with Americana, country, roots, and blues–crossing genres without apology.

John Doe and the band at The Triple Door

John Doe and the band at The Triple Door

John dove into the set with “This Far” from 2002’s Dim Stars, Bright Sky , featured in his latest collection.

One of his old friends was in the audience this night.  He introduced “Handsome Devil” from Keeper and warned the audience to never let a friend of a friend spend a couple of nights, because bad things might ensue.  The foreboding lyrics explain:

here comes a stranger
a friend of a friend
knocking on our door
sliding it open
he talks the blues, so do you
this ring is getting tighter
my finger is falling off
this changes everything
he stole your wedding ring
this changes everything
he walked right in, sat right down
baby let your mind roll on
& roll right outta town
where’s my gun?
oh that’s right, I don’t have one
so devilishly handsome
should of known he was actually Satan
this changes everything

Another song of betrayal, “Burning House of Love” from X’s Ain’t Love Grand  included Rhoades, back on upright bass, and an explosive solo by Dayton.

 

“The best life lesson is to hold the reigns firmly, but lightly…” Doe states in the video.   He also kept the audience firmly but lightly in his grasp.  He offset any angry rants with humorous anecdotes, backstory, and friendly banter with the band and the crowd.  During a mishap (Jesse broke the bridge of his guitar and had to swap out with one of John’s and quickly tune it) which involved some quiet talk and scrambling around on stage, Doe stepped back up to the mic and said, “Sorry, we were just up here talking about the basketball game…followed by some choice words about not really caring about basketball, making the audience chuckle.

“Twin Brother”, a very touching song of regret from 2005’s Forever Hasn’t Happened Yet contained haunting, beautiful harmonies from Cindy.

Cindy and John

Cindy and John

He introduced the Bob Dylan Cover “Pressing On” by saying, “I’m not religious, but I do have some spiritual ideas, if you care to discuss them with me at the merch table…” garnering laughter from the crowd, although they soon hushed up as he played this spiritual (or religious, depending on one’s point of view) number.  Later, he also covered Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone” and a lovely, emotional version of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”.

“4th of July” a bittersweet X song, is a perfect accompaniment to these sunny summer days, but Doe complained that he always hears someone request it in November.

John checked in with the audience: “Are you all having a good time?  Excellent.  It’s all going to come to an end.”

“Lucky Penny”, a cherished love song from Keeper, generated a wistful sigh from Booth 13. [Why do I find his grumpy rants so endearing? Because he can still write and sing an honest love song.]

Feeling Blue

Feeling Blue

“Who has worked in a factory?” asked John.  A few people raised their hands.  “Seven people? No wonder this country’s so fucked up.  There are no factories here anymore!”  “Giant Step Backwards”  from Keeper, can also be interpreted as a song of love lost.

Doe flew into another Keeper tune, “Never Enough”, which rants about our materialistic society, or as John put it, the “fucked-up-edness of our country” and lists all the junk we have–and how it’s never enough.  Although the lyrics are scornful, the upbeat tempo is undeniably danceable.

“This May Be the Last Time” from Dead Rock West’s second album, Bright Morning Stars  was introduced by John with, “Nothing is as fearsome as an unhappy partner!” He let Cindy take the lead, and Jesse backed her with lots of bluesy reverb.

Exene wrote the next song on her last record, called “Alone in Arizona” and Doe loved it, so he played it this night. Jesse accompanied with a mood-altering solo to a somber audience. The lyrics are dark and heavy: My heart is blue with losing you / My soul is still losing you / The road is rough, I’m losing you / The sun beats down, I’m losing you

Doe didn’t leave the crowd hanging in the dark for long, and picked up speed again with “Telephone By The Bed” from Freedom Is…with Jesse taking a Billy Zoom punk stance and tight, thumping drums from Eric Hughes.

“The Have Nots”, his ode to the dive bar, was prefaced with the plea, “Take the dive bars back from the fucking hipsters!”

“Golden State” from A Year in The Wilderness was another crowd favorite, made even more special with Cindy Wasserman sharing vocals with Doe.  They ended the regular set to more cheers and applause.

They soon returned to the stage as the clapping continued and played the quietly moving “Darling Underdog”, also  from A Year in The Wilderness  and co-written with Exene.

John Doe wrapped up with  X’s  “The New World”, a fitting end to his diverse set.

Check John’s website and Facebook page for tour dates and merchandise.

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After the show, John invited the audience to visit with him at the merch table, along with Jesse and Cindy.  Jacob and I gathered our things and headed over there immediately.  There was only a short line, so we quickly queued up while I pulled out a couple of business cards. I introduced myself to Cindy, who was in charge of merch.  She recognized my name from my daily video posts of Doe on Facebook over the last week, and I told her I saw her at Neumos a few years ago with Dead Rock West.  She was so friendly and sweet.  I also spent a little time chatting with Jesse, who was also charming, and handed him my card.  I purchased three CD’s, including John’s 2011 gem, Keeper, another copy of The Best of John Doe This Far (his latest and greatest collection) for a friend, and Jesse’s Tall Texas Tales.  Support the independent artists who venture to your city and play small clubs and venues.  Support quality music.

John was busy talking to an older gentleman, a few steps away from the merch table.  Another woman was awaiting a turn for his signature on a CD.  I could feel my nerves set in, but as he patiently listened to the man, he looked up and smiled at me.  I’m not sure if that helped settle my nerves or made them worse.  Finally, it was my turn. I felt immediately humbled among punk royalty.  I was shaking a little, and my shyness seems to paralyze my ability to speak.  I’d rehearsed a few lines, but they all went away.  Below is what I remember of our brief conversation:

“Hi, I’m with…well, I’m not with anyone, but I am writing about the show tonight for No Depression.  I’m Lisa.”

While I said this, I handed him my card, and he shook my hand and said, “Oh, that’s ok, you don’t have to be with anyone.  Oh good…Nice to meet you.”

“This is my son, Jacob.  He took pictures tonight.” John shook his hand as Jacob smiled.

“Have you been to an X show before?”

“No, I’m a little late to the game, here, but I’ve been studying up, bought some CD’s…” Of course, I failed to mention I’ve been a fan these last four years or so, but also ashamed I haven’t been a fan for the last four decades.

“Well that’s ok, always good to have new people at our shows.  A good night tonight.  Nice to play in a club with a great acoustics.”

I did ask to get his pic before the other fans came over, and he said, “Sure, come on over here,” and motioned me to step close so he could put his arm around me.  It all happened so quickly.  It was over in a matter of seconds.  Jake took one pic on his phone.  Me, all crazy eyed, pointing at him, saying to myself, “Holy shit, I’m getting my pic with John Doe!”  I was humbled and thrilled to meet him.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling cooler, somehow, having met John Doe.  Thee John Doe.  “The best hair in Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Punk Royalty.

June 26, 2015 Posted by | Americana, aplscruf, Cindy Wasserman, Concert Season 2015, Jesse Dayton, John Doe, Music, The Triple Door | , , , , , , | 2 Comments