Sounds Good: Chris Isaak@Uptown Theater, The Royal Bangs@Jackpot Saloon

Things are slowing down a little bit around here…

After last weekend’s barrage of quality shows, we now are slipping a little bit into the doldrums of the live music season, which seems to run from about Thanksgiving to February or so.

It’s cold out (normally), so girls don’t want to go out.  And if girls aren’t going out, then dudes don’t go out either.   

That shouldn’t really be the case this weekend, though, because one, Chris Isaak is in town.  And he brings his own tropical climate with him. 

Don’t say I didn’t give you a heads up guys…

Friday, November 18th

Chris Isaak at the Uptown in KC

Whenever Chris Isaak is mentioned, I always instantly think of that young Danish model, walking away in black and white, dangling her bikini top at her side and looking back over her shoulder as if to say, "Are you coming, or what?"  There’s sand sprinkled all over her, and her hair’s all salty dreddy.  So thank you for that Chris Isaak, thank you.

What I refer to is, of course, Isaak’s biggest hit of his career, 1989’s Wicked Game, and the accompanying music video that was all over MTV and VH1.

Since then, Isaak has appeared in several movies, written songs for TV shows, starred in his own cable series, hosted his own talk show and performed with Conan O’Brien’s traveling show when the orange-haired one was going through his thing with NBC.

His latest record, Beyond The Sun, is a collection of songs originally released on Sun Records and recorded by Elvis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee.  However, his concerts lately haven’t focused on just the new stuff.  Here’s a recent set list from a show in California.

Beautiful Homes
Don’t Leave Me On My Own
I Want Your Love
San Francisco Days
Wicked Game
Speak Of The Devil
You Don’t Cry Like I Do
American Boy
Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing
Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash cover)
Dixie Fried
It’s Now or Never (Elvis Presley cover)
Great Balls of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis cover)
Blue Hotel
Big Wide Wonderful World
Oh, Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison cover)
Forever Blue


Saturday, November 19th

The Royal Bangs at the Jackpot in Lawrence

This Knoxville band’s story is a testament to the power of the internet in today’s music biz.  You see, The Royal Bangs were toiling away, playing crappy shows, basically giving away their 2006 album titled We Breed Champions, and making little real progress.  Then, the story goes, drummer Chris Rusk sent a random message to Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, including a copy of the cd, via MySpace.  (Remember MySpace?) 

Long story short, Carney liked it, signed the band to his own label and let The Royal Bangs open up for a nationwide Black Keys tour.  This led to bigger and bigger gigs for the Bangs, including a stop at Bonnaroo.

Then, in 2009, they released Let It Beep, and it received some decent critical praise.  Emily Riener of Paste Magazine called the album, "an infectious, punk-inflected album that captures the riotous essence of the band’s stage show."

Earlier this year, they released another album, entitled Flux Outside, that was called a "spastic rush of math rock with the heft of 1970s arena-fillers and a bit of Tennessee-born Southern boogie," by Pitchfork’s Paul Thomson

Plus, there’s a vicious rumor going around that the Jackpot might be shutting down its live music for good on December 1st, so catch one last show there while you still can!
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5 Responses to Sounds Good: Chris Isaak@Uptown Theater, The Royal Bangs@Jackpot Saloon

  1. mermaid says:

    It’s cold out…
    So girls don’t want to go out? I’m not sure what kind of girls you are talking about- the married ones maybe? Unless there is 3 -6 ft of snow blocking me in my house I’m out! Cold is like 20 degrees or below and then I’m still bundling up and going somewhere. In fact when it’s cold is when I like to go to a restaurant and eat a nice hot dinner otherwise not that much into big dinners. Chris Issak sounds like a great show. Good old school.

  2. smartman says:

    An a one anna two anna three
    Chris Isaac? Might as well be Lawrence Welk. Wicked Game is soooooo OLD.

    Surprised there’s not an AARP discount on this show.

    You go mermaid! Keep going out. Keep those big pharma guys in R&D on their toes!

  3. mermaid says:

    Hey Smartman…
    You making fun of me huh? Lol!

  4. smartman says:

    Frank Furillo Says
    Be careful out there! Just as good of a chance at catching the clap as a cold this time of year. Copulating in the cab of a Brinks truck is not considered Safe Sex.

  5. Matt says:

    I get the feeling…
    …Mermaid, that you’re a little more adventurous than most. Strap on the goggles, get out the dog sled, I’m going to the party!

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