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