Thursday, January 28, 2010

Two with Turner and One Massive Blurt

In addition to my fantastic recommendations and dashing good looks, I also attend a lot of shows. It just dawned on me that I'm a real dumbass for not reviewing these shows and thus, informing you of the awesomeness that you are missing out on. Add to that the fact that I'm running out of bands to recommend and I'm really having to reach these days (I'm kidding... I could do this for centuries).

Tuesday and Wednesday night I experienced a Frank Turner double header. If you don't know Mr. Turner, here's his elevator pitch; he's a former singer of the UK hardcore band Millions Dead who, after their split in 2005, picked up an acoustic guitar and continued to make angry punk music, but in a more reserved, folk sense. When he took to the stage at the shoe on Tuesday night with nothing but an acoustic and a grin, one could tell we were in for something special. Sure enough, Turner's charm and charisma shone through and managed to capture everyone in that audience. His heart-on-a-sleeve approach to music made him lovable and accessible to everyone in that bar. What blew me away the most, however, was the quality and consistency of his voice. Even after screaming out haggard high note after high note, he looked no worse for wear and continued to put forth his acoustic anthems.

Wednesday night at Dakota Tavern was more of the same... but a little more intimate. While the size of the crowd of the Horseshoe was obviously a bit flattering, one could see Turner truly in his element with a small, tight crowd so close to him that he could hear them screaming his own lyrics back at him. Two beautiful nights capped off with two beautiful sentences:

And we're definitely going to hell. We'll have all the best stories to tell.

After Frank left the stage on Wed night, I was already 4 or 5 beers deep, so obviously I was going to stick around. Next on the stage was a band who, truth be told, I knew very little about. Huron was Ian Blurton's selected backing band for his solo project, therefore they already came with some credence. Still, once their big beat sound took the stage, I didn't need anyone else to tell me this band was good. They came with a sway, and a little bit of twang which pulled you in close enough to send you flying away again once they opened the floodgates of rock and let loose a mammoth sound. In a day and age where tight jeaned indie kids seem to be taking the world, I was proud to see a band who'd sooner own a Neil Young vinyl than an Arcade Fire mp3.

By the time Sir Ian Blurton hit the stage, I was in my special Guinness place. One could argue bad journalistic integrity, since my opinion was likely skewed by the alcohol content of my blood. To that I would say bollocks; I have no journalistic integrity and even if I did, rock and roll is meant to be listened to drunk.

And rock and roll it was. Blurton's Projects (Blurtonia, Bionic, C'Mon) have long held a special place in my heart, however, I've always felt that he had more to give as a songwriter. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that C'Mon releases an album every 8 months, but I just feel that sometimes, they lack substance. I believe Blurton might have felt the same and thus, needed an outlet. I'd be lying if I said I remember a lot of specific details from the set (that's why I bought the album) however I do remember on multiple occasions turning to my comrade, Iain, to give a 'fuck yeah' face for the riff which just blew my mind. There is a reason why we call a man who looks like a dirty homeless dude, 'Sir'.

Lastly I need to review the pizza from the 1 plus 1 beside my apartment. All I need to say is this; you're lucky I was loaded.