Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rodriguez/War on Drugs/Donny Hue and the Colors - Rock'n'Roll Hotel - May 13 2009

Donny Hue and the Colors - Three piece guitar/bass/drums with some harmonica. Even though the music seemed a bit light at times--countryish folk, I had to move back because the bass was pounding in my ear a bit much. Maybe if the songs moved me more, I would have stayed. Nothing too exciting, but not insulting. A few more intriguing moves at the end so there is hope, but nothing to bring me back anytime soon.

The War on Drugs - This Philadelphia trio had an electric rhythm section (although the drummer was sans highhats) and a guy who sang played two acoustic guitars and one electric. Even when acoustic, the music was strong, pulsating and vibrant. Good vocals and good songs as well. Just a good strong modern rock band that is a bit psychedelic, but in a song oriented, jamming setting. A highly likable band that could do well. Keep at it.

Rodriguez - This guy from Detroit had two obscure records from about 70-71 era. Kind of a psyche-folk band, ergo I knew about these records for some time (and have the vinyl). I was surprised to see the show announced as I wasn't sure many people had heard of him. Well, the music is reissued and there is a bit of a cult following. Rodriguez showed up with a four-piece band behind him and three fairly superfluous brass players who were only lightly used and just as lightly audible when used. There were about a hundred people or so that mostly enjoyed the show(and rightly so). Rodriguez was engaging in a very burnt out stoner manner and appeared pretty frail as he was helped on and off the stage by the bassist. But he stood there, played guitar and sang just fine although the voice was a little thin. Still, a good full head of hair belying his age, a cool silver peace sign buckle on his belt, and oh yeah, some nice songs from his albums. The band was good which was essential and a pretty fun evening. Not one of those ultimate life defining moments, but worth the effort on everyone's part. Healthwise, I would put him in the better than Shane MacGowan and Roky Erickson category, but not quite up to Arthur Lee (prior to his death obviously) or Tom Rapp or countless others. Maybe a more spaced out Clive Palmer? Whatever, I hope his tour goes well as it's great to get to see another cool, "lost" artist.

Quote of the Night: In an exchange between an audience member and the guitarist/singer of the first band...

I like your (mus)stache.

Thanks, I really appreciate that. You want to come up and play shakers for us?

No, not really.

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