The Jones - I have seen this powerful local trio before and have enjoyed them a lot. Nothing changed tonight, as they delivered a solid and well received 41 minute set. It is such a simple blues-rock formula, but there is a touch of old-school psyche in there as well. It's about a 40-40-20 ratio between those three genres and as I have mentioned before, they remind me a lot of the Groundhogs (for us old guys) and perhaps the Black Keys (for 21st century types). In fact, it was nice chatting with the guitarist/vocalist before the show who was quite happy discovering the Groundhogs through some of our previous communication. I am always happy to try to find historic connecting points between the many great bands, whether known well or not so well. But no matter if you know of a dozen bands like this or none at all, you should be able to get into this music if you like good driving rock music. It is so straight ahead that I am surprised there are not a lot of bands doing this. There are a few and perhaps it takes that little bit extra skill that this band has. The vocals have a nice Dead Meadow quality, the guitar solos have real bite, the bass playing is flexible with also a touch of Dead Meadow, and the drumming is tight and holds it altogether. Check them out some time as they do seem to be getting regular gigs around town.
Black Box Revelation - I saw this Belgian guitar-drums duo once before opening for Beady Eye at the 9:30 Club (reviewed here). The set was quite similar tonight with a couple of outstanding mind warping songs where their songcraft matched their instrumental intensity. The lesser songs were still quite good, but there were a few that really cried out for that thick slab of a bassline bottom. Continuing the blues-rock-psyche ratio theme, I would roughly place these guys at 30-45-25. I would say they have a looser quality than that of the Jones, just a bit more swing (kind of a bob and weave with the guitar). And like when the Sword was doing small shows in between opening gigs for Metallica, BBR is doing gigs like this in between shows opening for Jane's Addiction. I will always give bonus points for bands making this sort of effort and going into the smaller clubs and bringing it to the dozens and this band deserves credit. But they handled the large stage well when I saw them earlier, so they are doing a great job of building up a fan base through any means possible. They only have an ep out at present, so it will be interesting to watch this band that has hit the ground running.
Plug of the Night: The new issue of Folkworld is up with several articles in German and English, along with loads of CD reviews that have kept me very busy the last few years. There is a lot of coverage of bands from around the world and if you are folk-related and send me a CD, I post it both here and my blog (some of the live shows are also reprinted). Enjoy!