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items tagged with RIBCO

Wilco’s "Gold"-en Boy: Pronto, September 18 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-09-16 20:01:03

ProntoListening to the debut album from Pronto, the quartet fronted by Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen, the inescapable reference point is the singer/songwriter genre from the 1970s -- warm, organic, a little hazy, and mostly ready for AM radio. One can't avoid, for instance, Randy Newman's influence on "What Do You Know About You?"

Jorgensen, in a recent phone interview promoting his band's September 18 show at RIBCO, sounded tired of the comparison -- "We didn't set out ... [to] make a record that everybody's going to say sounds like the '70s," he said -- but he didn't deny its accuracy.

All Is Golden is not all soft-focus AM-radio fare. "Monster" has the muscle of power pop, while "I Think So" belies Jorgensen's love of experimental music as it devolves into a coda of sax and electronics and noise. But even when the songs themselves don't fit the decade, there's still a pervasive vibe.

The surprise is that Jorgensen is a relatively recent convert, for a long time not being a fan of the era's musical giants -- Neil Young and the Rolling Stones, for example -- or even the premise that lyrics are a meaningful vehicle for musical expression. He and his collaborators on previous experimental, instrumental music projects dismissed lyrics as merely "a vehicle for the melody."

Read More About Wilco’S "Gold"-En Boy: Pronto, September 18 At RIBCO...

Working the Grooves: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, September 19 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-09-10 14:28:41

Karl DensonWhen saxophonist, flutist, composer, and singer Karl Denson discusses Brother's Keeper, the new record from Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, you could be forgiven for thinking he's talking about essays instead of songs.

After he finished the first drafts of the songs, he sent them to Tiny Universe keyboardist David Veith, who did what Denson called "revisions." Switchfoot's Jon Foreman also helped out with vocals and some melodies. "I wanted to get some depth as far as not having it just be my ideas," Denson said last week in a phone interview.

Three months of "revisions" resulted in the record being extraordinarily exact, particularly for the funk/soul genre, yet Brother's Keeper never sounds insular or overworked; the grooves not only survive but often sing.

"You think of writing songs as just sitting around the campfire, and everybody has an idea, or you have a great story you tell with a guitar," said Denson, whose six-piece band will perform at RIBCO on Saturday, September 19. But certain types of music -- to be done well -- require time and sweat. "The idea of more pop records or even a great classical piece -- there's always revision going on," he said. "The best way to do a record is to do it at least once and possibly twice before you actually record. That was the process with this record."

Read More About Working The Grooves: Karl Denson’S Tiny Universe, September 19 At RIBCO...

Stick with the Funny: The Reverend Horton Heat, August 22 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-07-30 15:30:35

The Reverend Horton Heat. Photo by Drew Reynolds.

As we began a recent phone interview, Jim Heath was filing and dealing with music-publishing paperwork. You can be certain this is nothing that his alter ego, the Reverend Horton Heat, would ever do.

"The reason I joined a band is 'cause I wouldn't have to do this crap," he said. "I end up spending all day filing and talking to accountants."

That's the price of being a successful, long-running purveyor of lighthearted, Texas-scorched rockabilly, nearly impervious to the fickle trends of popular music. Appearing at RIBCO on August 22, the Reverend Horton Heat has a new album - the country-flavored Laughin' & Cryin' with the Reverend Horton Heat - due out September 1, and the band will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2010. Heath turned 50 this year, and bassist Jimbo Wallace has been with the group for 20 years.

But Heath would prefer that information not get out. "In the world or rock and roll," he said, "telling people that you've been around a long time isn't necessarily the best thing."

Read More About Stick With The Funny: The Reverend Horton Heat, August 22 At RIBCO...

Reunions Mark RIBCO’s 30th Anniversary July 31 and August 1
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-07-29 15:35:02

Tripmaster MonkeyJason Parris, the booking agent for the Rock Island Brewing Company, knows there is something special about the local bar. "The room feels and looks like a New York club," said Parris. "You can see the history in the room with all of the black-and-white photos of people who have played here. You can definitely see that it's been around for 30 years."

On July 31 and August 1, RIBCO (at 1815 Second Avenue) will commemorate its 30th anniversary. Bands including Driver of the Year, Cheese Pizza, Jim the Mule, and Keep Off the Grass will perform at the two-night celebration, along with reunion performances by Tripmaster Monkey and Einstein's Sister.

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Hip by Accident: Those Darlins, July 20 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2009-07-16 14:04:21

Those Darlins

When Those Darlins play RIBCO on Monday in a show, be prepared for things to get a little crazy. And if they don't, expect some good-natured hectoring from the Tennessee-based band.

Nikki Darlin -- they go by that fake family name, even though the three singing and songwriting leaders aren't sisters -- described the scene at a recent Nashville show celebrating the release of the group's self-titled debut:

"Jessi [Those Darlins' guitarist] and I had built a giant chicken piñata that was destroyed during 'The Whole Damn Thing' song. And my friend ... had made me a dress that night, and he ripped it off of me in the middle of the set. So I was playing the rest of the show in my underwear. And then everyone started taking their clothes off and got up on stage. Everyone's spitting beer all over everyone else. People were making out, and it was just fucking awesome."

The piñata, by the way, was filled with feathers.

Read More About Hip By Accident: Those Darlins, July 20 At RIBCO...

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