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Location: Zeeland, Michigan, United States

Hi. I wish I had a job selling squirrels. They're so furry, and give you toothy grins. Unless they're rabid, in which case they will eat your face off and then find the rest of your family. That's not so good, I guess.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Live Show Log, June 2016

6 4 16 The Saltbound #4 Festival of the Arts, Grand Rapids Festival is a great place to get out, eat weird crap, and experience things. In this case, experiencing trouble finding the damn stage.
 
6 4 16 Olivia Mainville & The Aquatic Troupe #2 Old Dog Tavern, Kalamazoo First double-show day, been making a habit of it lately. Wonderful show, showcased everything that band can do. Libby DeCamp sitting in, drummer still present and accounted for, multiple sets, seven musicians on a cigar box sized stage, great Cuban sandwich.
 
6 9 16 THE JOY FORMIDABLE Founders, Grand Rapids I found this band through rapturous writeups in Big Takeover Magazine. They make an almighty roar for a trio from Wales. Mindbogglingly they played a FREE show at Founders. When you saw the giant gong, you knew they were Not Fucking Around. Big thanks to the bartender who let me cut through behind the bar to avoid a gastric incident. The Joy Formidable
 
6 10 16 DELILAH DEWYLDE AND THE LOST BOYS/Olivia Mainville & The Aquatic Troupe #3 Buttermilk Jamboree, Delton Whoo boy. Olivia, or someone in the band, had graciously put me on the guest list to get in for the day to this camping and music event. But this was the third day or so of my knee hurting like hell, and swelling alarmingly. Doc Lemke diagnosed it as gout. IT WAS NOT GOUT I ALMOST POISONED MYSELF. God the pain got insane before the end. Finally got it diagnosed as cellulitis at urgent care and got the right medication. So yeah, the pain cut into my enjoyment of these shows, but they were still damn good. “Delilah” plays spirited rockabilly with an old-country chaser, and apparently graduated ZHS a few years ahead of me. Our mutual friend list is reallly weird.
 
6 11 16 Vox Vidorra #2 Spoke Folks Fest, Grand Rapids Benefit for a bicycle donation charity, in an industrial vacant lot feet from 131. I was one of maybe three people there specifically for the band. So very good. Knee hurting like hell at this point, but ya can’t stop the music.
 
6 24 16 Vox Vidorra #3 Beers at the Bridge, Ada Concert series/beer bacchanal by the covered bridge. People were again there more for the beer, but there were a lot more of them, and they definitely seemed to dig the soul sounds presented to them in this, the whitest of suburbs. I brought Sheila. Sheila is a doggy.
 

Live Show Log, May 2016

5 6 16 Crane Wives #6 Bell’s, Kalamazoo Part of Kalamazoo Pride Week. Didn’t realize they were the opening act when I got the tickets. They played a little under an hour. Still good.
 
5 13 16 VOX VIDORRA Mitten Bar, Ludington Wooow. I had picked up the album at Vertigo after seeing the We’re So Lonely video, and was (cliche alert) blown away by their old school sound. This record could have been unearthed in a time capsule from 1974. I knew nothing about Blue Molly, so I was coming in cold, had no idea what a quantum leap forward creatively this was for the redoubtable Ms. Molly Bouwsma Schultz and company. Bar shows are great for multiple sets, so this was the best possible introduction to what the band can do: multiple instrument versatility, impeccable cover choices, and ludicrous singer charisma levels. Really odd how people kept coming back and forth through a door next to the stage for pizza, but very small quibble. These are four amazing musicians who are going places when they’re not brewing beer. http://voxvidorra.com/

Live Show Log, April 2016

4 2 16 Crane Wives #5/OLIVIA MAINVILLE & THE AQUATIC TROUPE Founders, Grand Rapids This was the CD release party for Foxlore, the wives’ fourth album: impressive, since local artists always seem to stall out at three. The crowd was there for them completely, unusual at Founders, where the people usually seem annoyed at having their conversations drowned out. (Poor Tristen.) The crowd damn near levitated during Sleeping Giants. This was also my introduction to the “gypsy swing” of Olivia Mainville. Bought her album at the show and was astounded at the intricacy of her arrangements, which she somehow often manages to actually improve upon live. Any band with a full time trombonist is definitely going after something different.  http://www.oliviaandtheaquatictroupe.com/

Live Show Log, March 2016

3 11 16 Crane Wives #4 Frauenthal Center, Muskegon Weirdest show I’ve ever been to in my life. The venue was a barbell-shaped conference room on the third floor, not the glorious theater downstairs. It was a beer and cider tasting, part of a series called Sip, Savor and Shimmy. As far as I could see, I was the only person there alone (Carlton Macksam later told me he was there alone too, so at least there’s that). The band played TO THE WALL six feet away from them in the middle of the barbell. I wasn’t superfan enough yet to get closer to the band; I sat at my back table, nibbling popcorn, hearing but not really seeing the band. Kate Pillsbury, I would be interested in your take on that one: does it get any weirder? From a logistical standpoint, not accounting for random weird humans.
 
3 12 16 The Saltbound #3 Quinn and Tuite’s Pub, Grand Rapids St. Patrick’s weekend show. Bill on the box, Kaity on the mic, it’s a good time for all involved.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Live Show Log, January and February 2016

1 15 16 The Crane Wives #2 Bell’s, Kalamazoo Still the gold standard for Crane Wives shows (rowdy version). The crowd loved them, the sound was great, the songs were wondrous and still new to me. Bought the first and third albums at the merch table.

 2 12 16 Crane Wives #3 New Holland Brewery, Holland Still the longest I’ve seen them play, I think, three sets. The crowd was affably indifferent, but I drank it all in from my unfortunate balcony seat.

Live Show Log, December 2015

12 31 15 THE CRANE WIVES/THE ACCIDENTALS/WAY DOWN WANDERERS Wealthy Theatre, Grand Rapids Ground Zero in my personal local music explosion. I had picked up their second album from Vertigo Music before the previously listed show. It was great. Complex yet simple, dual songwriters and singers, folky without being weak. Then the last song destroyed me, tore me down to the studs and rebuilt me from the ground up. How To Rest is a gentle bomb, treat it with care, make sure you're sitting down. Wonderful live, but the show was extremely marred by the drunk asshole next to me. He bragged about the band having played in his living room (he owned a trucking company). Every time the room got close to quiet, he bellowed his own name, in hopes, he said, of hearing it on any live recording that might be released, not adding it up that his assholery would ruin any take. Here's how dead inside I was:  at three different points during the show, pretty girls brushed me with their asses (I was right next to the stage stairs);  I was legitimately just annoyed at having my personal space invaded. The Accidentals just signed to Sony (in Jan 17); sad to say I don’t quite get it.  The Way Down Wanderers:  hippies.  Straightedge grinning drummer.  thecranewives.com/

Live Show Log, November 2015

11 27 15 DOMESTIC PROBLEMS/Verve Pipe #2/Papa Vegas #2 the Intersection, Grand Rapids Wow, so I seem to have gone an entire year without live music. Insane. This is legit one of my favorite shows ever. Only in Grand Rapids could the internationally known alternative band OPEN for a bunch of paunchy part time goofballs and do it with a smile. DP is a force of nature, and that force is gravity. 
https://www.facebook.com/DomesticProblems/

Live Show Log, December 2014

12 27 14 THE VERVE PIPE/PAPA VEGAS/KNEE DEEP SHAG The Intersection, Grand Rapids The annual tradition. Yes, they had that massive damn hit, but they are a local band first. Back before Donny Brown quit. I love Papa Vegas, no one bought their amazing album on RCA and I will never understand it. Knee Deep Shag is also a band that used to exist.  the Verve Pipe  Papa Vegas

Live Show Log, September and October 2014

9 12 14 GUIDED BY VOICES/JOSEPH AIRPORT Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids Kind of a terrible show, compared to the amazing three hour marathons at the Intersections old and new in 01 and 02. Notable for being the second to last show by the reconstituted classic lineup before it exploded again. Joseph Airport were aggressively bizarre in a bro-ish sort of way. Guided By Voices

10 4 14 The Saltbound #2 Quinn and Tuite's Pub, Grand Rapids  Can't say I remember much.  I think Willow was there.  I like Colin and Kaity, wish I saw more of them, but they were my ex wife's friends, and it's always a little weird.

Live Show Log: June 2014

Back in November '16, I started documenting all the live shows I'd been attending in a Facebook Note. It is getting too big and unwieldy for that format, so I'm migrating the entries over to this old dead blog, a month at a time. Maybe I'll even write something new, though I wouldn't hold your breath. In the seven years since I last wrote here, my marriage crashed, I crawled home from Arizona, and I live in a basement....but more people than ever smile when I enter a room, so there is that.

6 17 14 THE SALTBOUND (hi Colin) Festival of the Arts, Grand Rapids (technically second show, but first was pre-divorce) Fun Irish band featuring some friends of mine. Technically they were my ex wife’s friends, but I got all the Michigan people in the divorce. I don’t see them as much as I should. They are some awesome people, but they’re all fifteen years younger than me. Cello is the secret spice here that elevates them above your average quaffing crew. The Saltbound