Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Record Crate: Country is the New Awesome

I've heard this sentiment leaking out from some of the hipper circuits, that country will replace disco once again as the underlying patois of The Good Stuff, and I saw some fine examples of it this weekend. Flatbed Honeymoon is two-for-two on resplendent performances of lonesome love songs at Chelsea's, but The Dock Ellis band, a crack country unit for St. Louis, had the four or five of us still hanging around, rolling with laughter. Seriously, it was the funniest show I've seen ever. Then later in the week, veteran country outlaw Billy Joe Shaver upped the ante by being one of the weirdest. He augmented his Big Sur-size catalog of classics with interpretive dance (at one point he spent a song flapping his arms like an eagle), sermons and a smile. It was amazing, pushing aside the reverence that can mar a legend's performance, and just getting down to business. Consummate entertainment; I welcome our new country overlords.

The Manship Theatre has an impressive lineup this week, ranging from a showcase of world-class guitar legends, the sacred strings glory of The Lee Boys and klezmer from A Jumpin' Night at the Garden of Eden, finishing up with a showcase of rock through the ages from the Baton Rouge Music Studios. The Manship is such an intimate venue with startlingly great acoustics, and it is great to see it being utilized to stage music befitting it rather than floorshow spectacles. I have no personal grudges against belly dancers and acrobats and the fans thereof, but nothing in my opinion is better than hearing consummate musicians play in a great hall, and we have one of those in the Manship. Read More...

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