Snacking On Where I’ve Been
Howdy folks! Long time no post. I know, it’s like I dropped off the face of the internet – unless you follow me on twitter or are my friend on Facebook. I haven’t written in a long time, not because there’s nothing going on but because there’s just too damn much going on…
The 567 is blowing up and moving to a new spot. Most memorable time at the soon to be old 567? Floco Torres’ The Anti-Valentine’s Day Color is Still Green CD Release and Art Show. I was blown away by Floco’s re-arrangement of a song from the first mixtape (if you didn’t know, it was The Anti-Valentine’s Day Color is Green) Houstonlantavegas. The song, originally by Drake has Floco confronting a girl he once loved, who dumped him when he was a struggling artist, once he’s made it. In that instant, I wasn’t someone watching a show to write about it later, but a fan. Floco is continually mixing it up at his shows, not doing the same old thing, even if he’s doing the same songs, making it great for those of us who find ourselves at every show. Recently, on what I call the Night of Many Music, he played at Applebees, but we’ll get to that later.
City Council has a new studio space, a website with a new CD featuring themselves and other artists in the Middle GA area. Just one small problem. The site hates me and I can’t download the CD. So I guess you’ll have to go yell at them if you want to hear it.
Speaking of City Council, Jubee likes to remind me that I gave them a bad review. The review wasn’t bad. It just said that the day I saw them, they were off their game. I think it’s up to us as the viewing audience to be honest to the bands around us so that we get the best music scene Macon has to offer. City Council is phenomenal. That’s what I’ve learned over the course of the year and a half that I’ve gotten to hear them play. I’m not sorry that I wrote about the off night, but I’m also positive I wrote about the good ones too. Just hit it hard every time you’re on the stage and you’ll hear nothing but good things from this site.
The Golden Bough has been kicking ass and taking names. Clark Bush has his hands on something perfectly suited to the downtown demographic. Music that music lovers can get into, a place where people younger than I can go to enjoy live music, and a safe environment for all of us to be out in. People who have nothing to do on a Tuesday night chafing from being inside have a small little bookstore to make their Tuesday night music home. I’ve heard some great bands of various genres there, mainly Macon musicians, but also the out of town guests who are coming from as far away as New York and other places much norther of here to delight our ears. Even if no one has said it, which I’m sure plenty of people have, I’m very grateful for Clark’s work in that area.
Now, when I first heard that the Hummingbird was doing karaoke, I thought, oh hell, there goes my bar. In a lot of ways, I was right. Those Tuesday nights that used to be just a bunch of us getting together and enjoying the lower priced Guinness days were gone forever. But what I came to find was that, when I was in the mood, Karaoke with Mitch Kersey was actually a lot of fun. If you sing, you get extra drinks for the price of one and you get to revel in how long it’s been since you heard the song you are now singing. Don’t get me wrong, if I got to vote, I would vote karaoke off the island in a heartbeat, but I’m not as upset that it made an appearance as I was when it first appeared.
Night of Many Music
So, it turns out that my husband has a band. I’m not sure what I genre I would say it was, but it pulls heavily from the southern music tradition, whether it is blues, bluegrass, southern rock, rock, and… well, you get the idea. Back City Woods is a long realized dream and I hope people can support them and show them the same love as they show other local bands. I put a lot of myself into this scene, enough that this band felt safe jumping into that cold water that is Macon’s interest in what is going on with original music, but I know there are people like me (and better than me who are giving all of themselves for the possibility of how good this scene can be) who want to see the scene succeed and I found out how many the other night.
It was a Saturday and it was starting kind of early. Back City Woods was playing at the Hummingbird’s new Summer Series, the kickoff where they play music, cook food and everything is free (except the beer). From there, we were heading to Mellow Mushroom to check out Trendlenberg and Citizen Insane. After that, Floco Torres was at Applebees, then back downtown to catch Royal Fireworks and Roly-Bots.
You heard me right. 7 band. 7 hour. Could I catch them all?
Back City Woods
I loved the acoustic set from Back City Woods. They covered Nirvana’s All Apologies (and got every word right this time!) in a way that was quite catchy, but the stand outs were original songs Leaving’s The Hardest Part, Lawdy Mercy, and Promises. I like Nothing For Me Here too… Hell, it’s my husband’s band. I pretty much like everything I hear. That doesn’t keep me from being impartial. It’s still my music scene. But I was blown away by how good they were. Knowing my husband is a musician is way different than seeing him play in front of people. My hotdog and hamburger were good as well. Thanks to Vic and that other guy for cooking the tasty treats up.
After BCW, we sat around talking because we knew that Trendlenberg wasn’t starting until closer to 10. We got to Mellow Mushroom right before Trendlenberg (aka Justin Cutway) started, so we had a seat in a booth while a couple of people got a small pizza. They were not serving slices, but I think, for nights like these, there should be a beer/slice option for music-lovers. Anyway, I digress. Because I was going back with two of the members of Back City Woods, I was only able to listen to a few Trendlenberg songs and I missed Citizen Insane completely. Trendlenberg sounded awesome, the clearest his voice has been, the most technical his playing has been – I’m so used to the Golden Bough shows seeming as if they are just for fun that I forget that I’m surrounded by amazing talent. I should have just driven so that I could have stayed for more. We left about 4 songs in to head to Applebees and Floco. I went to say bye to Shawn and Lacey because I felt bad. I didn’t want them to think that I didn’t love them, didn’t crave hearing them play, but I knew they had the fans, the familiar faces and if anyone needed familiar faces, it was going to be Floco.
Applebees is a weird place to hold a concert, but when Dan “Dano” Pittman asked his old employee to come back and play, I’m sure Floco couldn’t say no. Running into Dano at MidTown’s Kroger, he told me about the show and I knew I would be there before he could finish the sentence. Floco’s good, don’t get me wrong, but was he “playing to the masses” good? If that show was any indication, he is. Those people didn’t come to Applebees to hear some dude doing hip-hop. They came to eat some food, have a drink, watch a game, order a Floco Torres, whatever the hell that was, and go home for the night. But after some initial nervousness (yeah, he realized he was playing at Applebees) and a few drinks, Floco was in more than fine form. He even did his 500 Songs for Kids song, Gold Digger. By the time I left (before he finished as we headed back downtown), people who were a bit annoyed were unconsciously moving their heads to the beat and watching the stage and not the tv screens.
Back to Downtown Macon
After a stop at the Hummingbird, we headed to the Secret Devo (I like that name) to listen to Royal Fireworks and Roly-Bots. The loft was arranged differently this time, with a sitting area where the stage used to be, a dividing wall of curtains and the band to the left of that curtain. I only got to hear the last three songs from Royal Fireworks as I was greeting and talking to others. Chris Nylund, guitarist from MagTard, was on the keys and he was having a blast in the corner. Apparently, he was playing a sweet keyboard, but I don’t know anything bout that. I didn’t know the other people in the band since I missed Treas in Season, but to my ears, they sounded really good. I was really there for Roly-Bots. That doesn’t take away from Royal Fireworks. I heard others compare their sound to My Morning Jacket, but I don’t know. If I get the opportunity, I want to hear them again. It was an interesting blend of indie rock and noise rock. It was loud, but it wasn’t. It was almost soothing, melody wise. But then, I only heard three songs.
Roly-Bots struggled through some sound problems at the beginning and I could feel my body starting to get to that point where I know that I have to leave, but I couldn’t leave until I heard Doomsday Death Dance. So unlike the other songs, it stands out to me and makes me want to move a lot, even if I can’t always do so. I love their music, the little things they do to add depth and fullness to their sound, the way the drummer can keep up a two handed beat with one hand, how into the music they get. It adds to the sound that makes them great and when they play, they always put on a good show.
That night wasn’t planned. I mean, the groups didn’t get together and say, “Let’s play all over this city today!” It wasn’t Bragg Jam, although the fun was trying to see them all. 6 outta 7 ain’t bad. It wasn’t the Foodies! or the Reader’s Choice Awards where people expect to go out and see some good stuff and then go to every club in downtown Macon to hang like it’s their one night to celebrate. No, it was a normal frakkin’ Saturday night and the music scene did this city justice. Not everybody is ready to step out of their comfort zones and try the variety of music that this city is creating. Yet this was just one Saturday. So much is happening every week, it borders on the ridiculous to say the opposite. No, you can say you don’t like independent music, you can say that you don’t like to go downtown at night, but you can’t say there’s nothing to do in Macon. That’s just plain wrong.