Touring to promote its newest release Rock en Espanol Vol. 1, which blends old-time classics with Spanish-language lyrics, Nashville’s Los Straitjackets promise to provide audiences with a humorous, high-energy show.
“We like the way it sounds,” guitar and bass player Eddie Angel said of the record. “When we started the band, we were into ’60s Mexican R’n’R bands … hearing these songs in Spanish makes them sound fresh and different and kind of absurd.”
The record, produced by Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos fame, includes plenty of easy-to-recognize classics and fresh arrangements.
“(Rosas) is an excellent singer and guitar player, and he was very easy to work with, very open to our ideas. He brought a lot of cool ideas to each song,” Angel said.
The band’s costumes are also unusual: custom masks styled after the Lucha Libre wrestling masks of Mexico.
“We thought they looked cool!” Angel said. “When we started the band, we wanted to convey a sense of fun … because if we’re having fun, the audience is having fun.”
Los Straitjackets perform with Tony Furtado and The Last Town Chorus this evening as part of WFPK-FM’s Waterfront Wednesdays, at Waterfront Park’s Harbor Lawn. Showtime is 5 p.m., weather permitting.
Detroit’s Gore Gore Girls return to Louisville Saturday with their brand of R&B/punk-infused rock. Their newest record, Get the Gore, hits the streets June 26. It is available online and by advance mail order.
It was recorded at Ghetto Recorders in Detroit and produced by Amy Gore and Jim Diamond. Gore says Diamond’s involvement was crucial.
“I love recording with Jim. His recordings consistently emerge as work with a feel that one cannot get elsewhere,” Gore said.
Though Gore says “the skirts” are what keeps fans coming back, the music has its own allure. Inspired by everyone from Howlin’ Wolf to The Marvelettes, the girls manage to twist together classic punk motifs and archetypal R&B grooves. Frame it all with retro, B-movie elements, stunning vocal treatments and solid lyrics, and you’ve got a great show.
“I formed the GGG with the inspiration that the perfect band would be a band that looked like the Ronettes and sounded like the Stooges,” Gore said.
But it’s not just glitz, glamour and volume; these girls can play. From Gore’s perspective, it’s all about strength of feeling.
“I like things that elicit emotion,” she said. “I work hard at playing and enjoy what I do.”
Showtime is 8 p.m. at Phoenix Hill Tavern (644 Baxter Ave., 589-4957). Tickets are $10.
Bloomington’s Early Day Miners return to Louisville Saturday to promote All Harm Ends Here, their newest release on Secretly Canadian Records. Featuring an ensemble cast of musicians, the record highlights the attention to quality demonstrated on previous efforts, as well as the group’s growing maturity.
“We wanted to craft a very concise and cohesive album,” said producer/vocalist Daniel Burton. “We tracked the album at an old church out in the country, and I think that helped brighten up what we were doing. I think the end result is a refined, richly atmospheric record.”
Injecting their music with small-town identity, the band aims to produce “music that reflects the people and community you live in,” Burton said.
“Bloomington has a casual, rural feel that has definitely worked its way into our music. From the beginning, we’ve looked to subvert traditional music, to work within its structures and create new sounds.”
In spite of rapidly growing success and recognition, the Miners have kept their feet on the ground.
“We have achieved so much more than I ever could have imagined back when we were getting this thing going,” Burton said. “I used to think it would be great just to have an audience, and somehow we’ve achieved that.”
Sharing the bill is Louisville’s Second Story Man, now promoting a new release, Red Glows Brighter. Second Story Man has shown significant growth as independent artists over the last seven years, and the new recording continues this trend. Show-goers should expect a treat.
“What characterizes the indie genre is that you can’t characterize it, you can do whatever you want,” SSM drummer Evan Bailey said. “All we really want to do is continue this tradition, and hopefully along the way, inspire others to want to leave their mark on the genre.
“We certainly like to keep things interesting within both the instrumentation as well as the vocals,” Bailey added. “There’s no formula; we give the song what we feel it asks for.”
Early Day Miners and Second Story Man join She Keeps Bees, The Love Story and Kangaroo at Keswick Democratic Club (1127 Logan St., 637-9639) Saturday night. The all-ages show is $6 and starts at 6 p.m.
Making its first appearance in Louisville, California’s own Sound Tribe Sector Nine promises to electrify audiences while also improving the lives of others.
One dollar of every ticket will go to benefit charitable causes ranging from sustainable farming initiatives in Africa to children’s after-school art programs.
“We’re all honored to be doing what we’re doing, and we see a lot of things in the world that need changing,” said percussionist Jeffree Lerner. “This is a way of giving back.”
With an upcoming performance scheduled at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre, large-bill shows like Lollapalooza and a record release scheduled for fall, the band strives to stay grounded.
“When we play those bigger rooms or outdoor venues, it allows our music to open up,” Lerner said. “We try to take it in stride and not get too psyched out, try to just translate the music and use the good energy of the crowd.”
As for the forthcoming record, the band prefers not to rush, placing great emphasis on remaining true to the music and keeping it honest for themselves and the fans.
“The music is … an imprint of where we are now,” Lerner said. “It’s a little bit of what we do live and what we do in the studio. We’re trying to get a good representation of our experiences.”
Lerner noted that fans play a crucial role.
“I credit the fans with a lot,” he said. “We want to keep our music growing and be on the forefront to keep up with ourselves and keep our attention on the core thing: quality art. We leave the rest up to the fans, and stay true to the music.”
STS9 plays Headliners (1386 Lexington Road, 584-8088) Thursday. Showtime is 9 p.m. Tickets are $17.50 in advance, $20 the day of the show, and are on sale at ear X-tacy, Ticketweb or at Grateful Threads.
Mark Heidinger, a.k.a. Vandaveer, left the bluegrass plains of Lexington three years ago for the nation’s capital, giving his wife a chance to go to grad school, and Heidinger a chance to turn inward.
He’s now lived in D.C. three years — long enough to know how sweltering the summers are — and has something to show for it musically. Grace & Speed is a 10-track bedroom recording of an album Heidinger says he banged out in about a week. It’s steeped in the tradition of gritty folk singers, born partially of time spent traveling back and forth to Lexington while recording with his breakout band, The Apparitions.
“More than anything, the Vandaveer record came about as a reaction to The Apparitions,” Heidinger said in an interview last week. “As much as I love that band and enjoyed the process, it exacts a toll. The idea of a stripped-down, folk-oriented (album) was really appealing.”
Heidinger plays three times Thursday: At 3 p.m., he performs live on WPFK-FM (91.9); at 5:30 p.m., there’s a free in-store at ear X-tacy (1534 Bardstown Road, 452-1799); and at 8 p.m. he’s at the 930 Arts Center (930 Mary St., 635-7053) with Chemic. Cover for that one is $5.
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