Skeletons in the jukebox
“Skeletons” provides a forum for local musicians, artists, record-store owners, etc., to erase cool points by expressing their affection for an unhip album from their past.
Triumph, by singer/songwriter Dave Desmelik
“In the mid- to late-’80s, there was a band that I felt rocked. Melodic and smooth, they could also be rough and edgy. They had high, piercing voices, screaming guitar solos, pensive bass lines and too many drum fills.
“This band was considered a power trio. Not only that, but a Canadian power trio. That’s right, I’m talking about a band affectionately known as Triumph. It’s true. Allied Forces was one of my favorite recordings, and there were times it didn’t leave my tape player. For a spell, they were my band, and I thought they were great.
“Wow … I feel better.”
Rufus Grove, Sanctuary: Two Stars
• Genre(s): Jam
• You’ll like it if: You find the terms “experimentation” and “jam” interchangeable.
• Defining song: “Sanctuary” — The title track struts like a surly peacock, and is a great gauge of how the band sounds live.
For most jam bands, the live show is the ultimate voyage, and the studio a temporary port at best. Asheville-based Rufus Grove is no exception. Still, the first three songs on Sanctuary charge out of the gate like bloodthirsty bulls. The band’s grooves are reverential to their forefathers (Allman Brothers, Widespread, etc.), and they do their genre a service, even if further studio surprises are lacking. But straight-faced ballads like “City Lights” and “Easy” had me pining for my own sanctuary.
Of Montreal at the Grey Eagle; Wednesday, Aug. 24: Three Stars
• Genre(s): Indie, Rock
• Be glad you stayed home if: You shudder to fathom geeky rockers inciting a boogie frenzy.
• Defining moment: A cover of Brian Eno’s “The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch” during encore. A difficult number, the band pulled it off brilliantly, giving concrete credence that Of Montreal is furthering the legacy of the eccentric Eno.
Twelve years ago, when Lenny Kravitz could actually call “cool” a friend, I eagerly anticipated his opening performance for the Rolling Stones. Sadly, tailgating antics impeded the way in, and all I got of Kravitz’s show was the final guitar clang followed by “thank you!!!”
This memory came rushing back after Of Montreal’s recent Grey Eagle gig. Playing for barely an hour, the Athens-based, Harvest Records-hosted band worked the crowd into a lather and then didn’t give them the courtesy of a shave. However, the troupe, led by bizarro Kevin Barnes, played flawlessly, relying heavily on their latest album, Sunlandic Twins (Polyvinyl Record Company). Affectionately dubbed “nerd funk” by some, their ouevre is best considered an unsanctioned matrimony between Eno and disco. The apparent earthquake that visited Wednesday night was outdone by the shaking on the dance floor.
[When he’s not bending readers to his will, Hunter Pope cooks, gardens, hikes and spends his mortgage money on CDs he’s never heard.]