Last Week’s Show: The RKK Part

If the poster for the show didn’t bring your rear-end there, what will!?

Last week.  Thursday night.  Party time.

Louisville’s Jack Holiday and The Westerners opened.  I missed that.

Second on the agenda was Rainbow K.K.  Unveiling some new material (to me, at least — this is my first time catching them since their Young Mary gig earlier this year) - I was very happy to see progress in them as songwriters and performers.  Never a dull moment with frontman Lando/Stefan/Pistolwhip Meadows - he seems to have really gotten a handle on maintaining his erratic body language with more controlled vocals. 

Now, this wasn’t just another gig - but also the dual release of RKK’s new EP: Cutie Pie (BELOW) and Fairweather Kings’ (first!) self-titled EP.  (second post on FWK to come!)

Photo by Daniel Peach.  Recorded by Greyskull Recordings.  Design by Kelly Mulhall.  In local terms, that is an all-star recipe for an EP based on who’s helpin’ alone. 

A six-song release of the homespun, quirky, going-going-gone tracks we have come to expect from these guys, I’d compare this EP to their first release by looking at the little kitty sticker that came with my purchase of the cd.   Before, RKK was a kitty.  Furry.  Inquisitive.  Our sweet new pet.  With Cutie Pie, our darling babies have found the ball of yarn.  It’s only a matter of time before they’ve strung themselves all over our house - these tunes say to me: it’s okay to be a little messy, a little crazy, and unravel in front of someone. 

To download the EP for FREE: hit RKK’s bandcamp: HERE.  To do what I did and SUPPORT local music, donate to them via bandcamp or buy that physical CD from them at their next gig.  They’re pretty receptive dudes and I bet if you posted on their FB, they’d probably just drop off some tunes in your mailbox or in a hole in a designated tree in a public park.  SEND THE CASH. MAKE THE DROP.

*Favorite Track from Cutie Pie: Teenage Myth

*Most meaningful lyrics to me from Cutie Pie:

"thinking back on you, you had me broken, now i’m fixed

looking back on you, you had me broken, now i’m fixed

but now that you’re gone, but now that you’re gone,

SHE HAS ME FIXED” - from title track, Cutie Pie.

*What I Love: These lyrics remind me of college and college reminds me of fearlessness and being very much alive and being very much alive reminds me that I should be using my life.

*What I Like: Stefan doesn’t have to be anything but himself to pull this off.  No insane vocal wanks, no trying too hard.

*What I Wish: The backing band = solid, talented musicians.  Pack that punch, boys.  You will have women (and men) indie-bopping their heads ‘til the end of time and mimicking Stefan if you will just be the example for them that it is okay to act out, too. 



Bowling Green Invasion: The Great 8

I arrived at Mercy Lounge before they officially opened the doors.  The venue was mostly empty — the Buffalo Rodeo guys were on stage sound-checking — Rainbow KK’s frontman Stefan Meadows scuffled in and out, repping a black Hold Steady jacket.  I sat down beside Lost River Caveman Michael McMillan.  Musicians slowly rolled in — one talented player after another, dragging an amp behind them, or a cymbal bag slung on their back — and I said ” You know, we oughta take a group picture.”  Mcmillan agreed — “This does feel like a class reunion.” 

Then, a tour bus pulled up.  Dumbfounded, I speculated with the rest of the crowd.  Was it Cage The Elephant ?  Chris Placco’s dad takin’ one out for a spin?  Or a random country act, Instant People, comprised of members of country legend Glen Campbells’ family members?   Oh, the obvious choice.

While nobody understood why or how it went down, Insant People, played 4 well-crafted country tunes.  More than one person nearby said “It’s like Mumford and Sons…but countrier.”  and the entire Bowling Green scene ( a massive crowd came out for this show!) just watched in befuddled entertainment.  Instant People played their tunes — they blundered around in the crowd for a few minutes — I heard that Glen Campbell was actually in attendance, but didn’t actually see him — and then they got on their bus and were off. 

Now, no harping on anybody out there trying for exposure and while admitting that this was a good opportunity to be had, I must pose a question.  Has Instant People ever considered that they might look a tad on the shithead side for crashing an event meant to honor other equally talented musicians (none of which are related to Glen Campbell) and then not even staying to watch a single other band play?  Who exactly do they think they are? Glen Campbell’s relatives.  Who have money invested in them.  And nice gear.  Oh and a tour bus.  And most of them had really nicely-coiffed hair. 

All that aside, they were talented musicians.  I just think they could use a lesson in Southern Hospitality.  Maybe that’s asking too much.  (As I write this blog, I just made a semi-cranky comment on Instant People’s facebook page — I wonder if I’ll pay for that.)

Now — onto the rest of the evening —

The evening opened with Buffalo Rodeo.  Every time I see this band perform, they impress me with something new.  It’s like they’re continually barreling forward, working, adding new stuff, and playing as much as they can.  Reminds me of another band I know that started out this way.  Or two.

BAND: BUFFALO RODEO:

WHAT I LOVE: Their entire look!  I always tell these guys it is “clean, yet white trash” — they look so real life, but also perfectly put together. 

WHAT I WISH: that I had any earthly idea what the singer was saying 63% of the time.  He obviously has a great vocal range and can enunciate in regular conversation and here’s why I care: the melodies are GREAT — I sing them and make up lyrics, as is, so if I knew what he was really saying — they’d be 100% perfection. 

MISHEARD/ MADE UP LYRICS for a BR SONG: “Jeeeeperrssss Creeepersss Save my Souuulllll”

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THESE GUYS: many more shows, huge local fanbase grows, only a matter of time before the reward as long as they stick together

MY (totally unqualified) ADVICE: Please stick together.  The sky is the limit if you do.

Next, Rainbow K.K. was up to bat.  As I often call them “the wku hipster favorite” — they really are expanding their fanbase by doing shows like this.  This is a band that other bands (cough, cough Instant People) could learn a lesson from on manners and being super sweet ass people. 

BAND: RAINBOW KK

WHAT I LOVE: nearly every lyric that comes out of Stefan’s mouth.  Probably helps that he’s a film/english nerd like myself— but the lyrics are super strong.  His stage antics only help push the envelope.

WHAT I WISH: that the other supporting band members would act out just the same!  I did witness Austin Klaine do a jump in the air — so he’s on his way!  But how can y’all expect the crowd to dance around with Stefan if you’re not showin’ that you feel it? 

MISHEARD/MADE UP LYRICS FOR RKK SONG: “I’ll personally take your piss!  I’ll personally take your piss!”

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THESE GUYS: I remember asking one of them (stefan or seth) about the future before — I *think* he said once they’re beyond school, they’d be interested in more touring.  If they could get a GREAT recording of 5 songs (ep) and get that shiz picked up on college radio — a lot of doors could open.

MY (totally unqualified) ADVICE:  Consider a college radio campaign with your next EP.  It’s an investment, but as long as you have the goods to back it up, it’s a solid investment.

Lost River Cavemen.  I will not admit how long it has been since I’ve seen these guys’ live — and boy, will I never make it that long again.  Purely polished act.  You know they’ve been to this rodeo before immediately.  Tight musically — stage presence ON — and a pleasure to watch. 

BAND: LOST RIVER CAVEMEN

WHAT I LOVE: They are the whole package.  Everyone is musically at the same level and a veteran of the stage.  I literally could not get enough of Geno Wilson and his theatrical bass playing — or really, any of the rest of the band!  The crowd went from head-nodding to official hip moving with THIS set.

WHAT I WISH: I’m not exactly well-versed ( a pun? ) with this genre as much as garage rock — but I wish there were more really clear, really simple hooks.  Chorus me to death because I love everything you write, Michael McMillian.  I need something I can chant/holler/jump jive and wail over and over with y’all. You need a “cavemen” anthem!

MISHEARD/MADE UP LRCM LYRICS:  “you never squirt girls with shot guns”

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THESE GUYS:  They’re the whole package — it would take one serious investor to take them from a “regional” act to a “southeastern” act — just have to find them.

MY (totally unqualified) ADVICE: Festival market — yes, shows and shows more, too.  But festivals are networking events as much as great exposure.

Schools followed Lost River Cavemen — I could see Jeremi Simon’s wild mane of hair coming from a mile away.  And I love it.  Having just worked on an album with the same producers that worked with Cage The Elephant and Sleeper Agent, it’s safe to say these guys are next in line for the close looks of the music industry.  And I couldn’t be happier for them.

What I Love: Jeremi Simon is a clever-as-shit songwriter (taking many cues from Daniel Johnston) — Daniel Marlowe is a literal marathon drummer - Joey Bennet is the realest human being I talk to on a regular basis -JD Minor knows how to make the guitar look bad-ass no matter what he’s playing — and Russell Brooks, I won’t even begin.

What I Wish: (Jeremi will know this is coming) I wish Jeremi would open his eyes.  I have this *thing* and to some other people, it just doesn’t matter — but it’s this saying I made up “If you can’t face the crowd, why should the crowd face you?”   You are great and confident and you have the world believing in you — don’t be afraid to look and see it all happening. 

Misheard/Made Up Lyrics for Schools: “We all can be a porn king” sung to “well be alright in the morning”

What Will Happen to These Guys: All of the “details” of their label dealings and record are still a little hazy for me — but if they’re anything like the Sleeper Agent phenom then I’d say they have a lot of tour support slots for them, I *know* a coveted SXSW slot, and a whole lot of the right kind of exposure.

My (totally unqualified) Advice:  You are the good guys.  You know where you came from.  And you deserve this opportunity.  Keep both those things in perspective and you’ll have our hearts forever.

If the Lost River Cavemen hadn’t got hips swaying, Billy Swayze would have.  A girl friend of mine who watched Billy (for the first time) from the front row said after his set, “I think he just had sex with all of us.”  Can you get a better compliment for a crooner like him?

BAND: BILLY SWAYZE

WHAT I LOVE: Goddamn you, Billy Swayze, and knowing all the “hot man” tricks.  You’ve got the hair, you’ve got the smile, you’ve got the unbuttoned shirt, and lucky for you — you’ve also got the talent.  And a great backing band that is supporting you.  You’re a lucky little shit — now stop gloating and go to my next paragraph.

WHAT I WISH: We’d get some new material from you.  Take what I told Michael McMillan and reverse (man,I’m on a pun roll) it.  You have no problem bringing us in and I will be damned if I didn’t say “you’ve got that good stuff” 600 times last night on the way home — but I want a little more substance in the rest of it all.  Balance me like you do in your ballads with the upbeat songs. 

MISHEARD/MADE-UP BILLY SWAYZE LYRICS: “My name is Gustav” instead of “I got that good stuff” — very catchy, very funny.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THESE GUYS: Continued touring — expanding their fan base— I could see these jams used in tv/movie licensing EASILY.  Especially the ballads. 

My (totally unqualified) Advice:  Get out and make some Non-BG, Non-Nashville band friends.  It would be silly not to invest in your home base — but you got the goods to trade some shows all over our region.  You’d go over wonderful in Knoxville/Chattanooga to start.  Believe it.

The Black Shades, of course, played next, but I would look like a total douche-master if I gave much feedback on this — even though I act pretty objectively when talking about them and likely give them more hell than I’d give any other band.  So…to summarize, they played well, we are busting our asses, and there’s always room to improve just like all the other bands on this page.

Following the Black Shades came two other local bands, The Plastic Friends and Fatbox.  Both these bands are absolutely worth some time and ink — but my camera died literally as I was trying to take a photo of Will Perkins’ yellow shows.  To remedy their seemingly “left-out”ness of this blog, I am personally vowing to go see them live and write a separate blog all of their own.  Just gotta nail down a day. 

Last, but not least, I’d like to say that I feel blessed to be part of our music community.  Part of my 2012 Mantras are to be around as many smart, talented people as I can be and that happens without me having to move an inch from home.  Bowling Green is a force to be reckoned with.  Keep the energy going.



Young Mary’s Record Presents: 1

Young Mary’s Record had the pleasure of sponsoring and hosting the first of many shows at BGKY’s new downtown venue, The Twisted Tap, on January 4.  In my attempt to book a diverse range of musicians (genre as well as demographic), the three showcased bands included KIC - a younger group of just-now-20-somethings that fall in the pop punk category, Patson - a veteran of the music scene, and guaranteed future rockdaddy superstar, and Rainbow KK - a growing local indie favorite with catchy, wavvy (can I say that, sure.) tunes.

The KIC group is comprised of younger players, but they held their own.  Some veteran hipsters of BGKY waltzed in the bar and commented on the range of Frontman Colton Fulcher’s voice and the great musicality of the group as a whole.  I was most impressed with two covers— Come Together (Beatles) and All Apologies (Nirvana) — these songs gave Fulcher a great range to act out on stage (punk music = jump up, jump down, jump off of things) and he was amid one of these tunes when I snapped this picture.   Great stage presence.  Great energy.  Go like ‘em on FB: HERE.

In the year of 2011, The Black Shades played a whole lot of shows and festivals, where I saw a whole lot of bands from all over the US and Canada.  All of that considered, the best damn thing I saw all year, the best kept secret was right in Kentucky, hiding out in Muhlenburg County — just being Patson.

All you had to do was watch the crowd on Wednesday.  As soon at that first drum/strum/sing-song started, every person in there was watching him — and recording him via Iphone. They wanted to take Patson home with them.  And the women, in the naughty way, I have a feeling.

He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s my new pet project.   Watch him HERE, if you haven’t.  Fan him on FB: HERE.

The reason I like Rainbow K.K. so much is because they are just being who they are.  No holds barred. It is un-assuming, it is genuine, and it is catchy as all hell.  Late at night, long after a set of theirs and pajama-clad, I lay down on my pillow and find myself wanting to jerk my legs, roll around, dance my feet on the ceiling and search for personal peace, as frontman Lando Meadows has hyper-actively suggested in RKK’s lyrics.

As far as local musical politics go, Rainbow KK seems to be working their way quickly up the totem pole - playing with and friendly with all the right bands, and developing a growing fan base.  Like them on FB: HERE — they’re absolutely worth a watchful eye.  I am also expecting great things on their next music release — when’s it comin’, y’all?

Young Mary Presents will be on a hiatus this Wednesday, January 11, but will return on January 18 and be pairing with Revolution 91.7 to sponsor the evening.  Line-up to be announced very soon!

To keep up with these happenings and this blog, follow me or LIKE me on FB: HERE.