Foo ﬁghtin’You’ve got to hand it to FooBar—for such a small venue, this little East Side dive sure knows how to cram a lot of rock into very little space. The Spin headed to Foo Friday night to check out Tigers Con Queso and Mean Tambourines, and were pleasantly surprised to ﬁnd there was no cover. We arrived in the middle of Louisiana transplant Jacob Thomas’ set, and it was plain to see that, in addition to a beautiful Gibson hollow-body, this guy brought a little bit of the bayou with him. We weren’t familiar with Thomas, who typically plays with a backing band, but we were pretty impressed with his bluesy riffs and soulful, lovelorn crooning. Next up was perky lo-ﬁ punk outﬁt Tigers Con Queso, who crammed their gear onto FooBar’s tiny stage the best they could. Singer and veritable man-about-town (and Scene contributor) Seth Graves was adorned in his trademark sombrero and homemade poncho as he guided the Tigers through a jittery, upbeat set that was something like what Beat Happening might sound like were Daniel Johnston their frontman. Their set even featured a novel cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” with—you guessed it—a healthy dose of cowbell. Mean Tambourines had a tough act to follow, but something about their demeanor told us they weren’t too daunted. The Tambourines performed their glitzy, four-on-the-ﬂoor pop-rock while bathed in the light of FooBar’s all-too-appropriate disco ball, and the crowd, though a bit deafened, responded with drunken approval. With their towering, tattooed bassist, a drummer who seemed utterly unaffected and a thrusting frontman who hit all the high notes, Mean Tambourines’ presence was almost bigger than the bar itself. We hung around to catch a song or two from the gruff rockabilly trio The Wooly Mamas, but the ringing in our ears told us it was time to call it a night.
Two to tangoUpon hearing that the Can You Duet? performers would be at the Edgehill Café last Friday, The Spin was a little confused. Maybe the show was taking a night off? In case you didn’t know, the series is a country music version of American Idol (and shares the same producers), and it’s normally ﬁlmed downtown at the Wildhorse, airing every Friday night on CMT. Add to the confusion that The Spin, in tight jeans and Western shirts, was painfully underdressed. The crowd was predominantly female—all twentysomethings dressed to the nines, sporting high-heeled stilettos and dresses that rivaled most we’ve seen on prom night. The crowd’s aesthetic was puzzling—who were these fans trying to impress? There were no cameras. As we soon found out, they weren’t fans—they were the performers. But where was People magazine’s 2003 sexiest man alive, host Rossi Morreale? Instead we got surrogate host/contestant Jared Johnson, with his button-down Oxford and gelled hair. Luckily, Johnson explained that the show actually ﬁnished recording about a month ago and a winner had already been chosen. But strangely, to TV-watching fans—and the top eight competitors performing that night, all of whom knew the winner among them, but were contractually sworn to silence until the June 13 reveal—Can You Duet? seemed far from over. With each set, it was becoming clearer that these artists were still strung out on the show, exchanging smiles and quips like it was the season ﬁnale. The sparsely populated, somewhat indifferent crowd of peers, middle-aged couples and coffee drinkers didn’t look like they were going to dial in a vote, though—which made the acts’ seasoned pro shtick all the more bizarre. Still, we witnessed seasoned guitar playing, songwriting and vocal abilities. Standout sets came from overall-wearing Rory Feek and Joey Martin, whose female-to-male vocal harmonies gave their songs balance and substance. Other stellar performances came from Ruth Collins of Wild Honey, who was sans her duet partner (ironic?). Collins’ skinny jeans and ballet ﬂats reinforced her more original sounding pseudo-indie-country music hybrid. But talent aside, there is something cringe-worthy in that made-for-TV style of music—the lack of individuality made the songs seem mass-produced and unoriginal. By the end of the night, we still had no idea who the winner was, but our vote is on Collins, even if we never actually saw her duet.
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The guitar is a custom made Gretsch he used on the Raconteurs tours...sweet. I couldn't…
I knew him before the beard.
Sometimes I think snowman69 makes good points. But I think he's way off the mark…
http://www.reverbnation.com/guesthousestud… git some black rain y'all...very nice piece Mr. Anderson