JEFF the Brotherhood. Photo by Tanya Wright.
Check out the JEFF the Brotherhood slideshow
for more photos.
This past weekend concluded the "Winter of Dreamz" series of shows at the Mercy Lounge, and the Nashville Cream was asked to host the festivities on Friday night. As curators, we asked the Cream-approved tandems of JEFF the Brotherhood and Ghostfinger to play on account of their proven consistency and general awesomeness--or, as emcee, comedian and Alcohol Stuntman Chris Crofton explained, because they're overrated. Crofton opened the night with his standup act that felt less like a series of jokes than unscripted rants, and the Kings of Leon bore the brunt of it. During the spiel, our cohort overheard a man ask his companion why she didn't seem to be enjoying herself. She said it was because Crofton was talking shit about her two favorite bands. Welcome to Nashville Cream.
Leading up to the show, the third band had been listed as TBA, leading to a handful of rumors and murmurs that perhaps a big surprise was in store--maybe a Be Your Own Pet reunion. Turns out we didn't have shit up our sleeves, and the surprise was something called The Spaceship of the Imagination, performing what they called "A Carl Sagan Christmas" and featuring Ghostfinger keyboardist Matt Rowland. Now you know the difference between "TBA" and "special guest"; the former means that something's getting thrown together last minute.
The turban-attired Spaceship's cheesy, electro-instrumental Christmas jams befuddled and bemused, the set lasting just barely 20 minutes and just long enough for the joke to remain funny. Following some between-set insult-slinging courtesy of Crofton, the floor in front of stage filled with people, and smatterings of denim jackets sporting Rat Patrol patches.
For a band seemingly popular with the crust-punk contingent, JEFF certainly doesn't sound the part, and they've been straying even further from that sound with each passing show. Their concise, riff-centered post-punk is gradually giving way to open spaces and more overt psych-rock influences. The old songs are extended with whammy pedal freakouts, while the newer stuff is much more melodic. That isn't to say that they don't still riff-out some fist pumps, as evidenced by the audience pumping their fists during the riffs.
Ghostfinger at Mercy Lounge. Photo by Tanya Wright.
(Check out the Ghostfinger slideshow
for more photos.)
Ghostfinger performed as a duo as well, as they have been while drummer Van Campbell has toured with the Black Diamond Heavies--frontman Richie Kirkpatrick handling guitar duties, Rowland on keys and an iPod on everything else. While Campbell's contributions are obviously missed, we appreciated the quirky approach to what's otherwise some fairly straightforward rocker songs--albeit ones with lyrics to the effect of "make your pussy walk 'round the mall." But it's absurdity that makes Ghostfinger work, and anything exaggerating that modus operandi is welcome by us.