It looks like there’s a pattern emerging here… lumping these articles together seems to be a more practical way of handling these periodic reviews of Radio Rubber Room’s Wednesday night showcases at Emilio’s. For instance, it allows for more effective procrastination on my part. And, when there are more bands to cover in one article, it allows for more focus on the good acts and less focus on the not-so-great acts.
It looks like there’s a pattern emerging here… lumping these articles together seems to be a more practical way of handling these periodic reviews of Radio Rubber Room’s Wednesday night showcases at Emilio’s. For instance, it allows for more effective procrastination on my part. And, when there are more bands to cover in one article, it allows for more focus on the good acts and less focus on the not-so-great acts. Generally, though, there haven’t been any bad acts. Radio Rubber Room shows continue to sizzle and pop. The last two events were no exception. Two poppin’ sizzlers indeed; Common Wealth & The Welcome Hips on May 21, then Red Light Rodeo & Relacksachian on June 4.
Photo by ishinephotography
In my last article, I referred to Common Wealth as a “no fucking around lineup of veterans.” Those who made it out to that show surely understand what I meant by that. This is a project comprised of serious professional talent. Not only that, but Common Wealth’s two brass players (Nelson and Jackson) have been playing together for years. Their coupled musicianship is phenomenal; it’s like watching two brothers play. It’ll be interesting to see how Common Wealth develops in the coming months, as they phase out some of the cover material they started with and work more original songs into their act.
Photo by ishinephotography
The Welcome Hips fulfilled my rock appetite for the evening. Really, they exist on the continuum of my favorite type of music – refined, controlled alt-rock. They put a lot of emphasis on chiming, high register guitar melodies, courtesy of Doug Fuller. They keep their melodies relatively simple, which I think aids greatly in making the music memorable. Wild keyboard accompaniment balances out the simplicity and edges into the grittiness that ends up defining their sound. The Welcome Hips anticipate the release of their debut EP sometime this August. In the meantime, they have a collection of demos available for public consumption called The Summer of Hate Demos.
Photo by Siobhan Cline
Two weeks through time and space lands us at Emilio’s for Relacksachian’s mountain folk and Red Light Rodeo’s CD release. I had reviewed both of these bands back in the days of the Republic, and I really dig them both. First, Relacksachian. When it comes to a good folk band, it’s easy to hit the ceiling as far as writing a good review – meaning that if the band has all the proper elements (talented guitarists, talented vocalists and harmonizers, natural rhythmists), then it’s actually sort of difficult to come up with something inventive or novel to say about them. For me, this genre is like… a hamburger. I LOVE hamburgers. At first it may sound plain to say, but when something as simple and classic as a hamburger is executed with perfection, it can be one of the best things on this good earth. The folk music format is laid before them, all the ingredients are given. However, it’s the quality of the ingredients that makes the difference. Both of these projects contain the musical equivalent of local, farm-raised, organic beef and vegetables.
Photo courtesy Jammin’ On The James
Red Light Rodeo, as I mentioned, was releasing their EP, Nothing But The Nuts. Right before I submitted this article, I asked Zach Hudgens if there was a good story behind the name, and I’m glad I did so. One of the bars they frequent over in Crozet, a place called Far Downer’s, attracts a… less savory type of person, you might say. On one fateful evening, a really drunk and presumably coked-up fellow was dancing his heart out, performing a move they described as a sort of squatting-pop-up dance. While doing so, it is suspected that he, ahem, soiled his trousers. After they finished the song they were playing, the fellow reared up and howled “Hoo Boy, that was nothin’ but the nuts!” So, there you have it folks.
We weren’t able to get this post up in time to let you know about last night’s Radio Rubber Room at Emilio’s show, featuring Andrew Bayne of Bandrew, along with Doug Fisher of Caught in the Rift. I certainly didn’t know what to expect, but I’ll let you know what transpired in my next review. Til then, keep in mind that Radio Rubber Room’s residency at Emilio’s continues every other Wednesday. They’ll next be in the house on July 2 with My Way along with The Loose Cannon & Motel Fire. Emilio’s Downtown, 10 PM–be there.