Couches on Fire

A Morgantown Area Music and Culture Blog

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Week That Was

Things have been slow around these pages lately. My bad. I've seen a lot of music lately, so let me fill you in:

Saturday, 4/7: Caught Thred at 123 Pleasant Street. I had a great time. It's hard for Thred to impress me anymore, since I've seen them so many times. On this night I thought they sounded funky and on point, and found myself really digging what they were doing and listening with more focus than usual. A couple of the band members weren't happy with the show afterwards, so it shows what I know.

Monday, 4/9: Big Ass Mantee's masks were creepy in a good way. That band is fun, and they've set the bar pretty high for onstage outfits. I beleive they'll continue to one-up themselves. Kid Koala was great. I'm not a DJ guy, but was impressed and entertained. The bar was pretty full, and it was weird to be out - the vibes inside re-inforced that notion. It was a Monday after all.

Tuesday, 4/10: Desperate to see a show outside 123, I headed to Pittsburgh to see Widespread Panic and I don't know why. This band, unlike many other bands who are the opposite, is LESS than the sum of it's parts. Dave Schools is great, and I love his work with Jerry Joseph and J.Mascis. John Bell writes good tunes. Jimmy Herring is as good of a guitar player as is living today. Together, what do you get? Boredom. Jesus christ people, can we lay off the bongos for five minutes? I did see one pillar of the local music scene up in the 'burgh for the show, hanging his head hoping no one would see him. You know who you are.

Saturday, 4/14: Treehugger's Ball at Sunshine Daydream. '85 Flood played our second show as a rock n' roll band and it went well. Had to play for a half an hour longer than we have material for, and a long drawn out version of Neil Young's "Down By the River" did the trick. I don't think the hippies seemed to mind. Avett Brothers headlined, and I think they are my favorite band going right now. How do they do it? I don't know. I'm blow away by everything that band touches. They were so good, I'm considering driving to NYC for their CD Release show. Too much? Nah, not for the Avett's. Drew Emmitt Band closed things out as the latenight band and were an alcohal fueled high paced good time. They closed with a cover of Townes Van Zandt's "White Freightliner Blues" and I couldn't have been happier. That is until the next morning when I had to have that "I'm never drinking again...." conversation with myself. But that's a story for another time.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Weekend Roundup 3/30 & 3/31

Friday, March 30th
123 Pleasant St. - Treasurecat
Get throttled
Fuel - I am Ahab
I am the whale.

Saturday, March 31st
123 Pleasant St. - Billy Matheny & the Frustrations, Moon
Fuel - Beloved Dead

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Weekend Roundup 3/23 & 3/24

123 Pleasant St. - Monkey Knife Fights, Meuwl, Big Ass Manatee
Monkeys and Meuwls and Manatees... ooh my!

Thurs. 3/22
123 Pleasant St. - '85 Flood, David Bello & His God-Given Right, Beats the Devil
Rebirth of the flood.

Fri. 3/23
123 Pleasant St.- I Am Ahab, Hogblast, Dr. Murph,
Bringin' the rock
Fuel - Symmetrical Kickboxing
Last Chance to Dance Trance

Sat. 3/24
123 Pleasant Street - Rocky Votolato, Drag the River, Love Me Knots, Owen
Whiskey and twang
Black Bear - Dan Cunningham
Finger pickin' good

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Weekend Roundup 3/16 & 3/17

Friday, March 16th
123 Pleasant St - The Bridge, The Sextet
Black Bear Burritos - Mike Morningstar & Rick Roberts
Pickin' and grinnin'
Fuel - The Longest Line
Geometry at it's finest

Saturday, March 17th
123 Pleasant St. - A Benefit for Danielle Bartug
feat. Billy Matheny & the Frustrations (6:20), Jonestown (7:00), The Stonewall Jackson 5ive (7:40), Thred (8:20), David Bello (9:00), Meuwl (9:40) Ill League [Profit Money, J Cart, & D-WHY](10:15), J.Marinelli (10:50), M Iafrate & S Decker (11:30), Bedtime (12:10), Drown Culture (1:00)
Fuel - I AM AHAB, Treasure Cat, West By God
Luck o' the metal.
Mercury - DJ Saenz
Ole, ole, ole.
Side Pocket Pub - Jonestown, Billy Matheny solo
Drink the Kool-aid

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Weekend Roundup 3/9 & 3/10

Fri. March 9th
123 Pleasant St. - Thred, Boogie Hustlers
Gots the funk
Archie's - The New Relics
Blue Moose Cafe - Bob Shank, Rachel Eddy & Friends
Benefit for Augusta Scholarships
Fuel - WestbyGod, Mojo Filter
Hard rockin' in the basement
Mercury - Sabor Latino
Latin music explosion
Side Pocket Pub - Johnny Harmonic, B Hyphen & Ace Beanz
Throw your hands in the air

Sat. March 10th
123 Pleasant St. - Treasure Cat, the flyinghellfish
A benefit for Cory Bicanich
Blue Moose Cafe - Todd Burge, Cracker Stackwell
Gibbies - Cheap Truckers Speed Reunion
Blast from the past
Sabor Latino - Side Pocket Pub at Mountainlair Sabor Latino
Muy caliente!
Fuel - Manaia, The Last Rock Show
Rock stylin'
Mercury - The Skinnys
Under the covers

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Band Resurrected (albeit only briefly)

I've never seen Cheap Truckers' Speed.

From 1997 to 2001, while I lived outside of Washington DC this alt-country combo held court in Morgantown as one of the town's finest local acts. If you missed the boat on Cheap Truckers Speed, as I did, it's not to late.

Frontman Brian Porterfield has resuscitated the group for a one off celebration this Saturday night at Gibbie's. Joining Porterfield will be Raj "Boom Boom" Chandren on drums, Kim Monday on bass, and former CTS drummer Billy Matheny playing utility man on guitar, lap steel, mandolin and more.

Cheap Truckers Speed will be revisiting their entire catalog, and it looks to be a marathon affair of twangy guitars, cheap whiskey, and fast women. For this special occasion the group has also re-released everything they ever recorded as a two cd compilation titled Six Strings and the Will to Live. If tunes like "I Only Love You When I'm Drunk", "Hard Liquor, Hard Livin', Easy Women" and "Jehovah's Key Witness" sound like your thing, make sure to check this one out.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Saturday Night's Alright

This Saturday night in Morgantown, I saw four bands in three differant venues. I don't ever want to hear anyone say that there's nothing to do in this town.

I started by stopping by the Blue Moose Cafe to catch some of Billy Matheny and Haley Slagle's set. I've sung Matheny's praises on these pages a number of times in the past, so you know how I feel. Slagle continues to be this town's finest singer and was a standout on a set-closing cover of Patty Griffen's "Florida". Other tunes in the setlist included "I Hope I Don't See You Today", "Don't Feel Guilty", "Reckless" and a cover of David Bowie's "Modern Love". Billy told me later that I missed the new tunes at the beginning of the set, which was disappointing, but it was still a delightful appetizer to kick off a full night of music.

Athens, Ohio's The Princes of Hollywood took the stage next with their mellow brand of acoustic pop tunes. Intresting instrumentation and melodic harmonies make the Princes stand out in a crowd. The closest comparisons that I can think of are to the Kamikaze Hearts or acoustic Counting Crows. I caught about half of their set before heading out to catch another show. I would have liked to stay longer, but I was a man with a plan. A plan to see as much music as possible.

I rolled down to McClafferty's where Herb & Hanson were holding court with fingers flying up and down the fretboard with aplomb. This acoustic duo, who are techincally from out of town, have done their time in the trenches of the University City. Tonight's show was a three set affair stretching from 10pm-2am with an interesting blend of originals from their newly released "The Whiskey Fund", and an eclectic array of covers. For their sparse instrumentation, either two guitars or one guitar/one mandolin, these two got a whole lot of sound and energy out of their axes and the audience responded in kind.

Finally, I headed up to 123 Pleasant Street as the Librarians were
midway through their set opening rendition of "Right On". At this point, I'm devoted to their music and these guys never fail to amaze. The energy that this quartet gets from their audience can make the hair on the back of your neck stand at attention. My only qualm with this show was that I was too late to catch It's Birds (if you did, tell us about it in the comments). The set closing combo of "Sweet Sugar Lip", "Culture Vulture" and the Clash's "Straight to Hell" was a juggernaut that pushed me back out into the night clamoring for more Librarians.

All in all, it was a Saturday evening well spent.