One and the Nines’ and McMickle Bros.’ worlds collide at IMAC
This Friday I once again ventured out to I.M.A.C. to see the One and the Nines and McMickle Bros. play. The day started as most Fridays do for me…….around noon with the remains of what would have been a hangover washed away with some pepto and a lil bit of Knob Creek, my mouth tasting like something the cat dragged in and a vague recollection of deeds of the prior night. Damn! I was working last night how did this happen? As my memory slowly decompressed in the worst way it can from a black out. I noticed two things. Less importantly, the first being a sandwich that had been half eaten (man, I have to clean my room today), much more importantly I have a notice on my calendar that the McMickle Bros. were going to be playing in town tonight! I have to tell you I get a lot more excited when a band is playing in Jersey City, while my traveling exploits make great stories to write about, taking the train is a pain in the ass way to travel.
Eight hours later, I’m slightly more sober (by the way as I’m writing this I’m knee deep into the start of what looks to become a very drunk Sunday afternoon) definitely a lot cleaner and my room is starting to shape up a bit. I called up my friend Missy (and by called, yes I mean text messaged. For some unknown reason my cell phone wasn’t using the voice or sound options) after a bit of back and forth and persuasion she agreed to meet me out.
I want to make an imperative point: I believe that bringing a friend to a show is not just vital for local music but essential to the very fiber of local music and the future of the music industry! It is especially important if we ever hope to be freed of monster corporate labels and the soulless music they produce. That said its a nice thing to do too!
I piddled around the house for a few more hours doing pretty much nothing in particular checked out the other bands playing and realized that the One and Nines were set to be there too! Awesome! Two bands I dig are playing! Suit up….Hmm it’s cold out again. Will spring ever come to Jersey City? I mean it’s cool to get all dressed up and wear all this wacky stuff, I have a lot of neat jackets, shoes and t-shirts. But all most folks get to see is the jackets because its SOOO FUCKING COLD OUT! So tonight its back to the classic T-shirt, Jeans, Track Jacket, Leather Jacket, Doc Martens and out the door I go. I took the walk over to I.M.A.C.
It’s 8:15 and the doors open at 8, so I assumed the bands would be warming up or something like that. It was much more like it’s something like that. Ghost Town: population Zac Clark, Rocker Tycoon! I sat down for a bit, grabbed a Budweiser and chilled out. Paracusia was setting up….(they were the first band). They started up, played a few songs the place started to fill in. By the end of their set there was a sizable crowd in the place and I wasn’t feeling like such a loner anymore. They finished up their final song. And this is the first time I’ve EVER seen this from a Non-Headlining band….THE CROWD WANTED MORE. “One More Song!” came a shout from the back! Soon the entire crowd was yelling it. What were they to do? Well, Of course they played another song! It really makes my heart warm up when the crowd has that much love for a band! After the show I got a chance to talk with a few of the guys from Paracusia. I asked them about the encore. They were just as surprised as I was, it was their first encore! Mark my words it won’t be their last! I shot a few of them and snagged some video for you to check out!
Took another Bud and Missy showed up. Next up was Kiwi the Child a side Project of the One and Nines’ Bassist (Alex Tyshkov) and Vocalist (Vera Sousa). My only question I’d asked myself upon first hearing about K.t.C. would have been, “With such a distinctive sounding band, why did you feel the need for a side project?” In my experience with bands the side project band is almost always a watered down version of the original band or some kind of in-joke or cover band. It’s obvious that sideshow buffoonery was about the last thing I could use to describe K.t.C.. TOTALLY DIFFERENT SOUND! If One and the Nines are Wilson Pickett meets Roy Orbison with the vocal style of Patty Labelle then Kiwi the Child is Bradley Nowell and Gwen Stefani (pre-solo career, of course) with the Wailers backing it all up. Actually HOLD IT! That’s not fair! Both of these bands have their own distinct sound, comparing them to other widely known acts is only one of two ways I know to give you a clue of what they sound like. The other much more complete way is for you to see their videos. That tells the real story. I can chatter all day and night about what I think a band sounds like or what their influences are but the real proof is in the pudding…… pudding brought to you via Youtube!
So after K.t.C.’s set The rest of the One and Nines stepped up to the plate. I had been so busy taking pictures and chatting with various bands that I had totally neglected my beer. Missy let me know, with a disapproving shake of the head as she ordered another. I was not to be out drank during a show, or out classed as it were. I took down my now hose water warm 12oz and promptly ordered another.
So as I was saying, The One and Nines were on! I’ve seen them play about 4-5 times now. Its a funny thing becoming a “music writer” does to you. You start to really listen to the bands and you really analyze what they sound like, the nuances of each song, what the bands trying to convey. I guess what I’m trying to say is the last few times I’ve hear them play I must not have been paying enough attention or maybe I was too shit-faced to realize. Fuck, these guys really bring it to the table. Vera channels this sort of Motown Diva Vibe that’s so genuine you wouldn’t think that sound could come out of a white girl. Will Hansen (Keys) busts out a sound that is some where between blues and western switching from piano to organ, and back again. Jeff Marino (guitar) strums and plays tangentially to Alex’s bass while they both support Vera vocally. Did I mention there was a sax player? Barami Waspe might as well been born with that brass in his mouth the way he made it whine! Ken Walz (drums) pounds out beats that work like a glue to hold it all together. The whole thing is rather genius to me. I have to admit I can barely play the guitar and my bass skills are rudimentary at the very best. So, when I see a band that really puts together the big picture so seamlessly, it gives me goosebumps! They finished up their set. Of Course the crowd wasn’t just gonna let them get away that easy! “ENCORE! PLAY ONE MORE!” With a veritable riot on their hands otherwise they really had no choice but to Rock out a little longer! Who was I to complain? NOBODY! (that’s right haters I beat you to it!)
So I guzzled down another beer, had a shot of Jameson and I settled in for The Headliners: The McMickle Brothers! Change gear really quick, reader! The One and the Nines as I said pulled together a styled polished sound with Six members all working together to create something that, while is complex, comes off unpretentious and very planned, sort of like a musical equivalent to 2001: A space Odyssey. Things like this can be achieved with a Six Shooter Band or with the Double Barrel variety, of which the McMickle Bros. are. Matt’s (vox, guitar) distinctive red mop top serves as a sort of trademark of the band. Sam (vox,Drums) although reserved and generally content to let Matt do the talking bursts with noise and charisma once the music starts up. I was almost too busy tapping my feet and bobbing my head to take pics and video of these cats. I certainly didn’t let that stop me though! As they finished up their last song Missy and I realized it was 1:15am! CRAZY! As the Romans say, “Tempus Fugit!” Of course The McMickles were called to play a final song! Matt announces to the crowd, “This isn’t our song, but it belongs to us now!” I’ll leave you in suspense to see that one! Whats Even Better Is they Are Playing Again this Tuesday at Lucky 7 Tavern in Jersey City! Its a Free show! You’re Losing money by not showing up!
After the show was over, we spoke with the owner of the venue, Steve. We discussed the local music scene in town and how great New Brunswick had been for it in the mid-nineties. Touched on topics like the Melody Bar and Matt Pinfield, and before I knew it was time to get going. What a kick-ass night! I hope you enjoy it half as much as I did collecting for you.
There’s a lot in store this coming week. I’m revamping my blog schedule, and maybe even bringing on a guest writer or two! The Rocker Tycoon is franchising!