The Rocker Tycoon turns 29 with The Great Nostalgic
Firstly, I want to impart to you a little life advice. If you decide that you should want to go out on the eve of your next birthday, take it easy. Try to keep a low profile, just enjoy the night’s entertainment, have a few drinks. Most importantly, make a break for the door before twelve. I’m a huge fan of the irish exit. That’s when you politely excuse yourself (normally pretending to go out for a smoke or to get some air or use the rest room) and then leave without saying goodbye to anyone. It might seem rude at first but believe me, if I had taken my own advice I would not have been so hungover on my birthday proper. Thanks to a few friends and some really great bands I erred on the side of a mind-shattering hangover on my birthday. I’m quite sure I manifested forms of telekinesis previously unheard of by mankind that day.
It all started when I walked into IM Automata Chino to see Marshall Mann behind the bar. I had been cleverly planning not to see anyone who’d know it was my birthday that night. Marshall, a friend of mine and fellow bartender, knew all too well. Shots flowed as u say usa took the stage. A happy go lucky group of troubadours. U say usa is Steven Nelson (vox,guitar,harp) Leif Nelson (drums) Mike Ishaya (bass). Steve also rocked the harmonica during the show. Their set was energetic and punchy. They went well with the whiskey that was forced upon me.
As I spiraled into a cavern of intoxication. Mister Badger set up! Mister Badger is Julia Rogers (bass, cello, lead vocals) Jahna Rain (guitar, vocals) Jim Geyer (ukulele, banjulele, Hawaiian steel guitar, plaid pants, strange accents) Zachary Eldridge (drums, percussion, cuteness, xylophone, vibraphone, sound effects). What a cool little band! Really cool sound. Jim’s cavalcade of string instruments punctuates the band’s unique sound. Julia and Julia sound like cherubs with guitars, and Zachary’s percussion expertise carry’s the whole thing steadily onward and upward. You can tell all 4 members of the band are having a great time, they’re all smiles and winks.
The Great Nostalgic got in touch with me a few weeks prior to make sure I was gonna be out at IMAC to see them. I have to say I’m flattered that a band all the way out from Austin Texas even knows about the Rocker Tycoon! All hail the power of the internet. The Great Nostalgic is Abram Shook(Guitar and Vox), JoBeth Cox (keys, vox) Mike Faircloth(keys), Vincent Durcan (drums), and James Miller (bass). Vincent and Mike ground the Band suberbly with all four wheels on the ground. Jobeth and Mike on the Keys add an element of kickshaw that most bands seem to overlook. The first thing you’ll notice about this group is Abram’s voice. It’s calm but hauntingly disturbed. It’s really hard to put it into words. It’s like the scene out of Akira, those children are so calm, but there’s something that doesn’t touch the ground about them. JoBeth tones in and it almost gives you goose pimples. The songs ranged from country infused new wave (County Line) to dance hall romps with a blues twist (Young Lovers). Music like this wasn’t produced when I was younger. You can hear influences from David Byrne, Joe Stummer, and the Killers all in the same song.
Looking back on the last 29 years, it’s interesting to see the evolution that music has taken. It’s wild to think of the amount of time I’ve been alive as an era, but if you listen to just the music that I’ve heard in that time, it would be hard to even think of it as just one era. So much has happened in the last three decades. Even the way the industry works has changed. Hell, the way we find out about new music has changed. The Digital Age has ushered in people like myself and Brooklyn Vegan as liaisons to the next big thing, musically. That sort of power wasn’t even a thought in my mind when I was 22 writing paper music zines to hand out at house shows. It’s been an enlightening time. I look forward to that role as the years continue to slide by.