(Shuffling through the grocery store, bathrobe half open, staring at the milk jugs, trying to find one with a late date, I see the Internet. We haven't seen each other since high school. It's awkward.)
Me: Hey there, Internet. Been a minute. How you doing? How're the kids?
Internet: Fuck yourself.
Me: Great to catch up. We'll see ya around.)
Kevin I caught Dawes and Blitzen Trapper last week at the Beachland. I went in a Dawes virgin and had my socks blown clear off. Brad Cook (I'm allowed to name drop; it's the primary reason to have a blog) told us that they were stellar. The message, as always: if Brad tells you something, you should listen. Dawes manages the best cica 2002 Bright Eyes imitation possible. When they leaned into the "It's like trying to make out every word when you should simply hum along" line, I got honest-to-god goose bumps. (That "matador and the bull" gets me too; not sure why.) All this to say that Dawes is (are?) the real deal.
There's not a whole lot more that I can write about Blitzen Trapper at this point. The new record is back to form (many of us would prefer to look past Destroyer of the Void. There was good stuff there, but I'm not dipping into it with any regularity. American Goldwing feels like a Blitzen Trapper record, which is a decidedly good thing). They're professionals and the live show, per usual, was off the charts. I wish they'd have played "Devil's A-Go-Go," but it was pretty sweet that they pulled out a Zeppelin cover. If' Dawes' Conor Oberst impression is in the pocket, Eric Earley's Bob Plant is over the moon. The next time Cousin Marty and the boys roll into your city, make the trek. You never know what you might miss.
The worst part about being gone this long is that we haven't updated you on some localish stuff that deserves your attention. First (and most egregiuosly) if you live in Cleveland (or the surrounding envrions) and haven't been hipped to the music venue tax, you've got to take action. Others have written more thoughtfully about this, but the long and the short of is that The Beachland, Now That's Class, The Happy Dog, and other venues in Cleveland are getting royally shafted by the city. Take a minute to call or email your councilman and encourage them to get their shit together.
Secondly, if you're out and about tomorrow, Music Saves is having a pretty sweet sale. It's definitely worth a pop in for some Christmas shopping. If they're cool enough for Iron and Wine, they're cool enough for you.
Thirdly, C.D. favorites Deadwood Floats just lobbed another excellent Radiohead cover in to the ether. They're also up for a Best of Columbus thing of some sort. The song and the vote are both worth a click.