Cursive Twit review; the return of Dave Shouse (Grifters, Those Bastard Souls)…

Category: Blog — @ 7:04 pm January 26, 2009

The review of Saturday night’s Cursive show will be this week’s column (about the plusses and minuses of Twitter), so look for it on Wednesday. If you can’t wait that long (and who could?) the review’s skeleton is on Twitter now, here. The Twitter entries were written in “real time” as a sort of experiment. I’ll probably begin to do this at most shows I attend (though detailed reviews will end up blogged at Lazy-i the following day). If you have a Twitter account, go ahead and “follow” me.

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Once upon a time, there was a Memphis band that formed in the early ’90s called The Grifters. You may remember them. They put out their seminal album in 1995 on Shangra-La Records, a head-trip called Crappin’ You Negative. They switched to Sub Pop in ’96 for Ain’t My Lookout and Full Blow Possession in 1997. In ’96, Grifters guitarist/vocalist Dave Shouse formed Those Bastard Souls, which released one of my favorite records, Debt & Departure on V2 records in 1999. Shouse followed that project with Bloodthirsty Lovers, which put a self-titled album in 2003 followed by Delicate Seam on Frenchkiss Records in 2004.

Then Shouse sort of disappeared. Or at least I lost track of him. I sent him an e-mail a couple years ago, asking what he was up to, and he replied saying he was working on something that wasn’t quite ready for public consumption. Then this weekend, I got another e-mail from Shouse, saying:

Scott Taylor & I are back playing together in The New Mary Jane. Just got a few tunes up on MySpace page & soon to post more. Just wanted to let you know that we’re still making music down here.

In addition to Taylor, who also was a member of Grifters, New Mary Jane includes John Argroves on drums/vocals, and James Godwin on bass/vocals/synth. The tracks on their myspace page have that same trippy, psychedelic yet almost slacker-heroic indie rock style that The Grifters were known for. Looks like they’re currently unsigned (labels, get your checkbooks out).

There’s two bands from the ’90s that I regret never having seen play live. The first was Silkworm. Well, a couple surviving members of that band, guitarist Andy Cohen and baritone guitarist Tim Midgett, went on to form Bottomless Pit with drummer Chris Manfrin of Seam in 2007. I’m told they’re working on a new album as we speak, so maybe we’ll get them to come through town in this new incarnation. It’s not the same, but it’s the next best thing.

The other band I regret having never seen live was The Grifters. Now somebody needs to book New Mary Jane when they finally get their album out and hit the road.

–Got comments? Post ’em here.

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