Before I get to the review, a word of thanks to the men of Little Brazil. While on tour, the band visited the Anheuser-Busch beer plant in St. Louis (where, due to their legendary consumption, I’m sure they were treated like returning heroes) and while there, picked me up a piece of valuable memorabilia — a genuine Rolling Rock bottle opener keychain! Their thoughtfulness was so touching that I, well, teared up at the merch table when Brendan gave it to me. Thank you, gentleman. Your gift will not go to waste.
Now onto the show…
I arrived at around 10:30 and caught the last few moments of Kansas City’s The Life and Times — amazing, I wish I would have gotten their earlier. I can’t estimate the crowd size, but can tell you that the show was very likely “sold out.” Eagle * Seagull was up next. No fewer than a half-dozen people asked me if I knew what “the deal was” with their new album, the long-awaited The Year of the How-to Book, which we’ve been hearing about for over a year. The ongoing unconfirmed story has to do with Starbuck’s record label Hear Music, but no one knows if it’s true since E*S have been exceptionally good at keeping a lid on things. (I was surprised to learn that the label is still functioning, and according to this item at Nashville Scene, plans on releasing a new Elvis Costello album called Secret, Profane & Sugarcane June 2.)
Apparently the band briefly mentioned the new album during their set, but was as elusive as ever. We’ll just have to wait and see. Performance-wise, they never sounded better, though I’ve been hearing most of the “new” songs for nearly two years. Imagine if they actually ever get to release this album — they’ll be stuck having to play those songs for yet another year. God.
Finally it was time for Little Brazil, who tore right into their set that consisted of new stuff off Son and a few older numbers. No, they didn’t play the album front-to-back, and they didn’t need to. They had a number of special guests join them on stage, including balladeer Adam Hawkins (providing harmony vocals), Oliver Morgan’s wife, Megan, on keyboards and Landing on the Moon’s John Klemmensen on trumpet. Who wasn’t amazed by Landon Hedges’ voice? First, he’s been on the road for the past few weeks; second, his songs demand serious high-end vocal work. You’d expect him to be at least be a little hoarse, but no, Landon hit every note dead on, as did the rest of the band. You could tell they were happy to be home as much as the crowd was happy to see them (see photo). If you missed the set, the band is playing again a week from this Saturday (April 11) at The Sydney with The Filter Kings.
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Tonight: At The Slowdown Jr., Oui Bandits opens for These United States and Laura Burhenn. $6, 9 p.m. A word of navigational warning: Cuming St. closed today until November, so take I-480 (if you can find an on-ramp) and get off on the 14th St. exit, or just look for the detours. You think it’s a pain in your ass? I’ve got to navigate this mess every day to get to work, so stfu, as they say on Twitter.
Also tonight, It’s True is opening for The Tallest Man on Earth and Red Cortez. $8, 9 p.m.
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