A year of great shows…

Tears For Fears at Artpark on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

BY JOE GENCO

A Short Take on Today’s News:

  • I lost track of how many shows we saw in 2018, but here’s my Top 10:
  1. Godspeed! You Black Emperor. Babeville. Cathartic, raw, instrumental. Life changing power.
  2. Steve Miller, Artpark. How did I not know Miller was such a great guitarist?
  3. Margo Price, Borderlands. You can keep the Revivalists and even Dr. Dog. She blew me away. If the country ever goes back to being real music rather than the phony bro pop it has become, she will slip right in.
  4. Robert “Freightrain Parker” Allman Brothers Tribute, Town Ballroom. Unfathomable power. A wall of sound. Authentic.
  5. Nickel City Sessions, August. Davey O, Savannah KingDean Bell, and Devinne Meyers. Each brought their own style, verve, and life to a song.
  6. Kaleidoscope Sky, Griffis Sculpture Park. Joyful reggae, reminded me a bit of Bedouin Soundclash. Nice booking, Doug Sitler
  7.  Hudson K, Crafty Bastard Brewing, Knoxville, TN All sorts of funky electronic sound, computers, loops, a keytar, and drummer. Great music, good beer and crazy rendition of 9 Inch Nails “Closer” also witnessed by Terry ShawChristina Horn is awesome. I hope she visits Buffalo some time.
  8.  Plate Scrapers playing bluegrass at a bar called The Grove in Fayetteville, W.V. Great music, beautiful setting. We need to go back to that New River Area, hike and Whitewater raft.
  9.  Tedeschi Trucks, Artpark. Never has this band let me down. They rock from beginning to end. And I got to meet Chris Trucks, Derek’s Dad
  10.  Ramble On Led Zeppelin Tribute (Last night, see below)
  11.  Donna the Buffalo with the Probables at the Tralf.
  • Now about Ramble On’s place on the list. It could have been as high as 2 or 3 had Beth and I arrived in time to get decent seats for the 7 p.m. show. 6:05 was not early enough. Sitting near the upstairs bar watching mostly on the screen was not ideal. I knew Grace Lougenwould lock down the guitar role and she did. She has the hands of an all-time great like Jimmy Page or Duane Allman and the demeanor of Derek Trucks. Her guitar does the talking. Josh English and Dylan Hund were solid as was the keyboards.
  • Megan Brown blew me away. As the show went on, she gained confidence and her voice blossomed. There is a lot of really, really tough vocal in Led Zeppelin music, not just the wide-ranging wails in Whole Lotta Love but the moans and spatterings that defined Robert Plant and now Megan Brown. “Lots of people talking, few of them know. Soul of a woman was created below.”
  • They closed with Kashmir. I thought of that as I remembered about 5 years ago seeing Lougen play on New Year’s Eve with the Leftover Pancakes, including, I think, Linnea Crimean who was there last night adding some violin as well as someone I didn’t know on cello. That night, Grace did a mash-up of Eleanor Rigby and Kashmir. I kept waiting for it to bust out, but that was a different time. She and a lot of local musicians, like Grace Lynn Stumberg, Sara Elizabeth, Tyler Westcott and the like have come a long way.
  • Lastly, a word about tribute shows/cover bands. As a focus, I don’t like them. Musicians become wallpaper rather than artists. Freightrain and Ramble On (rest in peace, John Messinger) rehearsed to near perfection, played to packed houses and, I am sure, had a big night economically which will hopefully allow for more gear, more chances, travel, and gigs playing original music. It sure beats seeing someone grinding through the Eagles and James Taylor solo acoustic in some anonymous pub with full restaurant service and a hockey game on the TV, though I recognize those gigs as a big part of how any working local musician pays their bills
  • Read this nonpartisan compendium of money in politics and you will gain a greater understanding of what is wrong with our country. Disgusting.
  • The story of a Canadian military plane crash that led to 7 deaths and the northernmost cemetery in the Arctic. Of course, there are probably Inuit graves as well.
  • While the local media worked itself into a tizzy over a mall brawl, I see a different perspective. 1) The only difference between a post-Christmas tussle at the Walden Galleria and 10 Orchard Park tailgates a year is the color of the combatants. 2) Buffalo just doubled its street parking fee from $1 per hour to $2 and ended the after 5 free parking. This matters way more than teens fighting at a mall I never visit. Most of this idea came from Sara Ali.
  • Boyd Curiosity: No sir, snakes don’t blink. No eyelids.
  • A Frenchman is attempting to drift across the ocean in a plywood barrel.
  • All you do is get a podiatrist to give your dad a letter saying you have bone spurs. Then you don’t have to serve in Vietnam. Bigly.
  • Oakland’s mayor does not regret tipping off residents that ICE was planning an operation focused on collecting undocumented migrants.
  • Poor people are more likely to be stressed and not able to take time off when they need it. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking a self-care break before heading into her new job.
  • WNY Weather: Unseasonably warm and rainy today, high of 14 (57). Back to normal Saturday and Sunday with some Saturday rain and a high of 0 (32). Short Take will be on respite for a few days in a cabin somewhere near Letchworth, recharging for the New Year and perhaps hunting down some waterfalls.
  • Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who might just be the dirtiest player in the NFL, suffered his 7th concussion Sunday. Perhaps he should give up football.
  • In goes Croom. Out goes Clay.
  • It’s a long season with, most assuredly, some clunkers. The Sabres got their butts kicked.
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