I had heard just one track, “College Fund”, from Fathers Day on a compilation from Related Records before hearing Life and I liked it very much. So I was pretty jazzed to see what else the guys had in store for my ears.
On Life, the guys start off with “Get in the Kitchen” a 1:16 scorcher, and turn up the heat from there. The aforementioned, “College Fund” “Call Me Dad” and “You’re Lucky To Be Eating At The Sizzler” follow suit: hard, noisy, and fast. I dig the theme the guys have going here: life. But not from a tired “Oh whoa is me” teen POV – nope – this is strictly from a Father’s point of view. One that I totally related to.
They took me by surprise with “Fight Like a Man”. The guys show a flair for rockabilly, funk, and swing as they tell a “tender” story of a dad lecturing his son that, no matter who is bullying you, you got to take care of business.
While Fathers Day (Douglas Patton on vocals, Randall Hayweather on bass, Frank Brando on guitar and Tony Sykes on drums) had me at “Punk”, their track, “Put Your Feelings In A Bundt Cake” took, well, the cake. Get your fill of Life here.
The cool thing about this gig is that I get to listen to records that I would never, ever hear and She Doesn’t Exist from the Weird Ladies is one that I’m glad I came across. Weird Ladies is Adam Loves Ladies (vocals), Justin Weird (guitar and vocals), Laydey Weirdley (drums) and Nick Loves Ladies (bass), and to say I cannot get enough of this EP is an understatement.
The EP immediately pulled me in “Ant Art” and didn’t let me go until the last track, “Culture /Complicated”. Methinks the boys were intravenously fed (possible whilst still in the womb) a steady diet of Cake, Primus, and Soul Coughing – but have managed to make their sound unique.
Mr. (Adam) Love Ladies, strings together a set of vocal performances that are crisp, clear, laden with sarcasm and, dare I say, David Byrne-esque. I guess I just did. When it comes to the music, the Ladies let their hair down with gusto. Blending funk, jazz, rock and punk, the grooves are crazy tight – and if you’re not bobbing your head to each and every one, check your pulse. Weird is a standout. The hooks and riffs he provides on each and every track are solid. In my opinion, they set the tone for the Weird Ladies sound. And I would be remiss if I didn’t give it up for Mr. (Nick) Loves Ladies on bass (someone has been slapping the bass every chance he gets…).
I highly encourage everyone to seek out this EP here and give it a listen.
This is the first live record I had a chance to give my opinion on and, as I have played live, so many things can go wrong, the least being the mix. So let’s start with that.
Skinned Alive at The Last Exit performed by Shawn Skinner is expertly recorded and mixed by Brian Stubblefield. The levels are perfect. The guitar, Skinner’s voice and harmonica are blended with such a deft hand that I forgot I was listening to a live performance. Bravo, Mr. Stubblefield.
Let me start out by stating that Skinner’s voice is true North – and I believe whatever he is singing. Bold, gruff, and real. You know, when it comes to Americana, it’s real easy for a singer/songwriter to go Country in a real hurry. And it’s this border that Skinner never comes close to crossing.
The themes during his set are familiar, but Skinner masterfully stays clear of the trite – thanks to some very good storytelling.
While I enjoyed every one of the songs, “Letting Go and Holding On” and “Debt”, that he dedicated to his guitar, are terrific, “Mainstay” is where Skinner really hits a sweet spot, and adding a soulful harmonica riff didn’t hurt. I can see why he chose to end his show with it.
The only critique I have of the recording is this: If you’re at a show, and a guy is singing his heart out and is great at doing it, please people, for goodness sakes, put your hands together for him. Sheesh.
Skinned Alive at The Last Exit is the perfect music to accompany your morning coffee or a straight scotch. Depending on your mood. Here’s where you can hear it!