Thursday, August 13, 2009
Plateros: Hang On
Levi Plateros is this year’s version of Los Lonely Boys minus the kooky antics and overdriven hype. The Plateros band includes what I assume is his father on bass and a cousin on drums. Their multi-layered vocal lines are pure and sweet. While Levi’s muse is a blasting guitar line set over rich melody lines, this band can pile-drive a song with the best of the blues genre’s bashers and then just as easily pull back with heavy pop music hooks and soft, melody rich tracks.
In small doses the band’s uses its unique musical influences to add a sonic flair that are subtle yet compellingly interesting. In the end Levi runs wild with loaming and lilting guitar solos that likely draw in all but the most harden blues-rock guitar aficionados’. For some the lack of chain-saw ratcheting will be a turn off and thus the band perceived as having too much melody; however, if the debut album by Los Lonely Boys ever got your toes tapping – Plateros is a fine second step.
Least we remiss the marketing aspect, Plateros is an all Navajo band and fits nicely among other indigenous and/or sibling acts like; Santana, Indigenous, Los Lobos, Homemade Jamz Blues Band and the aforementioned Los Lonely Boys. Again, this is a band worth keeping your eye on and it is fair to expect big things from them in the future.
Aynsley Lister: equilibrium
For anyone that has been listening to ‘Pacific Street Blues & Americana’ over the years you know I love a well played guitar. Love it to the point of being downright discerning – which is a nice way to say finicky. While tasty players like B. B. King, Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy are perhaps the progenitors of tasty blues licks – there is a new generation of players that deserve some kudos. Yes, we all lost something special when Stevie Ray died. Among the players I really enjoy are included; Joe Bonamassa, Robben Ford, the late Rory Gallagher, Mato Nanji of Indigenous and Aynsley Lister. Lister is the new kid on the block and based upon his last two albums; ‘Upside Down’ and this new effort, ‘equilibrium’ Englishman Lister has easily moved solidly into the world’s “next big thing” slot.
In a traditional sense, if Luther Allison is the blues, then Lister ain’t. Sorry folks, no 12 bars here. Instead Lister uses the tones and textures of contemporary electric blues against a melody rich lyric line that is immediately accessible and immediately enjoyable. While the blues-rock genre is ripe with slingers – there are few bonafide songwriters in the mix and, as perhaps the first real blues-rock songwriter might say, “Move over rover and let Jimi take over.”
Lister’s ability to lift and soar while honoring the song is an impressive art. His bursts of energy lie beneath slower moving passages that provide emotional uplifts that are “gob-smackingly good” and at the same time beautiful and genuine. From the perspective of player records for the last twenty years, Aynsley Lister is clearly a talent worthy of your attention and interest.
Blog: August 13, 2009
I recently got into a conversation with a local impresario. It seems there are more n’ more shows in the market every year. As we have seen in the housing, electrical, airline and energy industries, when supply dramatically exceeds demand there is a retrenchment. In this example, between the free shows and the possibly over-abundance of quality line-up shows – there simply isn’t sufficient audience to support all these shows. On first blush this is hardly a negative; when was the last time someone had the gall to complain that there was too much going on in Omaha? So we have it pretty good right now; as the Horseshoe Casino realized by literally having to give away concert tickets to see the recent ARC Angels show. So tune your fiddle Nero as amid a recessionary decline there is less and less ticket buying capacity up against more and more shows.
Interestingly, since CD’s sales have fallen more than 50% in the past five years, the Wall Street Journal recently discussed how CD’s are being used to drive concert ticket sales as artist derive income from performance now rather than album sales. So where does the “equilibrium point” between ticket demand and artist availability meet? The market will determine. I know this; my days of paying $75 or more for concert tickets is over. And if very many others feel as I do; that either than cannot afford high priced tickets or they simply see their home, vacation or IRA as a better investment, artists are going to be getting crunched from both sides.
Think about that; CD sales are nearly inconsequential and a recessionary period coupled with too many concerts will likely drive ticket prices down. Seemingly one can draw the impression that contemporary society is reducing the value of music across numerous fronts.
Is it fair to say that Bono was the last rock star?
While I still place a premium on recorded music, I find the thuggery of modern sports to be beyond the pale. As a society we are paying virtually uneducated brawlers millions to throw a ball across the plate while we ask the educators of the next generation of American’s to use their comparatively meager incomes to buy supplies that our education system can no longer afford to purchase.
Where does the source of this problem lie?
With you of course - And with me. As a society we get what we pay for. In America today we vote with our dollars and more of us are voting for ‘Tiger Woods’ and ‘A Rod’ than that gal in the classroom teaching our kids. Damn shame it is too. It seems to me we are voting less and less for the ‘Eric Clapton’s’ of the world but still dramatically over-paying for the ‘Bob Stoops’ of the world. So before you bitch, look in the mirror – there lies the problem.