Sarah Shook & The Disarmers (Photo by John Gessner)
When Sidelong, Sarah Shook & The Disarmers’ debut album, was released in early 2017, it quickly earned kudos for its blast of fresh, fierce honesty and sly wit. It was a welcome new voice in a genre too often mired in the staid and conventional. The band continued to solidify that reputation in 2018 with Years, their second album, along with nonstop touring.
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers return to Pearl Street Warehouse on Saturday, Nov. 23.
Los Straitjackets (Photo courtesy Yep Roc Records)
Asked about the humor in his music, Frank Zappa said that music is supposed to be entertaining. I imagine that the members of Los Straitjackets would say the same thing. Los Straitjackets, who played the Pearl Street Warehouse recently, lean all the way into their gimmick of luchadores-turned-instrumental rockers. Dressed in matching suits and Mexican wrestling masks, they address the audience only in Spanish.
The Cactus Blossoms perform at Pearl Street Warehouse on Oct. 18, 2019. (Photo by Nalinee Darmrong)
What’s classic has a vintage, but not everything old is a classic. Lots of music released in the ’50s and ’60s doesn’t rise to the level of classics. But the close harmonies of the Everly Brothers, a clear precedent for The Cactus Blossoms, certainly rise to the status of classics.
Great vocals, great songwriting, great playing are classic, and The Cactus Blossoms demonstrated their classic qualities in a recent show at Pearl Street Warehouse.
The Cactus Blossoms (Photo courtesy High Road Touring)
The Cactus Blossoms, fronted by brother duo Jack Torrey and Page Burkum, performs at Pearl Street Warehouse on Friday, Oct. 18, supporting their acclaimed new album, Easy Way.
The Long Ryders perform at Pearl Street Warehouse on Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo by Rashad Polk)
At the beginning of The Long Ryders’ concert Friday night at the Pearl Street Warehouse, lead singer Sid Griffin urged the crowd, “Please come forward so we have something to play to.”
The Long Ryders (Photo by Henry Diltz)
Sid Griffin is an acclaimed musician and music journalist based in London. From 1984-87, he led The Long Ryders, who emerged out of the Paisley Underground to become one of the first alternative-country bands, before the term even existed. Final Wild Songs, a compilation of the band’s albums with additional, new live material, released in 2016, received a rare five-star review from Allmusic.
After a 30-year hiatus, the band reunited to record the well-received Psychedelic Soul, released earlier this year. In a turn of good karma, the band’s old roadie, now working as Dr. Dre’s PA, got the band a week at the rap mogul’s studio. In a way, it’s fitting: the Ryders make politically charged, insurgent country-rock.
Sid has written for Mojo, Q, NME, Rock ‘n’ Reel, and the Manchester Guardian. An expert on Gram Parsons, he has published Gram Parsons: A Musical Biography, and co-authored the BBC television documentary Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel. He has also written two books about Bob Dylan, Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, The Band, and The Basement Tapes, and Shelter From The Storm.
In addition to his work with The Long Ryders, Sid has recorded and performed with the Coal Porters and as a solo artist. Mark Engleson of Parklife DC talked to Sid about all of this and more prior to a performance by The Long Ryders at Pearl Street Warehouse on Friday, Sept. 20.
Phantogram performs at Pearl Street Warehouse on Sept. 6, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Dreampop duo Phantogram presented a free intimate show at Pearl Street Warehouse on Friday, in advance of a later big production at The Anthem, to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
At first, Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter seemed as if they might be motivated to raise awareness of the issue due to the suicide of Mark Linkous, former frontman of Virginia band Sparklehorse. But their connection to the issue turned out to be much deeper than I imagined.