Second Street Shuffle
This past weekend encapsulated everything I love about our downtown music scene.
I’ve heard it said from many of my more seasoned musical counterparts how downtown Jamestown used to be abuzz with live music on any given weekend. A listing of all the venues that used to be, and what kind of music was featured where, fills my head with visions that my limited experience can only compare to what I’ve witnessed during the Local Music Showcase.
Obviously times have changed. Even those musicians who have just 10 years on me tell me that the scene is only a shadow of its former self, a likely result of fewer venues and bands.
While I have a pretty good notion of what led to fewer venues (thanks for nothing, New York state) I can’t rightly figure out why there are fewer bands forming. Ever since I was in middle school I knew that I wanted to be in a band, so that’s what I did. I found the experience intoxicating and my current condition dictates that I would have no sense of self-worth or, indeed, any notion of what to do with myself, if I weren’t in a band.
But, hey, I’ve never been the greatest at understanding what drives other humans. The only mind I can even hope to comprehend is my own, and that’s challenge enough.
But I digress.
This past weekend encapsulated everything I love about our downtown music scene because things happen when it counts.
On Saturday two CD release parties happened concurrently at Mojo’s Music Bar and Shawbucks, and I was glad to see a multitude of spectators at both venues.
To start with, my friends Ben Bracey and Chelsea Peebles, Jamestown natives who now reside in Nashville, Tennessee, brought their duo Big Lunch to town to celebrate the release of their self-titled, full-length debut CD. Ben had asked me months ago if Cold Lazarus would like to open for them; a proposition I happily accepted.
Meanwhile, a few blocks away, Smackdab was celebrating the release of their new album “This Way.” When first I learned that Smackdab would be playing at the same time, practically next door, some trepidation occurred, mostly on the part of the Big Lunch-Cold Lazarus front. I mean, could we really expect a great turnout with Jamestown’s biggest band playing just down the street?
But what I found was heartening. People turned out for our show, including several old friends who came down to visit for Big Lunch. It wasn’t our biggest crowd at Mojo’s, but it was a good one, and most importantly they were engaged.
After our set, and most of Big Lunch’s set, I made my way to Shawbucks where the place was expectedly bumping. Smackdab were in the midst of their third set, comprised of cover songs, and moments after walking in I heard from the stage, “Is Gavin Paterniti in the house?”
Yep, the capper of the evening is that I got to play a song with Smackdab. They’d asked me about a week before if I’d sit in on bass for a tune, and it’s not like I was going to say no.
So, long story short, Saturday night was a good night. I got to see many familiar faces and several new ones, and I got to both witness and participate in a solid evening of great music at two separate venues.
But wait, I almost forgot about the Cold Lazarus album update!
Much more progress was made last weekend, which can best be summarized by the assertion that Drew Minton is a beast. On Saturday afternoon, our keys and synth extraordinaire completed his rhythm parts on all but one song, meaning that probably only one more session will be required from him to do his final rhythm track and all his synth leads. After that, Adam gets to lay down his guitar leads and then we’ll close out the recording with vocals.
Drew pounded through those tunes far more quickly than I had projected he would, and it helped give me confidence in moving our timetable for a release up just slightly.
But I don’t want to get my hopes up, so I’m still going to go conservative and say by the end of next month Cold Lazarus should have a full-length album to promote.
Thanks for reading, all! See you next week.
And now, here’s some of what you can expect to find in the area this week.
‘BRRH’ To Feature Skiffle Minstrels, Mark & Raianne Tonight: Trinity Guitars will present its 30th overall episode of “Back Room Radio Hour” — a WRFA-LP 107.9 FM-affiliated program featuring local and regional talent — tonight at 7 p.m. The special two-hour program will feature Northeastern folk duo Mark and Raianne, as well as Buffalo’s ambassadors of country and western swing, The Skiffle Minstrels.
The Skiffle Minstrels play classic songs of classic songwriters, country blues, swing and honky-tonk, and originals which merit being played in in the same sets as Hank Williams. For more information, visit skiffleminstrels.com. Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards, the titular performers of the Mark and Raianne duo, lend distinctive voices and perform a wide range of accompaniment including guitar, harmonica, ukulele, clarinet, penny whistle, electric bass. Their songs have been well-received by audiences around the eastern United States since 2010. For more information, visit markandraianne.com.
Also appearing will be Barbara Birt, a resident of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, who will be speaking from her home. Birt will discuss some of the relief efforts she has helped to coordinate, including housing some of the many people left homeless by the hurricanes.
There is no cost to attend a live taping of “Back Room Radio Hour,” but those interested in attending are encouraged to reserve seats in advance by calling 665-4490, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or via trinityguitars.com or the event’s Facebook page.
Little Theatre To Continue ‘Little Shop Of Horrors’ Run This Weekend: The Lucille Ball Little Theatre will continue its production of “Little Shop of Horrors” with 7:30 p.m. performances Friday and Saturday, as well as a 2 p.m. matinee performance Sunday. Based on the 1982 Off-Broadway musical, the production follows a plot similar to that of the 1986 film of the same name but with a far different ending. The musical itself is based on the low-budget 1960 black comedy film “The Little Shop of Horrors.” The music — composed by Alan Menken in the style of early 1960s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown — includes several well-known tunes including the title song, “Skid Row (Downtown),” “Somewhere That’s Green,” and “Suddenly, Seymour.” The stage adaptation follows Seymour Krelborn, a meek and dejected assistant at a floral shop, who happens upon a strange plant which he affectionately names “Audrey II” after his crush at the shop. Little does he know that this strange and unusual plant will develop a soulful R&B voice, a potty mouth and an unquenchable thirst for human blood.
Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased by contacting the Little Theatre box office at 483-1095 or online at lucilleballlittletheatre.org/reservations.
‘Second Saturdays with John Cross’ To Feature Davis, Harris: The monthly jazz program at Labyrinth Press Company, hosted by John Cross, will feature local musicians Steve Davis and Marla Harris in concert Saturday from 7-10 p.m. The show is free and will take place on the Labyrinth stage. The kitchen is open through the entire event and patrons of Brazil Craft Beer & Wine Lounge may bring their drinks downstairs to enjoy the jazz.
Labyrinth Press Company is located at 14 E. Fourth St. in Jamestown. For more information, find the event on Facebook.
To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email email@example.com or call 487-1111, ext. 243 by Monday.
The Karl-Marks Show (it’s revolutionary!): 7 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Comedy open mic: 8 p.m., The Q, 104 W. Second St. in Jamestown
DJ Karaoke: 8 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy
Karaoke with DJ Xcite: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Karaoke with Felony Entertainment: 10 p.m., Forte, 114 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Bill Ward and Rebecca McIlvain: 6 p.m., The Wine Cellar, 309 N. Main St. in Jamestown
“Cars 3” screening: 7 p.m., Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Rustic Ramblers: 7 p.m., Lakewood Legion, 174 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood
Karaoke: 8 p.m., Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 865, 41 Bigelow Ave. in Jamestown
Karaoke with Felony Entertainment: 9 p.m., Shawbucks, 212 W. Second St. in Jamestown
Black Widow: 9 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy
The Freeze: 9 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Splitfoot: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
The Wildeyes with Adam McKillip: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown
The Freeze: 1:30 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy
“Cars 3” screening: 2 p.m., Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Andrew Speer: 6 p.m., The Wine Cellar, 309 N. Main St. in Jamestown
Night Shift: 8 p.m., The Vegas Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy
Black Widow: 8:30 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Jamestown
DJ Xcite: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Jules-R-Us Karaoke featuring Tami T: 9 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown
Wasted Whiskey: 9 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy
Pressure Sensitive: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Chillbillies: 3:30 p.m., Big Shots, 674 Route 394 in Kennedy
Open Jam: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown
Open Jam (Tom Petty tribute): 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown
“Poltergeist” screening: 7 p.m., Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown
Bluegrass Jam: 7 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Jamestown