Western-influenced psych-rock band Spindrift has been on the road for a quasi-eternity, including a ghost-town tour last year, to bring its cinematic, reverberated tunes to a town near you.
The band already is back on the road, but its final stop last month was at San Francisco’s Brick & Mortar Music Hall, where former Dead Kennedys vocalist (and former presidential candidate) Jello Biafra got on stage for a pair of songs. Biafra’s dramatic vibratos and half-spoken delivery are a surprisingly great fit.
The Dead Kenny Gs: “Black Truman (Harry the Hottentot)”
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Smooth-jazz lovers beware. As an antidote to the polished alto saxophones and rarely improvised easy-listening jams of adult contemporary music, eccentric jazz trio The Dead Kenny Gs has released its second album, Operation Long Leash. Given its play-on-words moniker that simultaneously drives a sock down the mouth of smooth-jazz king Kenny G and recalls the early ’80s hardcore-punk band The Dead Kennedys, the powerhouse trio taps into a sound that fuses jazz and punk. It’s a crazy mix that works surprisingly well, played intensely by a group that has the skill and knowledge to pull it off.
Composed of three of the members of legendary Seattle-based Critters Buggin — bassist Brad Houser, drummer and vibraphonist Mike Dillon, and saxophonist Skerik — the band uses its genre-mashing experience to anchor it all down. The trio has played in countless projects together, including all three in The Black Frames, and Dillon and Skerik comprise half of Garage a Trois. Needless to say, the three have run in the same circles for more than two decades, playing hybrid styles that are everything but conservative.
Shawn Knight, a.k.a. designer and illustrator Pinky Blaster, has created art and music since an early age. Followers of the Detroit music scene may recognize his name – previously of the band New Grenada, Knight now performs in the high-energy punk band Child Bite. The band is notorious for its wide range of instruments, humorous live performances, and its members’ impressive facial hair.
While in high school, Knight began playing in punk and metal bands. These two genres influenced him heavily while he was growing up; he notes both Black Flag and The Dead Kennedys as significant influences. Knight got his start designing local band fliers and posters, and he continues to use live music as an opportunity to expose his artistic skills — though now at a national level.