For people who really know me, a few things are certainly quite evident, two of which are; 1)I’m a Hip Hop Fan(atic) to the highest degree and 2)I’ve never been a big fan of going to live shows (post the late 80s Def Jam/Rush Mgmt Stadium tours).
In reference to my first point, my love for Hip Hop never really prevented me for appreciating and being intrigued by other music. However, more in line with the second point, it is next to never that I went to a live non-Hip Hop show.
That all changed upon moving to the Twin Cities. While DJing a going away party at First Avenue circa 2003, with RSE label-mate Oliver Hart, we shared the stage with Kentucky Gag Order. Their live set blew my mind! Seriously, it was one of the most interesting and entertaining all around live shows I had ever seen. To me, it was Rock music at it’s finest, but the front mans Country twang, poetic lyrics and ramblings, random Hip Hop references, and fine use of the harmonica added some additional layers of intrigue. It’s definitely worth mentioning that, although the live show is the catalyst, it wasn’t the end-all to my interest. The musicianship is excellent with interesting mood and tempo changes happening, precision like, without a moments notice. Lyrically, David Joe Holiday is one of the most quote-worthy lyricists you are likely to find.
From that point I was hooked, I got the stickers, t-shirt, and the CD…twice. I think I went to every show they did since that date leading up to their album release party…which, as I recall, is when they also announced their break-up. I was pretty disappointed about that. I can’t even recall another instance where watching someone live instantly converted me to super-fan.
I was excited to learn that some of the members of KGO had formed a new band, Belles Of Skin City. However, I never saw them live or heard their music. Somehow the stars were misaligned and all of their live shows coincided with my DJing gigs or other responsibilities. I never went out to buy their music because I keep telling myself it would be more of an experience to buy it at one of their shows, which I was determined to get out to. And then they went and broke up too.
Now imagine it is July 3rd, 2010. I go out to live shows more rarely now than ever. Yet for some reason this night is calling me to go out and explore. I ask, not once but twice, on Twitter, “what’s happening in MPLS tonight?” Not a tweet…nothing. I’m forced to flip thru the City Pages and Vita.MN where I stumble across a Dosh show going down at the Triple Rock with two unknown opening bands. It has been a while since I’ve seen Dosh, so I now have purpose.
Imagine my surprise when the second band, The Book Of Right On is fronted by Mr. David Joe Holiday himself. The new band does not disappoint in any context. There was a lot of action taking place on stage so let’s see if I get this right-- two drummers, a Saxaphonist/Keyboardist, a Guitarist/Background Vocalist, a Guitarist/Trumpeter/Keyboardist/Background Vocalist and Dave on Bass/Vocals = one of the best shows I’ve seen in quite some time, yet again.
The music has a great movement that the band communicates effectively in the live show. The songs swing from heavy rock intensity to 80s pop rock feels to funk grooves to bluesy moody-ness to jazzy vibes and it all feels right and natural. They are on the brink of releasing their debut album; “All These Songs About Music” with a string of local shows on the horizon. I highly recommend a listen and more importantly the experiencing of it in a live setting.
Written By Kevin Beacham
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