GUEST POST: THE ROCK REPORT: MICHAEL DEAN DAMRON HOUSE CONCERT

Our good buddy, Chris Green, recently booked Mike Damron for a house show and asked if I’d be interested in posting some of the video from it. Of course I responded with a solid Clay Davis “Shhhhhiiiiiiiitttttttttt” and accepted. Enjoy:


Ninebullets.net has devoted plenty of coverage to the music of Michael Dean Damron‘s music over the years. Longtime readers will know him both as the front man of incendiary hard rock band I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House, and also for his more contemplative solo albums.

Mike D’s home base is Portland, and so as a Seattle-area resident, I’ve been lucky to have had many opportunities to see him perform. I’ve seen him and his band winning over new audiences when opening for bigger name acts, and I’ve seen him playing more intimate venues full of his established fans. On stage, or talking in person, there is one invariant – whether headlining or opening and whether the crowd is big or small – putting his all into the performance is what he cares about.

His next solo album, “Plea from a Ghost” is due out this month, and he has started off his cross country tour in support of it with a few pacific northwest dates. In Seattle, he played a Saturday night house show (along with fellow Suburban Home Records artist Lizzie Huffman) at a private home that had a great performance space. When we saw his tour schedule, a friend (and ICLASOBITH fan) of mine and I decided to invite him to play a Sunday afternoon set at my buddy’s house out in the ‘burbs the next day.

We were pleased when he accepted without hesitation, and we started inviting people. We ended up with a very diverse set of guests of all ages, including some of our friends who had seen him play before, but also including plenty of people with no idea what to expect. When the show started, MDD joked that he was nervous because he was used to shows with drunker audiences and fights. Amusingly (if you’re familiar with his stage banter), he promised not to curse because there was a baby present, bouncing to the music on his Mom’s knee (I was impressed that he kept his promise until it was baby-nap-time). It turned out that there was no need for nervousness – he won the audience over quickly, and the applause grew louder throughout the set. He played a mixture of new songs from his forthcoming album, older material, and some covers (including a great cover of Two Cow Garage‘s “Swingset Assassin“). When he played the crowd-pleasing “Westboro Baptist Church” towards the end, he told us that he had decided that this was the last time he was ever going to play it. However, by that time the batteries on my camcorder had run out, so I don’t have any legally binding proof of this should he change his mind.

Here’s the good part: At the end of this party, besides leaving with some fine musical memories, I also left with some video of Mike D performing a couple of songs. While watching these should give you a little taste of the cozy garage where we had so much enjoyment this past weekend (and without you having to experience our typical crappy March weather), watching video on the computer is a poor substitute for a live performance. I urge you to get out and see the real thing when he plays your area.

Michael Dean Damron – Graveyard Song


Michael Dean Damron – Keep me in your heart


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DEBUT: MICHAEL DEAN DAMRON – THE DAY BRIAN PICCOLO DIED


I’ve been a huge fan of Mike Damron’s work both as a solo artist and with I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House for as long as ninebullets.net has existed. Longer, in fact. So it is my distinct pleasure to be bringing you a track from Mike’s upcoming solo album, Plea From A Ghost, today. I’ve heard the entire new album and let me tell you, we’re in for a real treat. It’s the best solo material Mike has produced since Perfect Day For A Funeral and certain to land on many a best of list come December. Hell, I can already deem it Essential Listening but we’ll hold off till the album is actually released. Speaking of which, the album will be released on Suburban Home Records in March and if you’re lucky enough to have Mike coming to your neck of the woods, he’ll have the album with him come March 2.

I chose the track “The Day Brian Piccolo Died” because, (a) I like it. and (b) With the Superbowl this weekend I figured a football song would be topical. I hope y’all like it.

Michael Dean Damron – The Day Brian Piccolo Died

EXCLUSIVE: BRAND NEW JOSH SMALL SONG, HAKUNA MATATA


LOL. That “exclusive” shit is douchey as fuck ain’t it. I promise it was totally tongue in cheek.

Anyhow….

Two and change years ago, on a chilly rainy Saturday afternoon in Denver, a collection of people in town for the Suburban Home Anniversary Party sat in the front lobby of Suburban Home’s office watching the likes of Micah Schnabel, Austin Lucas, Tim Barry, Shane Sweeny and Devon Stuart pass around a single acoustic guitar, telling fish stories and singing songs. In the midst of all of this, this little guy takes the guitar, explains the inspiration behind the song and begins to sing. I was frozen. I wanted to pull out my camera and record the song for 9B but I didn’t wanna ruin my experience so others could watch shaky video.

That little guy was Josh Small. The song was, in my mind, from there on out called “The Barker Song.” I talked to him that afternoon and he said he was working on a new record. Once I got home I immediately bought his albums and started searching for “The Barker Song” which was nowhere to be found. Naturally, I assumed it was gonna be on his soon to be released new album.

Two and change years later we’re finally seeing said new album and yes “The Barker Song” is on the album only now, it’s named “Hakuna Matata” but it’s no less amazing.

I told you that entire story so you’d know that I’m posting this song cause I want to and I believe in it, not just to curry favor with a label. Josh’s new album, Juke, will be available on Suburban Home Records soon but today it is my distinct pleasure to be the first person to play “Hakuna Matata” for you.

Josh Small – Hakuna Matata

GUEST POST: ROCK REPORT: SLIM CESSNAS AUTO CLUB'S NEW YEARS EVE SHOW:

Autopsy IV is on his annual pilgrimage to strap a board to the bottom of his feet and slide down mountains. While he is away 9B will feature a collection of guest posts. Today’s post comes from our good buddy Shawn Kellogg who reviews a show I hope to make it out to one year…the annual Slim Cessna’s Auto Club New Years Eve show.


To those of you that are lucky enough to live and be apart of the wonderful Denver music scene, you know that when you see what appears to be the Rocky Horror Picture Show of Americana walking down East Colfax, you know that its that time of year once again, for Slim Cessna Auto Club to invade the new year’s eve holiday. This year, we were blessed when it was announced that Drag the River would be playing support, which totally blew my mind about this show. I have seen Drag to many times to count, but have never seen the much talked about live show that Slim Cessna’s Auto Club is known to put on.

The show itself drew the packed crowd at the Bluebird theatre that Slim Cessna always draws for these shows, despite the eight inches of snow that we received that day. Upon arrival, we ran into Jon Snodgrass from Drag who broke the news to use that J.J. Nobody and Steve Bauer (bass and drums respectively) just could not make it from the springs due to the weather, so Jon and Chad Price held down the fort. This was disappointing since Jon told us that Drag has been practicing a bunch of new songs and were stoked to play them. After that bummer of a surprise, that was much more of a pleasant surprise. The first support band, A. Tom Collins was a new name to me and to everybody I talked to around the stage. They were an eclectic mix of piano and songwriting with a dash of horns. It was quite a refreshing sound and definitely surprised myself with how much I really got into them, and their live show is definitely worth catching. I later found out from some of the Suburban Home crew that the lead singer is the former lead singer of the sorely missed Machine Gun Blues that were gathering steam in the Denver scene before their demise.

After A. Tom Collins, Jon and Chad from Drag the River came out as a duo to the unfortunate weather circumstances and played a wonderfully well rounded set, about an hour long. It was quite obvious that much of the Slim crowd was totally new to Drag and it was a good introduction to them. Along with some of the staples of a DTR live show, including “Medicine” and “Mr. Crews”, many of the songs from “Demons” made an appearance, and eventually turned into a crowd request with the Slim crowd obviously enjoying their first, and hopefully not their last dose of Drag the River.

After Drag played their set, Slim Cessna came out for the tenth anniversary of their New Year’s shows at the Bluebird theatre. And they held their version of Alt-Country church that their live shows our famous for. Both Manly and Slim Cessna himself spent a good portion of the set in the audience, who was hanging on every word the two of them had to say. After about 90 minutes, the Slim Cessna revival continued for about another half hour with a long encore that had the sold out crowds of the Bluebird near combustion. Despite the snow that everybody, including the bands, had to deal with, A. Tom Collins, Drag The River and Slim Cessna Auto Club helped everybody ring in the New Year a day early, and its never to early to start drinking for the New Year. And on a real quick note, I just want to thank Autopsy IV for the opportunity to write this article, and thanks for reading.

Drag The River – History with History
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – Children of the Lord

DRAG RIVER – DEMO(N)S


Man, This album has been out for a while. So long, in fact, that it might not do any good writing about it. I mean, those who know have had it for months (and likely those who don’t) have probably read all about it on plenty of other blogs. Honestly, that’s okay with me, I’ve been sitting on this cd for a while on purpose. So long, in fact, that I almost forgot to write about it at all, but as is now obvious, that’s not the case.

So why the delay?
You want the truth?

Because I saw Drag as a full band for the first time in years at the Suburban Home Records anniversary party, and every time I listened to this album I was reminded of that night and how it hit home how much I missed Drag The River as a full band. I’d sit there thinking about that, listening to a Drag record that’s basically just Jon and Chad, and I’d get depressed and put something else on.

Well, time passed, and as it did the rawness subsided and I began putting the album on here and there again. Listening with honest ears instead of mourning a time long gone. The album, is decidedly not a Drag The River album regardless of what’s on the CD cover’s spline. Now I know Drag ain’t my band, and if Jon and Chad wanna call this a Drag CD that’s well within their rights. However, if you watched Treme or lived in New Orleans post-Katrina, you may recall Ashley Morris’ famous FYYFF post, where he said that that the New Orleans Saints belonged to the city, not Tom Benson. One could argue that in much the same way, Drag The River is as much the fans’ band as it is the band’s band, and this (imo) isn’t a Drag album. Hell, the last track is just a song, and if that isn’t proof enough, then I just don’t know what is.

So, if the new Drag the River album isn’t a Drag the River album, what the fuck is it? It’s a ‘Jon and Chad with guitars and some sad songs with a few harmonies’ album, and as that…..it’s pretty fucking good. No, it’s really fucking good. It’s not a Saturday night album. It’s decidedly a late night, drinking alone kind of album, but let’s be honest; I, and probably anyone reading this blog, prefer those kinds of albums to Saturday night albums, anyhow. It’s a painfully strong 10 song album with no skippable tracks among them. In his review of Chad’s solo album, Romeo called it an album for coming down from a weekend booze and blow bender. This album would probably fall in the same category.

It may not be a Drag “proper” album, but it’s Essential Listening (even if it takes a while to get there).

Drag The River – Here’s To The Losers
Drag The River – History With History
Drag The River – Bad Kreuznach

Drag The River’s Official Site, Drag The River on Bandcamp, Buy Demons (pay what you want)

THE ROCK REPORT: TWO COW GARAGE @ RUDYARDS – HOUSTON, TEXAS 10-08-2010

Two Cow Garage

I wasn’t going to cover this show because Two Cow Garage is playing tonight in Florida and I know AIV will be writing up his own review but after seeing them for my first time I realized that there can’t be too many reviews on any given site so this is my take. Let me start by simply saying OH MY GOD! These boys can rock! Without any competition at all this show came in second to only to Slobberbone for the best show I have seen in years. Loud, fast, and frankly fucking punk rock is the easiest way to describe what I witnessed on Friday night.

I got there early and got to meet Micah and Shane (finally) and hang out for a couple of hours prior to them taking the stage. Their piano player had to fly home the night before due to the death of a friend but that didn’t detract from the energy of the evening. I would say I got to meet Cody for the first time but it turns out I met him almost five years ago in Tempe, AZ at the Cory Branan, Koufax, Limbeck and The Honorary Title. I was hanging with Cory after his set and taking pictures of some weird Limbeck fan chick who had curled up in an empty merchandise box and Cody, who was with Koufax at the time, was sitting right there bullshitting with us. Some nights it seems the scene doesn’t get larger it just gets more crowded. So we hung out and talked about life, family, drinking, and so much more. We drank, drank and drank some more. And yes I went on and on like a fan boy and I am not ashamed! Shane confirmed there is some work on a solo effort from him but nothing like a release date or even a label just yet and while it’s not on the radar yet I am pretty stoked that it’s coming eventually. I also talked to the boys about a little idea I had to help promote the new album here on 9B and they approved so keep watching I hope to be able to post more on that next week. Did I mention we drank a little bit? There was whiskey to be had and we had it…

Then Two Cow Garage took the stage and the world came apart at the seams. Micah and Shane are nothing less that rock stars extraordinaire and Cody had a shit eating grin on his face the entire set. From the opening riff to the closing refrain they never stopped. It was song into song into song into song without even a break to catch a breath. Flinging sweat on to the audience from their antics on stage and screaming out every song I am completely amazed that either Micah or Shane could even talk after the show. I was exhausted from screaming along and dancing and they do it every night! They even broke out some older tracks like 135 at the audience’s request which I should mention had to be screamed over the strumming between songs because like I already said they never stopped playing or moving!

This is one of the first shows I have ever walked away from with regrets. I don’t regret leaving the still frame camera and video camera at home and just enjoying the show. I don’t regret screaming along so loud I could barely talk for two days. I don’t regret hanging out until after three in the morning. I don’t regret my ears ringing well in to Sunday. I do regret leaving SXSW early and missing them last year! I couldn’t have seen them locally because I only found out about them four years ago and they haven’t played here in five years. But I can sorely regret not having seen them when I had the chance. If you ever have the chance to catch them live and you don’t then you really must not have a clue. Their albums are amazing but their live show takes their music to another level. Get off your ass and see them. They are good enough that the next time they come through Texas I may well take a couple of days off work and do the Dallas, Austin, Houston circuit just to see them that many more times.

I just want to wrap this up by saying, again, OH MY FUCKING GOD!

Two Cow Garage’s official site
Two Cow Garage on Suburban Home Records
Two Cow Garage on Wikipedia

AUTOPSY IV SAYS: I tend not to review shows that I put on so there will be little more than “ditto above” said about the Tampa show unless someone who was there wants to review is. I’ll say, people came, beers were drank and hearing was damaged. Good. Fucking. Times.

DEBUT OF THE BRAND NEW TWO COW GARAGE SONG: MY GREAT GATSBY


Last week we debuted the video for “Lydia”, the lead single from Two Cow’s new album, Sweet Saint Me while Punknews debuted the song “Sally I’ve Been Shot”. In other words, all sorts of Two Cow Garage awesomeness was occurring last week. This week has been a continuation of that momentum with Suburban Home’s announcement of the Sweet Saint Me preorder as well as Farce The Music dropping a review of the album. Ninebullets is nothing short of ecstatic to a be a continuing part of the lead up to Sweet Saint Me’s release with the debut of the song “My Great Gatsby”.

Two Cow Garage – My Great Gatsby

I have to thank Virgil and the band a million times. When I was approached about debuting a song here I specifically asked for “My Great Gatsby” because it’s my favorite song on the album. I wouldn’t have blamed them for wanting to keep this one under wraps until Sweet Saint Me dropped but they told me to go for it without a moments notice. I hope y’all love it as much as I do. I feel the song acts as a Two Cow Garage mission statement and have sort of adopted it as my own. Sweet Saint Me officially drops on October 26th but the preorder is available tomorrow and everyone who preorders the album will be granted an immediate digital download of the entire album. Order it! These guys deserve as much as our hard earned money as we’re able to give them. Hell, I’ve had the digital album for months now and I’ll be ordering a copy or two later this afternoon.

Tampa/St. Pete folk: Two Cow Garage will be coming to New World Brewery in support of Sweet Saint Me on Monday, October 11th. Cover will be $8.00. I hope to see some of y’all there.

THE ROCK REPORT: THE SUBURBAN HOME RECORDS 15th ANNIVERSARY PARTY; DENVER, COLORADO


I’ve received a few emails this week asking when I was gonna post a recap of the SH party weekend. I guess this post will serve as a just that, but as a whole I’m not going to. See, this is my second trip to Denver for this show and it’s really not about the music. I mean, I love the music, but the SH trip is about something else. It’s about friendships, fellowships and celebration with a particularly awesome soundtrack. See, this is a neat musical scene we run in. It’s a scene where even the biggest and most popular artists can be found sitting at the bar before they go on stage, talking to the fans. It’s a scene where a merch table can be left unattended for an hour and nothing goes missing. We’re (the fans and the bands) all co-patriots in the same war and treat each other accordingly.

Is that speaking in hyperbole? Sure, to a point, but the essence is 100% accurate. In our little scene, the line between fan and band is so razor thin it almost doesn’t exist. A point that was easily proven, as Micah Schnabel stood front stage with the rest of us singing along with Mike D. during I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch’s set, or when Austin Lucas invited the entire venue on stage for a song to close his set, and tens of other examples over the weekend.

The point is, the weekend is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s bigger than one band’s set or another’s. It doesn’t matter if a band had a bad night, ‘cause it may have been the shot you bought them that fucked it all up. The annual Suburban Home Party in Denver, Colorado serves (for me) as an annual affirmation that my passion (these bands, this music, the people that love it) is just, and that ninebullets should be a conduit for that music to reach more people, and to be honest…..you can’t “review” that. You can’t type up a synopsis for that. Is that cheating the 9B readers that didn’t get to go? Maybe, but not nearly as much as you cheated yourself for not being there. You have about 350 days. Start saving now and next year you’ll be nodding to yourself in agreement when I copy/paste this exact post for 2011.

MICAH EXPLAINS THE MEANING/INSPIRATION BEHIND "LYDIA":


As everyone should know by now, Two Cow Garage‘s new album Sweet Saint Me is getting released next month. Having heard the album already I’ll advise you to go pick up a replacement face in the coming weeks cause your current one is most definitely gonna get rocked off. That said, last week the band released the album’s lead single, “Lydia” (purchase here) and there has been plenty of scuttlebutt about the source of the lyrics. Well, I caught up with Micah last week at the Suburban Home Records Anniversary Party and asked him that very question. Here is the video and I apologize for the low light conditions but the quality does improve as the video wears on.

ROCK REPORT: DRAG THE RIVER & CORY BRANAN (IN THE ROUND) @ RUDYARD'S; HOUSTON, TX

I don’t think I’ve missed a Cory Branan show in any town he’s played that I was within a hundred miles of since I met some years back in Fayetteville, AR. However I had never seen Drag The River until a few nights ago. I had seen Jon Snodgrass with Cory on their last tour but it was without Chad Price. I still haven’t seen the whole band and since my going to the Suburban Home Records 15th Anniversary Party fell through I won’t be seeing the whole band in just a few days and yes I am fucking bitter about it! I did, however, get to see something damn cool. Right before Cory took the stage to open for Jon and Chad, Jon suggested they play in the round, which apparently isn’t their normal style, and let me tell you it was pretty damn cool. Aside from Jon not playing “Back to God” (and I quote) “Why won’t you all request songs we remember how to play!” I got to hear everything I wanted to hear. I didn’t shoot this show on my wife’s camera so no bad ass shots like last time but I did buy a Flip and video some select songs. I learned a couple of things as well. Number one: The more I drink the worse off I am as a camera man and number two: AA batteries only last about thirty minutes in a Filp. Other than that I got a dozen songs on video not counting Cory and Jon’s little 9B exclusive at the end of the night while the staff was trying to make us all leave since the bar was nine kinds of closed.

Seeing all of these guys trade songs back and forth and accompany each other on favorites was an amazing experience. Songs that I’ve heard thousands of times took on a whole new aspect. It was hard not to sing along with every last one of the songs and I failed at some points so you can hear me on the video if you listen close enough and for that I apologize. Seeing Jon sing along with Cory was cool and finally seeing Chad do “This Cross” was nearly a religious experience. I drank, bought drinks, and sang along probably way too loud. It was one of the best nights I’ve ever had. If you missed The Budget Helicopter Tour then you missed one of the best tours of the year. I may not be able to make it to Denver this week but I got to see three of my favorite artists on stage exchanging songs and it was a damn good time. Since I don’t have any audio of this show and you all damn sure better know every song by these boys I am just going to post the videos. Since there are a ton of them you’ll have to click the link to see them all…

Nine Bullets Exclusive – Cory Branan w/Jon Snodgrass – Daddy Was a Skywriter

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