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Music to Look for: Jeffrey Luck Lucas

A while back, I was playing around with Rhythmbox, my GNOME music-player of choice, and I came across the plugin for Magnatune, a new kind of internet-based record label, which sells an artist’s music online splitting profits with them 50/50. Not only that, but they also make Ogg Vorbis and FLAC versions of recordings available, and you get to name your own price, between $5 and $18 US. Not a bad deal, especially since you can preview the music before you buy it, and decide how much you think it’s worth.

This isn’t about Magnatune though, this is about an San Francisco-based artist I discovered via Magnatune named Jeffrey Luck Lucas, a Country/Folk artist. Lucas cites 40s and 50s Country music and Mexican Folk as his muses for his unique brand of music, and is able to produce hauntingly beautiful music. I think the BBC review of Hell Then Devine says it best.

Rather than the usual collection of songs, Hell Then Divine is like listening to a drunken man mumbling through his life story. Sometimes banal, occasionally bizarre, the story is somehow gripping as you strain to listen.

The music is dark and moody, but not depressing. It bends and sways like a leisurely stroll down a deserted city street. Lucas’ own deep voice calls out slowly and deliberately, telling stories he’s yearned to tell since his punk rock days in Morlock.

I began listening to Lucas because he reminded me of Tom Waits, and his sound is similar, though he stays to the haunting stories. As haunting and miserable as the lyrics are, the songs don’t leave you depressed, as Lucas’ voice contains a comfortable acceptance, a sense of peace with the world, and a general feeling of contentment.

The world Lucas’ began to paint in 2004’s Hell Then Devine, contined in 2006’s What We Whisper, and hopefully continues in 2008’s upcoming The Lion’s Jaw is not a happy world. But it’s real. The realness and honesty in Lucas’ voice will draw you in and you’ll lay happily wrapped in a cocoon of his bluesy country drawl.

Check him out on Magnatune, you’ll be able to check his music out, before deciding to buy it. And if you live in San Francisco, try to check out one of his shows. I’d be there if I could.

The Clintons - Live at Johnstone

Well, The Clintons Concert was on Thursday, and we had about 150 people pack into the Johnstone Lobby for the show, a good number of which probably weren’t familiar with the Clintons before this concert.

True to form, the Clintons put on a really fun, energetic show. They played pretty much everything from their as-yet-unreleased album, and it’s sounding like it will be really good. In addition they played a lot of their older stuff which is really good. Of course, some of the best stuff was from the wacky stories and stuff the guys told during the show.

After the show, I got a bit of a chance to talk to John McLellan, the Lead Singer of the Clintons. It’s pretty cool, because John recognizes me, because I’ve been to a lot of their shows over the years, so we got to chatting about a few things. This new ablum (which will be released in Bozeman on December 1st) was completely done by the guys. They recorded and mixed everything on their own, and from what John says, it sounds professionally done. Definitely looking forward to grabbing this new EP.

Unfortunately, school work kept me from going to the after-show party at Colombo’s, so I wasn’t able to catch that, but I am definitely going to the EP Release show on December 1st at the Emerson Cultural Center, even if it requires skipping Interhall that night.

Hooray for Free Concerts!

The Clintons have offered to play a free Concert in the Residence Halls sponsored by Interhall RHA. They just want to come play an acoustic concert, and it won’t cost us a dime (outside of advertising, of course). For those of you who don’t know about the Clintons, they began as a local band in Bozeman, and have become something of a regular around the Pacific Northwest. They’re great, and any of you people in the Bozeman area need to come, I’ll post date/time stuff once we have it set.

William Shatner - Has Been

You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You callin’ me, has been?

Why, yes, Bill. I am. You’ve hardly done anything of note since the seventies when you were on Star Trek, and you’re music career has been, well, humourous.

What’d you say your name is? Jack Never done jack

Hey Bill, no reason to get personal, is there? Just because I’ve never been on TV doesn’t mean I can’t recognize the fact that your career has been pretty damn stupid over the years.

Riding on their armchairs They dream of wealth and fame Fear is their companion Nintendo is their game Never done jack and two thumbs Don And sidekick don’t say dick Will laugh at others failures Though they have not done shit

Yeah, well, that’s the job of the Critic, even the unpaid one. Actually, Has Been is a great album. Starting off with a cover of “Common People,” that is far better than the original, and ending with the almost touching “Real,” Shatner has made an Album that flows really well, and is entertaining, and not in the same way that Tambourine Man was entertaining.

As with Shatner’s previous offerings, this is mostly a spoken word album with some music to accompany him. It seems that this particular album depends more on the real musicians than on Shatner’s unique style, but in the end, it works really well.

Has been was Has been might again

That you might, Bill, that you might. I give this album a 8.5/10, it’s definitely worth a listen.