Saturday, March 10, 2018

Jesika Von Rabbit and the Phantoms at Artifice, Friday Mar 9, 2018

Friday nights can be tough at times, but I haven't seen my old pal, Lee Joseph, for a while and it had been a f'k of a week, so I could use a night out.

Unfortunately, I got there somewhat late and missed the openers, Trevor and the Jones, the Vegas-based psysh/garage combo has just started playing out again so I'm sure I will catch them at some point. I did catch the last song of Fans of Jimmy Century, who are an electronic duo doing dance music - not exactly my thing, but seemed to be visually entertaining.

Lee did some DJ'ing during the night, playing cool garage/soul/60's dance music and was joined on the turntables by Dizzy Lizzy, who also pulled out some stellar tracks.

I have seen Issac Rother and the Phantoms just last year opening for Guitar Wolf and dug their brand of spooky 60's rock'n'roll. They mix garage with frat rock, some 50's doo-wop and r'n'r and whatever else that comes to mind, with a lyrical bent towards camp horror stories - in fact they call themselves an R'n'B Horror Revue Show. Everyone is dressed in black with Issac, a Rob Ryner look-alike, donning bones and a cape and a female backing singer/dancer in a skimpy jumpsuit and cape. The songs are fun and danceable with a solid rhythm backing, cool, reverbed guitar licks (they even did a creepy surf instro) and the female singer adding a lot with her backing vocals and taking lead to belt out a great take on Howlin' Wolf's "Evil". Totally enjoyable project - I will certainly see them again when they come back through town.

Joshua Tree's Jesika Von Rabbit has added a guitar and live drums to their mix of backing tapes/keys/bass (Lee Joseph) in their line up to beef up the sound and give their style of electronica dance music a bit more of a r'n'r edge'n'energy. They still use backing tapes and some electronic drums, but the live kit certainly adds another dimension to the sound, as does the effect-laden guitar. Lee, of course, is a superb bassist who adds some heavy fuzz to the bottom end as Jesika layers keys on top of it all while singing, performing, and interacting with the audience. They did not have the extra dancers that accompanied them last time I saw them, but they still know how to put on a show! Dance music is what they provide and the audience definitely were happy to participate! The encore, I believe it was a new song called "Innuendo", relied less on backing tracks and was more of a straight-ahead garage rocker. Always worth seeing!

Due to the afore-mentioned f'k of a week, I was pretty wiped out and I missed the psychedelic sounds of Spindrift (who I dug when I saw them a few years back), but thanks to Brian Moy and his Dirty Rock'n'Roll Dance Party for another hip'n'happening show!