Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Concert Review: The Lost Crusaders at Lakeside Lounge, NYC 8/21/09

Sometimes all you need is a guitar and a beat – who needs anything fancy? The Lost Crusaders play gospel music garage-rock style; the full band also has rhythm section and an organ. This stripped-down unit was just frontman Michael Chandler (formerly of the Raunch Hands), guitarist Johny Vignault and a tambourine player who doubled on vox. On the few slow numbers,Vignault used a wamly pulsing tremolo tone; otherwise, he cranked it up with plenty of juicy natural distortion. The effect was like R.L. Burnside rocking some shotgun shack in the Mississippi hills – it was that hot outside before the rain, anyway, and the intimate Lakeside vibe put the music right in your face. It was so hard to walk away from that our table of happy hour revelers missed their last call for two-for-ones.

The band didn’t need drums – between Vignault’s stomping on the floor, the singers’ two tambourines (which they fought over, a little facetiously) and the audience, the room rocked. Most of the set list was boisterously shuffling songs from the band’s excellent debut album Have You Heard About the World, including the title track with its lickety-split call-and-response vocals. Too Late, sung with characteristic, plaintive intensity by Laura Cantrell on the album, became a big 6/8 60s soul ballad. “Oh, you want a political one?” asked Chandler and then did an especially fervent one about the “homosexuality between the government and the financial establishment.”

The new songs were just as good. One hypnotic number, possibly called Train to the Kingdom matched Wailers stomp to a delirious uptown ecstasy; a cover of what sounded like something from the 20s or even earlier was defiant and insistent, a flat-out refusal to lie down in the grave. Whatever your deity or lack thereof, this stuff will rock your soul; these guys ought to do a doublebill with Rev. Vince Anderson. The Lost Crusaders play the final date of their monthlong Lakeside residency this coming Friday August 28 at 7ish, then they’re off on European tour.

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August 22, 2009 Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Song of the Day 8/22/09

Every day, our top 666 songs of alltime countdown gets one step closer to #1. Saturday’s song is #340:

The Walkabouts – Up in the Graveyard

Pacific Northwest gothic from the genre’s finest practitioners. Gulf War vet comes home to avenge his dead father in a perverse but beautifully logical way. One of frontman Chris Eckman‘s finest lyrical moments: “You can change the darkness into something proud.” From Setting the Woods on Fire, 1994, arguably one of the ten best albums ever made.

August 22, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment