Words aren't just words anymore


Andrew Jackson Jihad brings its acoustic folk at punk-rock speed to Wayward Council tonight.

Special to The Sun
Published: Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

In reality, there is no "simple life." I don't refer to the one where a poor excuse for a human being gets on television just because her daddy has deep pockets. I'm talking about the fact that, no matter how mundane or conventional an existence might be, it's rife with complexity.

That's no bad thing. Simplicity will only take you so far. Frequently, it's an improvement to make things more complicated. This is how we came up with the personal computer, the iPhone and Hot Pockets.

OK. Doesn't work every time.

It does work for Andrew Jackson Jihad and Paul Baribeau, who are coming to Wayward Council tonight with Offsides and Insurgent Me.

The simple part for Andrew Jackson Jihad is the playing. Joe Satriani is not in this band. The general theme is acoustic folk at punk-rock speed, which generally blends into the background of the performance.

What's complicated is this trio's point of view. It should be points of view, really, since these guys hold little back in the lyrical department.

For one thing, they are in the running for "Best Album Title Ever" with "People Who Can Eat People are the Luckiest People in the World." But for every bit of bizarre eccentricity - of which there are oodles - there's an inherent nugget of truth blended in.

To cherry-pick, take their song "Powerplant," which will be on their upcoming split with Ghost Mice: "The drugs you do are made by people who think in dollar signs/and that's not very punk of you/maybe you should change you mind."

Lines about hypocrisy, nonsense and things that are just plain wrong pepper almost every song - and they're not too high and mighty to point that accusing finger at themselves every so often.

They gotta do something, though, about those vocals. The tone fits perfectly, but it still sounds like someone's had a head cold for the last month.

Paul Baribeau puts on a similar yet distinct show.

His version is more a personal one, built into the same bare-bones construct of accelerated acoustics. Makes sense - he's a solo guy. Might as well talk about yourself.

What is very much shared is the delivery. Whether screamed or barely spoken, both of these acts make it very clear that the words said are indeed much more than just that. They really believe all these things they say. And I have to respect that, even when I disagree.

And for anyone who isn't entertained by the quiet truth, there will be a louder version as well in Offsides and Insurgent Me's hardcore.

Electronic SubSouth is taking over the Backstage Lounge on Saturday for an evening of synthetic beats featuring Flashlight Party, The Skraelings, Sarcastic and Lissajou. This grouping splits the difference between the dance approach of the first two and darker experimentation of the latter. So, to anyone aiming to dance the night away: skip the club and stick with Flashlight Party.

Danni Bay and Velveteen Pink are putting on a show with Hours Eastly on Saturday, and what catches my eye is the location: Market Street. It's been a good while since they've done live music, and the new year is a good time to pick it back up. But, I have to honestly wonder how long this latest series will last. Market Street is like vampires in movies. Every so often, they turn up, make a bit of a show, then some stranger turns on the sun to send them back from whence they came. Good flick, but you never know when the theater run will come to a sudden halt.

Ahead on Tuesday, Against Me! is lending a spot of celebrity to Harvest of Hope for a benefit show at Common Grounds with The Young Livers and Fake Problems. I'm not big on benefits or HOH's philosophy, but no problem here. It's hard for we Americans to perceive the fact that some people actually have to go without food (our definition of "hungry" is much looser), but there are millions and HOH is trying to get them something to eat. Good form.

And ahead on Wednesday, Common Grounds is bringing in upstart Celtic-fusion group Enter The Haggis. They may be Canadians trying to play an Irishman's role, but these lads are turning plenty of heads on their current tour. I take issue with the vocals, which lack any accent and seem slightly out of place, but it can be easily overlooked in favor of the positives - which include every other aspect of their work.

I'll be out of here for the next few weeks, and I expect all of your rooms to be clean by the time I get back.

Reach Kyle at quieteidolon@gmail.com.

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