I finally got rid of all the recycling from the Bottle Rockets show back at the beginning of June, so it’s time to look forward to what’s happening to the basement next.
August 14, 9 PM Nick Jaina/Jeremiah Nelson suggested donation $7
Portland musician Nick Jaina usually doesn’t have a plan when he shows up in Madison, which is why you may have seen him busking on a street corner during the Willy Street Fair or the WORT block party. However his idea of busking isn’t a guy and a guitar, it’s a bunch of guys (and girls) with all sorts of instruments. It’s that sort of impromptu spirit that makes 2008’s A Narrow Way, recorded live to tape with no overdubs or remixes, such a joyous listen. On the new A Bird in the Opera House he cleans it up a bit with a carefully crafted studio record, but the stellar songwriting and musicianship remains. For this show he will making a rare appearance as a duo with viola player Amanda Lawrence following the first performance (in Fremont MI) of the ballet he’s written.
Opening will be Madison treasure Jeremiah Nelson. For those of you who have seen him on a Tuesday night at Mickeys you probably already suspect that he’s a terrific songwriter and stellar guitar player, this show will be a chance to confirm it in a great listening room. The songs that will make up his next release are so good that I wish he would hurry up and finish it already so I can hear them more than once a week. He also has a knack for picking the perfect cover and has been known to do the Weakerthans and the Clash in the same set. Brilliant.
August 20, 9 PM Hamell on Trial/Matthew Grimm suggested donation $12
I’ve seen Hamell on Trial many times over many years, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him play a better show than he did last year at the House of Righteous Music. Even better, he had so much fun that he can’t wait to do it again. It’s hard to describe Hamell on Trial to someone who hasn’t seen him before. There’s the stream of conscious rants, the insanely fast guitar playing, the jokes (the clean ones are told on mike, the off-color ones off), and of course the songs, which is the real reason we’re all there. He’s an entertainer like no other, you need to see it to believe it, or, honestly, to even to understand it.
It’s been a long time since Matthew Grimm’s voice has been heard in Madison, but his band the Hangdogs used to come through town on a fairly regular basis back when the House of Righteous Music was just a house and they played a show in my back room for a dozen folks. His efforts in the last few years have been devoted to his new band, Iowa City based The Red Smear, which provides an outlet for his outrages and obsessions. It will just be him and a guitar tonight, but that doesn’t mean less anger or cussing. Which kinda makes him a perfect match for Hamell.
Since Hamell drew well at the house last time through, this show could sell out. I will be taking reservations and suggest donating in advance to guarantee your spot. You can do that by sending a check to Kiki Schueler at 1326 MacArthur Rd, Madison WI 53714.