...randomness surrounding Guided by Voices, Robert Pollard, and other great indie rock bands; a quasi objective look at "my" sporting teams; the random horror film; plus other crap as we see fit...all with a Pittsburgh based feel.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Amoeba Knievel and the Moodswingers ~ Live at St James

St James Place Tavern is your quintessential dive bar, and along with Gooski's in Polish Hill, is one of our favorite places to see live local bands.  It's a couple of blocks off the main drag on the South Side, so you don't have to worry about knocking heads with the amateurs, or jumping over puke puddles courtesy of some sorority girl looking to lose her virginity to the first dude she sees wearing an American Eagle sweatshirt.

Amoeba Knievel and the Moodswingers brought the Visionary Rock n' Roll that was promised on this Friday night.  We've been fans of Tommy Amoeba and his band for a long time, but we really enjoy the lads backing him currently.  Joe (bass), Bill (geetar), and Bob (drums) form the perfect ammo that fuels Tommy's staple silliness and cartoonish frontman antics.  All of our favs were played: "Mad Magazine", Cowboy Ed", "National Sport", and "Indigo Sandwich"...

"King of the Flowermen" was skipped due to a lack of a second mic for back-up vocals, but AK made up for it with a classic performance of "Broken Record" followed by a punk rock cover of "L.A. Woman" as part of an impromptu Doors medley. I never enjoyed the Doors more than during this 7-8 minute span.

As for my personal highlight of the night: one of the strings on Bill's guitar breaks, causing a break in the action.  Bass slapper Joe starts strumming the opening chords to GBV's "Lethargy."  I had just met Joe earlier in the night, and it turns out he's a huge GBV fan (not to mention a swell dude).  So while Bill's attending to his injured guitar, Joe starts waiving me towards the mic.  FCKYA!!!  I obliged....  "ARE YOU HAPPY?  HAPPY TODAY..."  Afterwards, Tommy introduces the song as one from Joe's new side project, "Guided by Gary."  We think there may be video existing of this.  I don't think we pulled it off as good as this, but jolly good times it was...

The Moodswingers were next. Dennis Childers was back behind the drums for this night, and we love Dennis, along with bassist Dean. Jamie Moodswinger started the set with "Thrill", and then the playlist was up for grabs. Not sure I've ever seen a Moodswingers set that followed the set list. That's just the way they roll, which is ok in our book. Fan favorite "Heart Attack is better than a Stroke" was played, along with "World to Save"and my personal favorite "Hope You're Alright."

Got to hear a new tune, called "Die." And from first listen, it sounds like a keeper. We had some video footage of "I'll Wait", but unfortunately it didn't come out that well (stupid cameraman's fault). Probably the best compliment of the night came from some girl sitting at the bar, who told Moodswingers' frontman Jamie that he needs to learn how to sing better. FCKYA!!!! PUNK RAAAAAWK!!

The Moodswingers had another date with rock on Saturday night at Howler's in Bloomfield.  Unfortunately, we had a previous engagement with Zombie.

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