Hall and Oates, meet David Lynch.
Hey, we know those people These are strange, unpredictable times we’re living in. By now, fans of Chico faves Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers (and The Mother Hips and Brokedown in Bakersfield—fresh off a sold-out show at the Big Room last night) have undoubtedly already seen the YouTube video for NB&G’s cover of Hall and Oates’ 1981 hit “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do).” The video was uploaded March 23, and it has already garnered nearly a million views, thanks to a series of viral shout outs, including one by John Oates on Twitter and on H&O’s Facebook page.
Part of the band’s Van Session series—in which the four-piece made videos of themselves singing covers while driving down the road in their tour van—the sparsely played tune highlights NB&G’s incredible harmonizing skills, with Bluhm steering the van while belting out a warm and fun rendition of the soulful song, even filling in for the saxophone with a kick-ass kazoo solo.
To Bluhm and the boys’ credit, they wasted zero time mobilizing their resources to make the most of the dramatic spike in attention. Despite being in the middle of recording sessions for their new album, they quickly put together an mp3 of the song and revamped their website’s landing page (and all other web outposts) to provide a free download of the track plus links to Bluhm’s songs for listenin’ and buyin’.
“We are grateful and excited by the way our Hall & Oates Van Session video took off. If you’d like to hear more of our music, you can listen to our latest album Driftwood right here. If you feel inspired, we are offering a few items for sale below. Thank you so much for your support. Love, NB&Gs.”
That’s good work. Go to www.nickibluhm.com to see the video.
My computer sings to me Speaking of watching my songs on the tiny screen: The news last week of the three Chico State students who allegedly burned their house down during the course of manufacturing drugs conjured up a vague memory of some local cocaine-dealing frat from ’80s, which in turn made me seek out the awesome song it inspired by legendary local funksters Brutilicus Maximus. You can go to www.youtube.com/user/Feentube and catch all of Jack Dammit and the boys’ various diseases, including “Frat Boy Drug Bust”: “Got a kilo in my Beemer/ and a gun up my nose/ ’cause Mr. Policeman caught me trying to sell blow.”
And speaking of partying gone wrong: This unabashed David Lynch fan boy has to give a shout out on behalf of his favorite director’s latest creation: the video for “Crazy Clown Time,” from Lynch’s recently released album of the same name. It’s just the kind of bizarre, dark shenanigans that we expect from Lynch (and that the world needs more of): a broken blues plays in rhythm to a messy backyard party with a half-naked dancing girl (“Suzie, she ripped her shirt off completely”), a football player jogging in place, and a good measure of fist pounding, intense screaming, spitting, red lipstick and a mohawk on fire. Go to davidlynch.com for the video and to listen to more Lynch music.
Blue Room special Just got a tip from Blue Room Theatre’s Denver Latimer that the theater is about to bring an old friend into the fold as its new artistic director. One-time local theater stud and musician (vocalist for former ridiculously popular swing band Blue Plate Special) Fred Stuart will be moving to Chico from New York to take over the position in May.