Ringo Barbeau’s psychedelic hoedown
Friday night found Anton Barbeau seated in the back hallway at Luna’s Café in a surly state of mind. What caused the surliness is less important than how it was manifested later, much later, after the Looky Loos had performed their brand of Beach Boys-meets-Yo La Tengo, after his own band had set up, and after he had plugged in his acoustic guitar and, at last, begun to play.
What happened onstage was incendiary: a solid set of material, both new and old, by a band that completely fleshed out Barbeau’s songs. Emile Dalkey (formerly of RazorLily) on lead guitar provided just the right texture, pressing many of the songs into a Beatles-does-country vibe circa 1965 (think Ringo’s “Act Naturally”). Andy Crisp’s drum work, coupled with Shawn Hale’s always-solid bass work, made for a musical backdrop that was, quite simply, perfect.
But the real star of the show was Barbeau himself. All of his stage presence was focused on the songs, particularly the singing, which seemed extraordinarily emotive. This is the Anton Barbeau we always knew was lurking below the surface but that many of us never really see, an Anton Barbeau willing to go out on a limb for his music and who does so very, very well. Gone were the manic monologues (many of which have stretched into 15- or 20-minute ramblings between songs), and in their place was sheer musical brilliance. If this is any indication of where Barbeau is headed, Sacramentans are in for some great live music this summer. Check out www.antonbarbeau.com for more information.Jazz fans will be warmed to hear that there will be a jazz clinic on May 17 at Sacramento City College (SCC) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Included in the program are presentations by pianist Markus Burger, trumpeter Steve Roach, drummer Mat Marucci, bassist Bill Douglass and saxophonist Jan van Klewitz. The clinic will be followed by a 7 p.m. concert at SCC’s Little Theater. Admission is $10, or $7 for students. Check Marucci’s Web site www.geocities.com/matmarucci/ for more details.
Fans of good, old-school pop music take note: San Francisco-based Zip Records has released the newest offering from pop icons the Rubinoos, featuring secret local music icon Tommy Dunbar. Crimes Against Music has the band running through 13 covers, including tracks originally recorded by Eurythmics, Elvis Costello and others. More information is at www.rubinoos.com.
CaBands.com is a Web site devoted to California bands, with a particular emphasis on hard alternative and metal acts. Bands will be relieved to note that there is a no-nonsense, free and simple way to upload their own band information to the site, including a logo and bio. Furthermore, the site lists show dates throughout California and reviews live shows. This is a great resource, particularly for fans of those bands and genres who otherwise are underrepresented by the mainstream media. (In other words, you metalheads should check it out immediately.)