Club Linehan A Go Go
March 10 2016
CLAGG is the reincarnation of Mike Quirk's first band including his southie bred buddies. Kevin Linehan on drums and Joe Quinn on bass. Quirk sings and plays rhythm guitar, Kenne Highland handles most of the leads and your's truly squeaks and squawks on horn. CLAGG is a great party band. Nothing too fancy, they rummage through a bakers dozen of Quirks favorite covers.
Chuck Berry claims innocence on "It Wasn't Me". Bo Diddley by way of the Dolls take care of his hospitalized health on "Pills". The Stones make a couple of deep cut appearances with "Citadel" and "Empty Heart". They save the best for last with Highland's trance channeling of Rob Tyner and Fred "Sonic" Smith, along with his riff dropping, quick-quoting of everyone and their mother on a skronked up smear through the MC 5's Black to Comm.
Matt Gilbert led the Gravedancers on a revved up boneyard party night. They started the ceremony with a beat benediction by poet Mick Cuisimano. The back beat is groovy and the language and cadence twist and unravel and twist again. You don't see this kind of thing too often and as such it is the night's first easter egg. On solos, Gilbert's an exuberant shredder with a why use one note if you can use 11 mind set. Tonight he seems to be more focused on the tunes and less focused on ten minute solos. Bubba calls in the spirits with big rock ritual drums. Reno Daly dances around the chords with limber fingers and a strong but light, no pick sound. Gravedancers have a new EP on the way so we get a preview. The band slows it down for "Note to the Occupant" and get their grunge on for "Broken by the Machine". Gilbert's still busy, but it's good to hear him push some pretty melody lines. The second easter egg of the set comes when Mickey Bliss pulls a trumpet out of his hat and joins the boys for a soulful take on the catchy jazz funk "Green Onions". A bit of Stones, some Dolls and a Harlequin cover or two keep things moving on a Thursday night.
The third easter egg proves to be James Discovers whole set. Discovers goes it alone with a pedaled up Ovation, a looper, a crash symbol. His vocal gymnastics make you think his mother sang him lullabies by Tiny Tim, Beefheart and Byrne. His vocal and playing are purposefully weird but done in the service of these fractured pop fairytales. His solos crash from loop backed riff-o-ramas into short, ear worm melodic phrases. His vocals from spoken word to warble. Two tunes stand out "Adderall" and "The Lebanon". His tunes are an acquired taste worth acquiring.