This Friday night, get ready for one heavy dose of indie punk rock. Four bands, all legit in their own right, are scheduled to take the Main Stage at the Mesa Theater and Club. There hasn't been a good indie show for a while (not since Deerpeople played at KAFM) so there is reason to get excited. Starting today I will be featuring each of the bands individually. First up is Skating Polly.
Skating Polly is a punk rock, pop duo based out of Oklahoma City. Stepsisters Kelli Mayo (guitar/bass/drums) and Peyton Bighorse (guitar/drums) formed the group after a jam during Halloween 2009 and have since made it their mission to reinvent classic punk rock and bring it back to the masses.
On "Placer," you can hear the raw vocals and power chord down strokes indicative of every punk band since, well ever. On "Kick" the band sounds more like Kimya Dawson (see Juno soundtrack). No drums, just acoustic guitar and collective singing.
Skating Polly are not perfect musicians or singers and they probably prefer it that way. They are doing their own thing and are content making music that they like.
“The musicians we’re most inspired by are the ones who keep on going and going, who devote their entire lives to coming up with new and different stuff,” says Mayo via the band's website. “A lot of times at our shows people will come up to us and tell us, ‘Keep on doing what you’re doing, don’t ever stop’ and we’re just like, ‘Yeah—we weren’t planning on ever stopping.”
If you’ve ever played a guitar you understand its magic.
The combination of wood, nickel and steel make for an enigmatic product that even at rest pulsates with potential. Its simplicity is alluring and tantalizing, always calling out, wanting to be played. It desires human interaction.
Behind every great song is a guitarist in perfect harmony with the love of his life.
Stevie Ray Vaughan named his battered 1963 Fender Stratocaster his “First Wife.”
Eric Clapton had “Blackie,” a custom 1950s Strat.
Always at the side of Bruce Springsteen is his custom ‘50s era Esquire Tele.
B.B. King had “Lucille,” and Jerry Garcia had “Tiger.”
Could you imagine Paul McCartney without his Hofner bass?
What would Gibson guitars look like if it weren’t for Les Paul’s influence?
Willie Nelson’s M-20 acoustic Martin guitar has a particularly interesting romantic story. Nelson has been with “Trigger” — it was named after Roy Rogers’ horse — for more than 40 years. “When Trigger goes, I’ll quit,” he once said.
A classical nylon-strung former Nazareth, Penn., beauty queen, Trigger hasn’t aged as gracefully as her Martin factory counterparts.
After 44 years of epic weed smoking sessions, Trigger’s Sitka Spruce top looks like the inside of chimney. Forty-four years of endless touring and recording has left a large gapping hole just above the bridge.
Scratched into the face are the autographs of football coaches, lawyers and a who’s who list of contemporary musicians. Leon Russell, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Gene Autry, Waylon Jennings and Ray Benson are just some who have left a mark on Nelson’s beloved guitar.
The early 1960s cherry red Gibson, ES-355 arched-top, semi-hollow electric guitar complete with Bigsby vibrato, is a sexy little piece of American craftsmanship. It is the guitar Chuck Berry is most associated with and the guitar Marty McFly played at the Enchanted Under the Sea dance in the movie “Back to the Future.”
Benson’s ES-355 allegedly was previously owned by Leon Rhodes, the light-fingered lead guitarist in Ernest Tubb’s band, the Texas Troubadours.
When Benson bought the guitar he added a red and gold Lone Star beer sticker to the front as tribute to the Texas Troubadours because they always had beer stickers on their equipment. Back in the 1960s and ‘70s, the president of Lone Star Brewing Co. Harry Jersig would give out cases of beer to bands representing the Lone Star brand when they toured the San Antonio area, and as Benson said in a 2007 interview with Vintage Guitar Magazine, “we were all drinking Lone Star then.”
You won’t see Benson’s Gibson on the Colorado Riverfront Concert Series stage Friday night, Aug. 9, (most likely he will be playing a custom Samick Valley Art’s Telecaster). The retired beauty hangs at Asleep at the Wheel’s offices in Austin, Texas.
I’ve had my own trysts with various models, notably an ongoing affair with a Fender 60th Anniversary Diamond Edition Precision Bass. With chromed out knobs, a Blizzard Pearl paint job and rosewood fret board with pearl inlays, it is a beauty to behold.
Every time I plug in I feel invincible, like every note I play will be perfect, every tone will sound exactly as I intend. While that’s rarely the case, whenever I am near that guitar I feel poised, focused and controlled. Worn and contoured exactly to my touch, without a doubt, that perfect match makes me the best musician I can possibly be.
The connection a guitarist has with his chosen instrument is undeniably strong. It is the tool that empowers legends such as Benson, Nelson and Goe Vaughan with confidence and swagger. It is an interdependent relationship. Once cannot exist without the other.
The Avett Brothers debuted a new song this morning, "Another Is Waiting." The new tune comes in at just over two minutes is just a sample of what the band has in store for their upcoming album “Magpie and the Dandelion,” due out October 15.
Couldn't make it to Chicago this year for Lollapalooza? No problem. Thanks to social media the whole experience (basically) is available at your finger tips. Recap the entire festival on YouTube and Flickr. The Flickr site in particular is the most comprehensive collection of images you could ever imagine. Every show, every moment captured for you pleasure.
If the Lollapalooza experience looks too good to miss make sure to check the festival Facebook page as tickets for 2014 will no doubt be going on sale any day.