Monday, June 23, 2008

Paint the Town Orange

June 21st, 2008 - DeKalb, IL - The House Cafe - Cotton Jones Basket Ride w/ Venna, Boreu, Boreu, and Sleepy Sleepy Octopus

I have had this one on my calander for a long time, and finally I had the opportunity to traval to DeKalb and catch two of my favorite bands Venna and Cotton Jones Basket Ride. Having formed an e-mail relationship with both bands it was fun to actually meet Heather and Marky Hladish, and Michael Nau. We arrived with plenty of time to set out a few copies of Orange Pulp, meet Venna, and have a delicious 3 cheese pizza.

The first band went on 40 minutes late, but they were rather impressive. Boreu, Boreu are from Batavia, and they consist of two girls and two boys and both Bobby Lowe and Taylor Ochoa sang. It was a fun set that included a Wilco cover. They said they had a free four song demo, but forgot to bring them along. However, you can listen to their stuff here.

Seated in chairs across the stage, Venna eased into their set with the hushed and familiar sounds of "Eulogy". Next they picked up the pace a bit with Common Knowledge, one of my favorite tracks from their debut ep (Common Cloud Records)

The stage was filled with instruments including a mandolin, bongos, xylophone, and acordian. This was truly the full Venna experience. They continued to play other amazing tracks from the ep, and then announced a 'fairly new' song. Marky grabbed Heather's mic and proceeded to sing. Heather joined in later, and the contrast of Marky's voice was a great addition. Closing with 'Papers' the set was brief, but beautiful and warm. Heather was feeling a little under the weather and returned to the merch table to sell her handmade goods.

It was nearly a year ago that I first saw Venna open for Page France. Tonight Cotton Jones Basket Ride takes the stage. Mantaining an insane tour schedule the band seems a little sleepy at first, but becomes completely taken over by the music.

Opening their set with the ominous "Gone The Bells" and moving forward through "Chewing Gum" and "Midnight Monday". I love their bluesy sound, but an observation is quickly made.

There is clearly a progression in the writing and sound of lead singer Michael Nau. His work with Cotton Jones is much darker in both lyric and melody. The set included many of the songs included on The Cotton Jones new ep The Archery. It was a great distraction from the extremely loud talking girl at the table next to mine.

1 comment:

Colin Bassett said...


i missed the cotton jones show in stl, sadly.

but i think i was at the page france/venna show last year that you mentioned. i was in chicago and drove out for the gig. it was fantastic, as i recall.

too bad we hadn't become acquainted yet.