Friday, August 26, 2011

Tommy Stinson @ Bowery Electric

Tommy Stinson; the Jay Vons
@ Bowery Electric
New York, NY - August 25, 2011

Someone shouted out "Replacements!" when Tommy Stinson speculated on what to play next. His response was as follows: "I will forever be. But I will never play again. Unless Paul decides he wants to have fun again maybe." And that's all there is to say about that.

I mean...I could take this opportunity to write about my long winding come-around to loving the music of the Replacements in the last couple of years. How I only liked a few songs for a good while but liked them more as an idea, as more than the sum of their parts. And that only in the last few months have I finally gone over and decided that the entire catalog is actually worth a damn. But whatever...that's just what someone, somewhere would want me to do and in true 'mats fashion, I'll do something else instead.

Tommy Stinson played his solo work, wrapping up his residency at Jesse Malin's Bowery Electric. After years of Minnesota nice, classic rock upbringing, 80's non-stardom, his own post-non-stardom project, and an addendum in Los Angeles that has included something that used to be Guns n Roses, the result is a very-understandable, easy-to-like, sound. Tommy Stinson is just a guy that wants to play nice sounding rock music. And he succeeds. He has an able voice to go with the reserve of hooks and melodies. There's a nice run of across-the-board rock, not surprisingly absorbing country and blues in its essence. And the backing band, assembled for the residency, may as well have been his full time band.

The Jay Vons are a local soul-garage band that made me nostalgic not for the era of music they play (I can't be nostalgic for that, I wasn't born yet), but for about 5 to 10 years ago when this kind of retro-fitting rock n roll was all the rage. Before the 80's synths and the bearded folkies came back full blown, there was a lot of this going on. And it was up my alley. Boy howdy. To fit in with today's crowds, the Jay Vons have a guy with a mighty beard on the order of Garth Hudson or a Winter brother. But they don't need to fit in. They need to keep doing what they are doing.

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