Tara Jane O'Neil, Mount Eerie, No Kids at Red Mile Round Barn
Thursday October 22, 8:30 p.m.
$5 UK Students; $7 general public
I'll go ahead and tell you, I have been looking forward to this event as being exactly what I needed after Boomslang - a totally awesome, totally chill show I could actually sit down and enjoy. It's kind of a toss up as to who will be 'headlining,' because both Tara and Mount Eerie are so phenomenal...I have a feeling it will be Mount Eerie, but I am every bit as excited to see Tara Jane. (I really don't know much about No Kids, but if they got on this bill they've gotta be great.)
Tara Jane O'Neil might just be my pick for under-hyped Kentucky talent - not to say that people don't know who she is, but I feel like her career hasn't been marked by the indie hoopla that surrounds names like Will Oldham, Jim James, or more recently, Vandaveer or Ben Sollee - though she is every bit as talented, seminal and capable of creating drop-dead ballads as any of those guys. Her new album, "A Ways Away" (K Records) is an absolute beauty, though my favorite album that I've heard of hers is by far "You Sound, Reflect" (2004, Quarterstick Records). A native Kentuckian who moved to the west coast a while back, O'Neil was integral to the Louisville underground post-punk scene in the '90s, playing a role in a number of bands at a time when Louisville was easily at the center of esteemed (if underground) alternative music in the entire country. O'Neil was in the short-lived but heavy-hitting Rodan (with Jason Noble and Jeff Mueller, both of Shipping News), but she was also in Retsin, The Sonora Pine and others, and played on Papa M's album "Whatever, Mortal." (She was also in this really cool cult movie called Half-Cocked, in which she, Noble, Meuller and other 'actors' play otherversions of themselves in a story about being clueless punk rockers on tour.)
However, all this name dropping and background says nothing about O'Neil's current music - her evolution from the more aggressive and dissonant sound that pervaded the Louisville scene in the '90s has led her to create beautiful, haunting melodies that still carry underpinnings of noise, psychedelia, discontent, heavy emotion...but talking about her songs doesn't do them justice in the slightest - listen to them here. (On a side note, O'Neil is also a visual artist and usually has artwork for sale on her tours too.)
Mount Eerie = Phil Elverum of the Microphones (you know, the guy Bradford Cox informed his slightly restless Boomslang crowd on October 9 who absolutely would not put up with talking during his set. So, if you talk during Elverum's set, and he beats the shit out of you like Bradford said he would, don't say you weren't warned.).
I admit I haven't followed his past few albums, but the new album "Wind Poems" is a departure from the Microphones' experimental lo-fi blippy psych pop, and a movement into dark, arresting poem-songs that are hollow and layered at once, one of which ("Between Two Mysteries") directly takes from the Twin Peaks theme song and therefore automatically garners my attention and respect (he actually alludes to Twin Peaks during the song, but I think he's talking about the overlook in San Francisco, not the David Lynch series/film - still an interesting thing to do).
No Kids = Vancouver indie pop who will be backing Mt Eerie as well. (They are also touring with Karl Blau this fall, who is coming to Lexington on November 5 with Lake.)
All this goodness will take place in the intimate and majestic setting of the Red Mile Round Barn on a Thursday night. It's the first show on this leg of the tour, and I predict a pretty magical evening. See you there...
in performance: the bad plus
15 hours ago