Friday, February 29, 2008

The Henry Clay People at the Prospector

The Henry Clay People have been a causality of numerous concert conflicts as I even inexplicably managed to miss their residency at the Detroit Bar. It was also difficult to miss their show with Death To Anders, The Happy Hallows and The Transmissions last week. I made amends to the good folks of The Henry Clay People as I dropped in at the Prospector to catch their show.

The Year Zero

Despite what you might originally suspect The Year Zero are no way related to the highly overlooked latest album from Nine Inch Nails. I had heard from LA-Underground how amazing The Year Zero was and it turns out they are correct. I was hoping for some Jawbreaker action seeing a lefty Gibson Les Paul but instead was happy to hear lush dream pop that shimmered and shined like the stars in the sky. "New Day Dawn" was stunning with its moonlight shiny guitars and sweet vocal harmonies. "Counting Planes" was another dose of dream pop that had me sold. I will have to check them out again.

Forcefield On

I last briefly caught up with ForceField ON when they played the Viper Room in December of 2007. The horn section was scaled down to two for this performance but the energy level was not. Jesse Wilder (Vocals/Guitars) led the charge with his heart on a sleeve lyrics and backed by the trombone section. Jesse Sisk (Guitars) was channeling moments of Burning Airlines and Hey Mercedes with his guitar riffs. "Adios Victrolas" is a good example of their unique mix of horns and slide guitar work. Forcefield On has a new album due out in March and will play the Prospector again on March 22nd.

The Henry Clay People

I can only say that The Henry Clay People gave a spirited performance. It was full of spirit and spirits if you catch my drift. I will concur with Reid's concert review that the set was a whiskey fueled good time. The vibe was eerily similar to The Hold Steady's show at the Detroit Bar. The Henry Clay People started the evening with a rambling version of "Working Part Time" which was recently released by Jaxart records. Joey (Vocals/Guitars) was pointing his Fender Telecaster in the sky like an antenna trying to broadcast his guitar sound across the world as he rambled through the song. The spirit of their performance was intoxicating as you couldn't help but be in a good mood while watching them destroy the stage. When they requested cover songs from the audience, I was tempted to yell out some Archers of Loaf but the Replacements and Pavement requests got through very quickly. Their cover of "Summer Babe" by Pavement would have made Stephen Malkmus smile as they out paved Pavement. "Andy Sings!" was other rollicking good time as the antics continued to be chaotic. I should have requested Dinosaur Jr. as Andy was playing a Fender Jazzmaster with a Big Muff distortion pedal. Joey would later ask the audience if anyone could play guitar to which an audience member willingly helped out and played the chords "A" and "E" on a song that reminded me even more of the previously mentioned Hold Steady show. I have to give credit to Noah (Bass) and Eric (Drums) for being the sober rhythm section and keeping pace with Joey and Andy. The hang over from the Henry Clay People still hasn't subsided.

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