June 12, 2007

Your Highness, like Ike; welcome to Scaryville, Furious three

ike reilly assassinationTuesday, June 19“I’ve been answering a lot of political questions lately,” Ike Reilly says by phone from Chicago.He’s referring to the interpretations critics have of his band’s new album, We Belong to the Staggering Evening. While the interpretations don’t necessarily make him uncomfortable, Reilly insists his politics are more universal and humanistic, and less about asses, elephants and party lines.“I’m not on any team. My politics are: If there’re poor people, feed ’em. If you’re rich, share. To me, it’s common sense. I can’t jump on this bandwagon and feel one way or the other,” said Reilly, who worked for 13 years as a doorman at a Hyatt hotel, and was a member of the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union Local 1, “the first union taken over by the federal government for corruption.”“I’ve been around a lot of poor people and a lot of immigrants,” he said. “It’s not that I just started thinking about this today. I’ve seen wealth and lusted for it, at times. I do find prosperity to be liberating sometimes. At the same time, nobody needs too much.”This fiery persona is present throughout Staggering. Reilly’s forthright lyrics and hard-boiled subject matter would blow your hair back even if his words weren’t set to raucous rock ’n’ roll.“I never said I wanted to be a singer. I was more interested in characters and the escape of songs. I was one of those people who couldn’t separate the fact that Marlon Brando wasn’t Terry Malloy in ‘On the Waterfront.’ Am I well versed in the themes that I write about? I think so. Well-versed doesn’t necessarily mean I’m experienced. Johnny Cash never shot anybody in Reno.”The Ike Reilly Assassination stops at Phoenix Hill Tavern (644 Baxter Ave., 589-4957) Tuesday night. The Hiders open. Showtime is 8 p.m., and tickets are $10.•••Friday, June 15The dormant period for Your Highness Electric is over.This past spring, the band formerly known as Christiansen flew to Solunaris Studios in Corona, Calif., to record its first album since 2003’s Stylish Nihilists, marking an end to YHE’s fallow period.Following Nihilists, the band split with its label, Revelation Records (Quicksand, Elliott), a departure that singer-guitarist Brandon Bondehagan said “took place in a very grey area.“After SN was released, we tried our best to promote the record by touring as much as possible,” he said. “We then came to the realization that Revelation wasn’t able to provide the support we needed in terms of record distribution and promotion. We eventually talked to them and sort of worked it out. All I can say is that we aren’t the most business-savvy, and we apologize to Revelation for our lack or communication and impudence.”The departure of drummer Terry Campbell, who had been with the band since the mid-’90s, extended the hiatus. Campbell moved to New York, where he plays with disco-dance group Young Love. Last November, he hired drummer Johnny B. and played several club shows before heading out west to record its new album. “We found him on a street corner in Indiana spittin’ acid raps while beating a floor tom,” Bondehagan said. “He writes notorious hip-hop raps and country music.”The as-yet-untitled record will be released on Long Hair Illuminati Records, which is owned by Phil Pirrone, whom Your Highness knew from touring with Pirrone’s old band, A Static Lullaby. The owner is letting the band have final cut on a debut Bondehagan said shows continued musical growth, incorporating ’60s and ’70s rock psychedelia to match Bondehagan’s calculated wail.“Musically, the members of this band have grown and widened their interests in other styles of music,” he said. “Each new song is a new experience for us. We try not to be derivative with our material in order to keep the enjoyment level high.”Your Highness opens for Clutch, Yearlong Disaster and The Tossers Friday at Headliners (1386 Lexington Road, 584-8088). Tickets for the 18-and-over show are $16 in advance, $19 at the door. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.•••Tuesday, June 19Bryan Scary gives Louisville a double shot Tuesday night: At 5:45, they play a free in-store at ear X-tacy (1534 Bardstown Road, 452-1799) and again at 9 p.m. at the Pour Haus (1481 S. Shelby St., 637-9611).Taking pages from Bowie, XTC, Queen and the Elephant 6 Collective, among others, on his debut album, The Shredding Tears, Scary has enjoyed considerable buzz: Rolling Stone called Scary the best band on MySpace, and he’s gotten much airplay on XM Radio. Tears features none other than Jeremy Black of Apollo Sunshine on drums.•••Thursday, June 14/Tuesday, June 19Hard rock and screamo are staking a claim at two clubs this coming week. In recent years, those emo darlings from Dayton, Ohio, Hawthorne Heights, have burrowed into the hearts of lovelorn teenage girls everywhere, and the shrieks are sure to continue Thursday when the band plays Headliners. Chicago’s Powerspace, From First to Last, 
Secondhand Serenade and Brighten open the show, part of the “Show Must Go On” Tour.Then, on the following Tuesday, at Uncle Pleasant’s (2126 S. Preston St., 634-4147), Atlanta’s Moros Eros, Olympia (from Virginia, not to be confused with the local band) and We Are The Fury take over the club. Eros, who has finished making the follow-up to its debut album, I Saw the Devil Last Night and Now the Sun Shines Bright, wrecked its van in northern California earlier this month, so hopefully the guys will make it to and leave from Louisville in one piece. Contact the writer at mherron@leoweekly.com