October 30, 2007

Sight Unsound: Mose’s, Uncertain Robots, Ritter, an Israeli visit

Mose Allison plays Saturday at the Jazz Factory.Wednesday, Oct. 31Joyful Noise Recording artists Push/Pull are returning to Louisville for Halloween, this time joining the Invaders and The Teeth at Vernon Lanes (1535 Story Ave., 584-8460).Push/Pull is out and about supporting the release of its new EP, 3. The collection features acrobatic rhythms, serrated guitars and manic vocal gymnastics reminiscent of Touch & Go bands like Shellac and The Jesus Lizard.LEO caught up with one of Push/Pull’s Mikes — Mike Hoggatt — to discuss the EP. “These songs all came from a full-length we recorded but were not happy with all the takes,” says Hoggatt, who works a day job as an optometric technician. “The main idea we had was just to make it sound like we sound live; we tried not to do too many things we can’t do live.” Showtime is 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1In their hometown of Tel Aviv, Monotonix doesn’t do much besides rehearse, write and record. In the past, their live shows have been scuttled for noise, which is indicative of the cold shoulder the city tends to show to its original rock bands.“We’re banned from venues in Tel Aviv,” says Yonatan Gat. “One out of two shows got stopped by cops.”On the flipside, this derision has resulted in a close-knit atmosphere among those bands nurturing a scene Gat says is still “in diapers. It’s kind of primitive. The whole rock thing in Israel … has been conservative and boring over the last 20 years or so. Rock is not really a part of our culture.”American and European audiences have responded well to Monotonix, which blends the ’70s rock of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath with late-’80s punk.Gat says the band has encountered people in the States who don’t look at Israel favorably, but those cases are few and far between due to the nature of a touring band. “The thing about touring (is) you kind of live in a bubble. You don’t meet the real people. All day long you meet music fans, venue owners, bartenders — everything is around music, and everyone involved, most of them are not ignorant, and they know all about Israel,” Gat says.Monotonix plays the Pour Haus (1481 S. Shelby St., 637-9611) with Young Widows and VRKTM. Showtime is 9 p.m.Friday, Nov. 2Sarah Borges found out firsthand the rigors of performing through her experience in musical theater. When you see her and her band, The Broken Singles, on Friday, there’ll be stage presence to go along with the musicianship. “… You get comfortable with performing and singing, the discipline of rehearsal technique, and learn how to react when things go awry,” Borges tells LEO.Though the songs on her latest album, Diamonds in the Dark, tend toward the melancholy side, Borges, a product of the Boston independent rock scene, says she tempers that with a bit of hope. For Diamonds, she teamed up again with Boston producer Paul Koldiere, a partnership that felt natural.“The big thing about being in a band — you kind of have to surrender a little bit,” she says. “There are certain times you kind of have to suck it up. The trick is not to be offended; it’s for the good of all.”Borges plays Friday at The Rudyard Kipling (422 W. Oak St., 636-1311). In an inspired bit of programming, Louisville singer-songwriter Joel Timothy and his band open the show, which begins at 7:30 p.m.Friday, Nov. 2Paradigm is celebrating the release of its new album, Melodies for Uncertain Robots, Friday, and they’re bringing large-group jazz masters Liberation Prophecy to Headliners Music Hall (1386 Lexington Road, 584-8088). The show starts at 9 p.m., and tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. The door price includes a free copy of the CD. Saturday Nov. 3Mose Allison proves introductions are, in a word, useless. From his days growing up in rural Mississippi, when he learned to play piano by ear at age 5, to securing his first recording contract in jazz’s epicenter, New York, to seeing his daughter Amy follow in his footsteps, Allison’s reach as a composer, singer and songwriter is practically boundless.During the 1960s, he found new fans outside the jazz milieu when British rock bands like The Who seized on Allison’s Delta blues-flavored compositions and incorporated those techniques into their own songs.Allison visits The Jazz Factory (815 W. Market St., 992-3242) Saturday for a special performance. Sets start at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., and tickets are $20. It’s always worth the effort to see the legends.Saturday, Nov. 3Josh Ritter plays Headliners Saturday with Eric Bachmann, formerly of Archers of Loaf. Showtime is 9 p.m.LEO: I heard you were Stephen King’s top music picks of the year. Ever met him?JR: I’ve never met him, but he’s one of my all-time favorites. I wanna play a dead person in a movie. Usually musicians in movies make the movies worse. With any luck, I’ll be a dead guy in his movies.LEO: What is the recording experience like for you?JR: You wanna be getting the material down the right way. I think that that’s the most important thing. Recording should never be a torturous experience. I don’t give that any weight. I just don’t believe in the wailing and gnashing of teeth. Recording is the time to have a party. I’m gonna have fun with the people I’m with.LEO: Where did the title, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter, come from?JR: I wanted something so completely big that it couldn’t be taken seriously. After the last record (Animal Years), I didn’t want to make that record again by mistake. I didn’t want anything that was gonna lend itself to parsing.Saturday, Nov. 3Black Diamond Heavies return from Europe to play the Pink Door (2222 Dundee Road, 413-5204) Saturday night. Hearing them will make you wanna dip yourself in sin. Showtime is 10 p.m.Tuesday, Nov. 6Hong Kong singer-songwriter Reign Lee visits The Rud Tuesday night to play songs from her solo record, Broken Skylines.Lee lived and performed in New York, at one point working as an audience coordinator on “The David Letterman Show.” She counts Patti Smith among her main influences, both for Smith’s take-no-prisoners style and her persona. “Just her being a woman but being very androgynous, and coming up at the time that she did and being able to harness her own creativity,” Lee says. “Her songs were so driving, but so incredibly passionate and personal; she’s always been somebody I’ve looked up to.”For Skylines, Lee worked with Grammy award-winning producer John Seymour. Ten percent of her CD sales go to Operation Santa Claus, which helps needy children during the holidays. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.