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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tonight in Music: Reggie Watts, Glassbones, The Hugs & Chickenfoot

Posted by Lex Chase on Sun, Jun 3, 2012 at 10:17 AM


REGGIE WATTS, RON FUNCHES, ANDY WOOD
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) As a Brooklyn-based solo act, Reggie Watts is a comedian who has innovated stand-up through the use of beatboxing, loops, and raps that feel consistently spontaneous, even if they aren't. The reason this works so well is that Watts is first and foremost a musician, the frontman of Seattle's venerable Maktub. Hostility has become all the rage in stand-up, but Watts relies on his profound instinct for crowd control, as well as comic timing—you know, that thing that used to be a necessity for live comedy—and impersonations as diverse as Thom Yorke and a Miami retiree. The surprise of seeing Reggie Watts for the first time is one of life's great joys, so I'll advise against checking out his new album titled, amazingly, A Live at Central Park, until after the show. REBECCA WILSON

There is no genre in which to place Reggie Watts, because no category can contain his swirling blend of improvisational comedy, music, and imagination. Watts steps on punchlines just as hard as he steps on the array of pedals that help him create the hiphop symphonies scoring his performances. BOBBY ROBERTS


WATER AND BODIES, GLASSBONES, THE AUTONOMICS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Glassbones aren't doing anything that hasn't been done before, but as evidenced on the Portland quartet's debut EP There's Still Time Left, they're doing it very nicely. With taut guitars, rolling drums, and nice-guy vocals sung with a tinge of kerosene burn, the band spins out a slightly woolly version of post-grunge radio rock. Glassbones probably have a few more steps to take before they definitively make their imprint on the world at large, but all the elements are here: solid melodies, a command of dynamics, and a lack of conceit that allows the listener to accept the songs at face value. One can sense Glassbones is capable of venturing in a few different directions—jagged dance rock, or whiskey-tinged country rock, for instance—and it's this balance that keeps There's Still Time Left an intriguing listen. NED LANNAMANN


THE HUGS, LITTLE OWL
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Danny Delegato has been keeping his psychedelic cruise ship the Hugs afloat since 2007. In 2012, a new version of the Hugs is readying a new LP called Dirty Gems (due out in late June), which carries on the tradition of making psych-pop with a smack of bubblegum. The first single, "Reykjavik," is a sunny nod to the Icelandic capital. It also shows the Hugs leaving their ramshackle past behind them and veering toward more polished terrain. Delegato and bandmate Patrick Wilcox split songwriting duties, and it sounds like they've got merry band of airtight musicians fleshing out those ideas. Then again, new songs like "Racy Girl" and "Give Me Your Drink" are sure to keep the Hugs from taking themselves too seriously. MARK LORE


CHICKENFOOT
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) The funniest thing about Chickenfoot—and there are a number of hilarious (and enraging) things about Chickenfoot—is that the band formed long after virtually everyone stopped caring about the members' respective origins (Van Halen, Chili Peppers, and so on). They're sort of like the 21st-century equivalent of Damn Yankees: a "supergroup" consisting of four out-of-touch former rock stars whose irrelevant brand of cock rock is as pallid as their sexual performances and deteriorating bodies. It's an obvious moneymaking machination that nobody in their right mind should support. Their latest album, Chickenfoot III—actually their second, a joke that pays homage to that ultimate unnecessary supergroup, the Traveling Wilburys—is horrible and its existence is unfortunate. MORGAN TROPER

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