Thursday, November 16, 2006

(11.16.06) Recommends:

Split Lip Rayfield's curtain call.

If you live in the Bay Area, tonight is your last chance ever to catch this band. They're playing at Great American Music Hall. Doors at 8, show at 9. If you're not familar with the band, you're really in for a treat. If you're familar with them, you know the drill. SLR is an old favorite. They're from Kansas, and they embody much of what I love about Kansas: Yeah, they play a traditional form of music that people can easily dismiss as conservative and outdated, hopelessly unhip and so not cosmopolitan. But they play the music with such emotional fury that it is nothing short of stunningly progressive. Today, I guess it's not that revolutionary to have a bluegrass band that plays with the wreckless abandon of a punk band. But when I first came across SLR all those years ago, it was something I'd never before experienced. SLR is calling it quits because Kurt Rundstrom, their guitar player, has esophageal cancer and his condition is getting worse. I've had days before where an album, or a song, or a single lyric has made an otherwise awful day bearable. I don't want to sound like an out-of-touch-with-reality wacko, but medicine has been failing Kurt Rundstrom; here's hoping the power of music might make his days more bearable.

SLR @ Bloodshot Records.
SLR @ myspace.
SLR homepage.

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