Even before he snarls out his first lyric on the Book of Right On's debut release, David Joe Holiday pretty well tips you off to the fact that it's his new band, so named thanks to a Joanna Newsom tune.
You can tell it's his from wry, mouthful song titles such as "Sense of Entitlement Is the New Herpes" and "Pinpointing the Exact Moment Hollywood Said Good Enough." You can also guess it from the unhinged, splattered-sounding rhythms that kick off the album, seemingly a byproduct of the former Kentucky Gag Order and Belles of Skin City leader's jittery vocal delivery, no matter what band he's fronting.
Titled "All These Songs About Music," the seven-song collection came out in December as a vinyl/download set, but let's go ahead and call it the first great local album of 2011. Holiday's riotous style -- "a classic blend of aching genitalia and adopted personas," to quote him here -- is nicely matched by Belles guitarist Jason Underwood's wiry playing and two smoking drummers, a combo that's as unsettling as it is infectious. They step out Saturday with a headlining set at the Turf Club (10 p.m., $6).
And yes, the Turf Club reopened as planned this past week when it kicked off a monthlong free weekly gig Tuesday with bluegrassy pickers Pocahontas County. On Thursday, it hosted the debut of the Cloak Ox, featuring Fog man Andrew Broder and his longtime cohorts Martin Dosh, Jeremy Ylvisaker and Mark Erickson.
New manager Joshua James said that aside from a little change in signage, most patrons won't notice anything different about St. Paul's mainstay rock haven since it shut down a week and a half ago for "repair."
"We're working all night and all day, but it's mostly behind-the-scenes work, like plumbing and electric," he explained.
James already plans to reverse one change soon -- the closing of the bar on Sunday nights. Mondays will remain dark, though, and Wednesdays will be refocused on "DJ-type events." The rest of this month's big weekend shows are indeed quite sizable, including Fort Wilson Riot, Me & My Arrow and Phantom Tails on Friday, Lazerbeak and Marijuana Deathsquads on Jan. 22 and Dosh and H.U.N.X. with Maggie Morrison on Jan. 28.Music Box redux
After a welcome reintroduction as an intimate concert venue starting in 2009, the Music Box Theater will remain committed to live music even now that it is ditching "Music" from its name. The 90-year-old former vaudeville and silent-film house has gone back to its original name, the Loring Theater, following a change in management. Marketing director Paul Anderton said the name change -- which will soon include the refurbishment of the old Loring Theater sign -- follows the final run of the popular "Triple Espresso" shows at the 440-seat theater.
"We wanted to create a fresh, new brand, plus the name ties us to our neighborhood more," Anderton said. "The concept is for it to be more of a variety house. Looking at the season ahead, though, it's dominated by music."
That includes Saturday's show by the Dave King Trucking Company, featuring New York reedman Chris Speed. Other upcoming gigs include Zoo Animal, Red Pens and Gospel Gossip on Feb. 3, jazz pianist Matthew Shipp on Feb. 4 and a three-night run Jan. 27-29 by Speed's the Name behind New York painter Billy the Artist. Anderton said the doors are open to other local acts that may want to play there. Oh, and they have a beer and wine license now, as evidenced by the Mimosa Movies series starting Sunday with "Funny Girl." Details at LoringTheater.com.Random mix
A guy who resurfaces every few years with another self-made album that sounds more orchestrated and refined than many high-buck, hi-fi studio efforts, Mark Edwards has done it again with "Third Birds," which he's releasing under the curious parenthetical moniker (ome), for Original Mark Edwards. The former Domo Sound singer melds fragmented electronic sounds à la Sufjan Stevens' new album with richly textured Brian Wilsonian harmonies in songs such as "Soul on Fire," while a few tracks sound like outtakes from the Flaming Lips' "Yoshimi" album. Edwards' release party is Friday at Bryant-Lake Bowl (9:30 p.m., $8-$10). ...
Ian Alexy has a new EP to tout at Thursday's show at the Cabooze with Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank (his band with his brother Teague). Titled "Are You Listening," the five-song collection was purportedly inspired when the Duluth picker was laid up in bed sick for two weeks with nothing but an old Led Zeppelin songbook to keep him company. ... Look for another Janis Joplin tribute show at the Cabooze on Jan. 22. ...
Another great idea from the reborn Hymie's Records: The store will host its Winter Record Sale at Cedar Cultural Center on Jan. 21 with 50-cent bargain bins and music by Buffalo Moon, Rope Trick and the Annandale Cardinals. ... Record collectors can also browse the crates Sunday when the MSP Music Expo returns to the Ramada Plaza Minneapolis (1330 Industrial Blvd., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.) ... The Current didn't need any more star power to boost its sold-out Jan. 21 birthday bash at First Ave, but it has it: Brother Ali and Roma di Luna have been added to the lineup. Atmosphere was originally booked but had to pull out, so Ali stepped in for his labelmates. ...
The new Baseball Project record, featuring Craig Finn's "Don't Call Them Twinkies," is finally set for release March 1 on Yep Roc Records, just in time for spring training at the SXSW music fest. Former Zuzu's Petals drummer Linda Pitmon also plays throughout the record alongside Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Steve Wynn. Here's hoping the song does more good this year.
Chris Riemenschneider • 612-673-4658 • Follow him on Twitter: @ChrisRstrib