When I first wrote about the Dead Kenny Gs here two years ago, I was still amazed that the band had released an album and was touring beyond the bars of Seattle. They put on a great set at that show and have continued confirming their very real powers since then. Last year they released their second album, Operation Long Leash, which expanded on the themes of fiery social consciousness from the first album while continuing the jazz-punk maelstrom. Earlier this month they released a new EP entitled Gorelick (which you can hear some of below), the art of which references an Ohioan currently in a position of power. After a couple of dates opening for the Primus/Gogol Bordello tour (including their stop back at the LC last week), they headed out on a week-long run of Midwest headlining club dates to support the new EP and bring the Dead Kenny Gs’ message of rambunctious anti-artificiality directly to the people.
Their tour brings the band back to Columbus (for their second show in town in 6 days) for a stop at Woodlands Tavern on Tuesday. After seeing part of a 30 minute set from afar, I am very excited to see a full set from mere feet away. Opening is Athens’ Hellnaw, an Ohio band with a similar vibe. Doors are at 8, cover is $8.
The Dead Kenny Gs. An attention-grabbing band name for a band I never thought I’d see. As a self-respecting jazz/music nerd, I of course honored the concept of a trio doing war with the smooth jazz master. But this was also a band I actually wanted to see, as it featured the saxophonics of Skerik and the crazed vibraphone and percussion of Mike Dillon. I heard about the Dead Kenny Gs (the trio is completed by bassist/saxophonist Brad Houser) on sites like ropeadope.com but it always struck me as a Seattle-based local supergroup that would never release a record (let alone travel to our part of the globe). However, their debut album Bewildered Herd surfaced in October and was recently re-released by Ropeadope Digital. Eleven schizophrenic tracks that range from uptempo saxy jaunts to mellow vibed-out jams to distorted, disgruntled bursts of sound (that still groove). Although some limited social commentary is offered on “I’m Your Manager, I’m Your Pimp” and “Jake Brakin,'” the confrontational nature of the band name and some of the song titles seems more reflective of the attitude and feel of the mostly instrumental music than of some concrete message.
The second part of my hippie jazz fantasy come to life is realized on Thursday night as the Dead Kenny Gs open for Primus and Gogol Bordello outdoors at the LC. I only hear intense things about the Gs’ live show, so they should mix well with the other showmen on the bill. Doors open at 6, so get there early for the party.