War and Fashion

I went to the High Falls Brewery show yesterday. G. Love & Special Sauce headlined. Their PR - “tasty, post-hip-hop, Beatles-influenced blues-rock; spicy tropical island rhythms; well-seasoned Chambers Brothers-style funk-rock; sweet, blue-eyed Philly soul” - sounds better on paper. The band was pretty loose, at least for the first half-dozen tunes I heard. The highlight of the evening came earlier.

The John Butler Trio was there, and they were good, but John stole the show with a lengthy solo instrumental on an acoustic guitar that was hooked up to a bunch of effects pedals. That performance said more than anything else they played. And John has a lot to say. He’s one of those guys that has causes. He wants to use his music to remind us of the suffering of certain groups: Native Americans, the people of Tibet, viewers of MTV.

A young singer-songwriter named Tristan Prettyman played first. I guess the best I could say is that she was consistent. That sounds positive, but what I mean is that every song sounded the same. Every song made me want to hear Ani DiFranco instead. I looked her up online this morning and it turns out she’s an Ani fan. She’s also a former model.

Speaking of models and groups of people who are suffering, did you see the New York Times yesterday? I read about the warfare in Georgia first - the fighting, the bloodshed, the bombed-out buildings - and then later thumbed through this fabulous photo spread in the style section. Maybe John Butler can write a song about it.