Wednesday, April 06, 2005

James Kochalka Superstar at the KTRU Outdoor Show

Well, the LP4 has been known to cover James Kochalka live so when, lo and behold, KTRU and Bedrock City Comics (my favorite comicbook shop in Houston) brought James Kochalka Superstar to Houston this weekend I had to check it out. Sadly, I was unable to catch the show at the Proletariat but got up early enough on Sunday to make sure to catch the KTRU outdoor show where he was opening.

James Kochalka Superstar rocked and the sound was actually great this year. Orion, my 3 year old son, was pretty excited about the show as “Hockey Monkey” is currently his favorite song and James Kochalka told him he would be playing the song after signing my book to him. Unfortunately, nap time came about the time as the show and - drunk from a full bottle of milk - Orion’s enthusiasm was muted to a quiet request of “Again?” “Again. Again.” after his song was played.

As for me, I was pretty amused. The band was much better than I’m sure they are given credit. Jason, with whom I spoke after the show, says he normally plays bass in an Zeppelin-AC/DC cover band and, somehow, that made sense. Kochalka's performance consisted of kicking and posing like a mutant Freddie Mercury or Robert Plant cartoon avatar while singing songs about Monkeys, Robots, Justin Timberlake, and his dink - just the kind of thing you need for a Sunday afternoon. The band put on a great show but had this been in a club I'm sure the intimacy would definitely made them more impressive.

J.K. Superstar was pretty fun stuff and it reminds you how just being silly can be genius. The sad thing is that Kochalka, with his sense of humor and cartoonist background, probably gets a lot less props than he deserves for his music. I tell you right now the first time I heard “Monkey vs. Robot” my brain screeched to a halt as it tried to make sense of something so novel and mind blowing! It's good stuff and that's good for you!

Charlie, unfortunately, got my e-mail a bit late and missed Kochalka. The bummer he wasn't the only one and the early time seems to have brought J.K. Superstar a smaller audience than they deserved but Jason told me they all have day jobs and would have to return to the Northeast in time to get to work on Monday. [WOW! The LP4 is not alone in the working-stiff band category!]

Charlie may have missed JK Superstar but was just in time to catch the awful band from hell that followed. I guess this was some music professor with his students playing bad jazz/muzak versions of jazz and pop standards. Gawd awful! Most in the crowd were (at best) indifferent or (more often than not) stunned that this band was actually playing in public. Orion and I just ended up going off to play in the fountains nearby during the set but by the time the third band started, Orion was too beat from running around campus with me. So, that was it for us at this year's KTRU outdoor show.

–Over and out. I’ve included photos taken by Orion for your amusement.

P.S. If you want to check out Kochalka you can go to Http:// though at this posting their server is down.

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