Sunday, July 24, 2011

Live: Jon Dee Graham @ The Living Room 7.23.11

Jaded Scenester NYC loves themselves some Jon Dee Graham. It's been far too long since I've been to Austin, and Jon Dee's weekly gig at The Continental is probably the longest standing gig I regret not being able to see. Lifestyle issues caused me to miss the release of the amazing It's Not As Bad As It Looks, and theoretical tour behind said record. I managed to placate myself with the Chupacabra live record, but the one-two punch of those releases really heightened the need for live JDG.

Well, someone's looking out. I was pleased to find that Jon Dee was coming through town and playing The Living Room. I rolled in to a pretty much empty room and a decent enough, but not-especially remarkable opening guy. The Living Room has some weird optimistic policy where Jon Dee was the second of five artists, yet the only one who would command a door cost, and of $15, no less. When the waitress rolled up to get an irritating drink minimum, I asked about the door charge (20 minutes before Jon Dee went on, mind you) and no one really knew who was taking the door. While I have no issue screwing incompetently run venues, I certainly don't want to take money out of Jon Dee's pocket, I ponied up. Why that means I have to buy a drink on top of that is beyond me, but let's move on.

So Jon Dee. It's been a decent couple years for him, post New West and car accident and all. He's doing prose writing and drawing projects on top of playing with his local band The Fighting Cocks and doing that Hobart Bros project with Freedy Johnston and Susan Cowsill. Hobart was funded by Kickstarter but the last few years have seen Graham founding JonDeeCo Co-op, through which he now funds all his projects, offering incentives musical and otherwise for all that choose to partake. You could do a lot worse for $10 a month. Check out the deal here.

This Living Room set was a short solo set to an older crowd that very much into the proceedings. Jon Dee was in good spirits despite a less than full room and the oppressively hot temperatures. Opening with Faithless, he rolled through just shy of a dozen tunes, including Black Box and that Green On Red song he used to close with all the time. It was a good, albeit far too short, of a time, owing to the fact that another band that drew 10 people was due on at 9pm. If you are not fully Jon Dee Graham compliant, you can't go wrong with buying any of the holes you may have in your collection. There's a free live show from the tour before last on the Living Room site, keep track of all other things Jon, Dee and Graham here.


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