Sunday, February 17, 2013

Live: Chris Mills with Ken Stringfellow @ Mercury Lounge 2.16.13

While the ticket to the left may state otherwise, save the wonderful times that the universe offers up shows with Chris Mills and some incarnation of the Mekons and/or their auxiliary, any show Chris Mills plays is a headline performance for the good folk of Jaded Scenester. This show was yet another in a recent string of great early shows at NYC's best venue and I hadn't seen Col in far too long either, so it seem all too prudent to double down and enjoy two of my favorite things simultaneously.

I braved the now all too old cold and posted up in a not especially full room and caught up with Col, scoring a vinyl copy of Almost Killed Me from Tad in the offing. Advantage: JS-NYC. In perusing the web before the show, I was none too pleased to find that Mills had played two full band shows in the past week, even more so when I found that Konrad was back in the drum slot, but this short set featured six or seven of the new songs that are slated to appear on the new Chris Mills record coming later on this year, along with a run through Atom Smashers. Chris seemed in good humor and the new songs are pretty damn aces, so things bode well for the new release. Stayed tuned to this space for details.

I can't say I've heard any of the last couple of Stringfellow releases since he's left town for Europe, but the room filled up pretty nicely by the time his set grew nigh, so it appears someone is keeping up. Ken was around and about the room for Chris' set, chatting and offering up spare instruments when needed. He played solo as well, but unfortunately opted to eschew both the stage and PA to play in the crowd for his set. Meh. Behind the lack of accurate set times at shows in this day and age, floor-based shows that aren't at homes or in basements are probably my biggest rock show pet peeve. Hey guys Ultimately we came to both see and hear you. Standing on a platform that facilitates this and using amplification is hardly putting on airs and should be a practicality realized and appreciated by someone who has been around as long as Stringfellow.  Alex Chilton sure wouldn't have done that. The two or three songs we made it through were decent, but having to strain to hear and see in a room as small as Mercury, paired with mildly ironic requests from Stringfellow to keep it down, prompted an early departure into the cold NYC night for both your heroes. He's got a new record that is probably good, so check it out if you were one of the decent crowd that stuck it out for the duration.


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