Concert Review: Candye Kane, So Last Year

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Bless her heart, Candye Kane is giving the big C the big fight. Clearly in pain and looking a bit tired, the still ever-beautiful performer sang the pain (hers and mine) away Wednesday, October 9, at Abilene. It was the best I'd ever heard her sing as her band -- starring the incredible Laura Chavez on guitar -- bopped the swingin' blues. Not long on self-pity or hand-wringing, Kane's set was both emotional and inspiring. She bemoaned her weight loss and waxed nostalgic for her 300-pound frame of yore. But I'm here to tell you, the big broad was still there in all her randy, raunchy, Rubenesque, rocking glory.

The faithful readers of my rants have been known to give me shit when I bounce around from venue to venue like a pinball. So this week, though there were multiple events on my radar ("Machete Kills" will have to wait until next week sometime), I decided to hit one show and dig it from load-in to load-out. It was So Last Year's CD release show Friday night at Lovin' Cup, with guests Adam Clark and Joe Percy. It was a night of song-centric wonderment from all three artists.

Percy, of Sans Ego fame, took the stage with his guitar and his uncle -- that would be Paul Morabito of the Moovies and Chesterfield Kings fame -- on bass. Percy established his musicality and quirk by opening with Ween's fun and falsetto'd "Freedom of 76" before launching into an otherwise totally original set. His guitar gently wept, and though electric, he played it Push Star/Velvets style with a decidedly acoustic strum and attack. Morabito held the bottom end Longhorn-style and plodded about in a more of a freeform counterpoint than actual support. It twisted and mingled well with Percy's gentle lyricism.

Reminding me of Ryan Adams sans the nicotine, Adam Clark took the stage with a set of music that can be viewed two ways. If he were an acoustic artist, the set would have seemed ramped and amped up. If he were an electric artist, then it would have come off reserved. Not knowing his plugged or unplugged roots, I had to focus on the music at hand. It was lovelorn lyrically with a percussive attack from the two acoustic guitars parked up front. It was quiet and the band had a little trouble getting the preoccupied crowd to turn an ear, but the audience eventually came around. Good music will do that.

The star of the show, however, was Logan Van Epps, whose So Last Year was there to celebrate the release of its CD, "It's Later Than You Think." Manning the piano from center stage, Van Epps led his full band through some interesting, un-brandable pop. His voice is mighty flexible, though he spent most of the time flexing its upper register, its beauty only matched by the introduction of an abbreviated string section about halfway through the band's short set.

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