Concert Review: Love Canon, Blue Jimmy, Abandoned Buildings Club, and AudioInFlux


For me, the 1980s were the last stand for pop, before music got stupid, vapid, and insipid. That's not to say that music of the "Me Decade" was for intellectuals. Let's face it; we're all a little blinded by science. But it's amazing how those little Aqua-netted, neon ditties get stuck in your head. People call it a guilty pleasure. Not me; as a recovering Catholic I don't adhere to guilt or regret. If it sounds good it is good, even if the musical muckety-mucks disapprove.

The Big ’80s got a rural dressing down Wednesday night at Abilene courtesy of Charlottesville, Virginia's Love Canon. The band brandishes classic bluegrass artillery to tackle songs from The Human League, Don Henley, Bow Wow Wow, etc. I expected more non-commercial interpretations, but the band's arrangements were identical — or damn close — to the originals. There was no "Like a Virgin"/"Foggy Mountain Breakdown," no sanctified take on "The Devil Inside," not even a yodeled "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." How cool would that be? I mean, really.

It’s been a while since I’ve caught the world beat/rootsicana of Bloomfield’s Blue Jimmy. These cats swung from honky tonk to funky tonk while the Friday night crowd at Sticky Lips Juke Joint swung from the rafters. And as varied as this band gets — “Blister In The Sun,” hello? — it’s all strung out and strung together with some hell-bound, angelic harmony.

Next, me and the Tin Man saddled up and rode up to Monty’s Krown where trash wave forefathers and godfathers Pink Elephant played for a crowded, nut-to-butt room. This band is the missing link between grunge and whatever the hell we call hard rock today. By the time Abandoned Buildings Club took to the floor — the entire stage was reserved for the band’s two drum sets — the energy was high. The quartet ground low and slow like a junkie stripper with the guitar’s guttural grind going head-to-head with the twin drum bump and stomp.

Saturday night at Skylark Lounge AudioInFlux was celebrating the release of its new CD “Here Comes The Audio,” a brash and bold new endeavor for these soulful, deep-dish groovsters. It’s a little more upbeat — the band has settled in on its identity and style — and the packed crowd lapped it up eagerly. The joint was jumpin,’ goin’ ’round and ’round.