Umphreys McGee brings on jam band sounds
A band has just got to be great to justify a weird name like Umphreys McGee, and word has it that the jam band from South Bend, Indiana delivers the goods.
According to their bio: The band shuttles between styles with precision, from straight-up pop and rock to jazz, prog-metal, and classical. If you can name it, chances are Umphreys can play it.
Drawn from students at the University of Notre Dame, the six-member band got its start playing college audiences in the late-90s and were soon hailed as heirs to the Phish legacy. Through the years, theyve been the toast of Rolling Stone magazine (as featured in the Hot issue), Blender, Billboard and other publications. The Washington Post named the band rocks undisputed lord of sonic shape-shifting.
The band has appeared at both the Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo festivals. Currently, theyre promoting their 2007 album, Safety in Numbers - a double album that includes an acoustic and electric disc.
The band performs this Wednesday, Oct. 7 at the City Opera House in Traverse City, with the Macpodz opening the show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 advance, $30 on the day of the show. Info: www.porterhouseproductions.com
Rains pours on the stories
Also from Indiana is Rains, headed up by tattoo artist Jeff Rains, who says his music is about telling stories about dreams and friendship to failure and abuse.
Hailing from Fort Wayne, Jeffs five-piece band includes his wife and brother. The act has been playing sold-out shows around the Midwest, including a prior appearance at The Terminal in TC. Musically, expect power-pop and modern rock sounds from tunes like Hurricane and Look in My Eyes. In fact, the band sounds eerily like The Verve Pipe, a 90s regional band that also specialized in telling stories, most notably with their hit, The Freshmen, about teen suicide.
Rains performs Saturday, Oct. 10 at The Terminal in TC in a free show for those 21 and up, with a $10 charge for those aged 18-20. See www.theterminaltc.com for info.
The Red Elvises bring Moscow rock
Back for their annual pilgrimage to Traverse City, The Red Elvises are a Russian/American band that kicks out a hard rock sound, along with surf-punk, rockabilly, reggae and corny lounge music -- always with a grin and a wink.
With songs like Drinking With Jesus, I Wanna See You Bellydance and Twist Like Uma Thurman along with a jumbo balalaika/bass guitar, the band treads ironic territory similar to that of The Electric Six.
The band is the brainchild of Igor Yuzov and Oleg Bernov, two Russians who were living in Los Angeles in 1995. Initially, they performed as street musicians at the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
Band members came and went through the years in a mix of Russian/American solidarity. In 1999 and 2002, the band released CDs in the Russian language, which went over well in their home country. Today, they perform in Russia every summer, employing a different lineup of Russian musicians. And every fall youll find them at Union Street Station in TC, with the upcoming show on Sunday, Oct. 11. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 at the door.