Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gregg Juke and the Mighty Web Site

It's got rhythm: Gregg Juke and the Mighty No-Stars. Start tapping your foot in a strong 4, and say those words. Bah Bop a da BoP ah BaDah. It's practically the whole song.

Last week on American Routes on public radio, Nick Spitzer did a long piece on the Meters, a funk band from New Orleans. One of the good stories was of their trip in their Mercury station wagon (just right, huh?) when the motor sucked two pistons but kept running and produced, for these four opportunistic, creative players, a beat that they converted to a song. My visual image is their lurching down the highway, a 2-laner, of course, smoke chuffing from the back of this faded yellow land barge, and hands on both sides out the window, thumping on the roof (Mercuries resonate particularly well in my imagination)in complex time.

Since then I've been sensitive to rhythmic opportunities, but in the end I come back to words.

Words like "full disclosure." Joel Thomas is a bass player who endorses the Barker Bass. He is the bassist in Gregg Juke and the Mighty No-Stars. And that's how I got to their newly-minted web site.

It's a dandy. In fact, as I was reading through it, I kept noting how well it was written. This was puzzling in its uniqueness, given what we often encounter in the way of words at band sites. The No-Stars paragraphs have panache. They fit the photos.

Though they don't put it up in a banner, I think there's a mission statement in the text, thoughtfully woven. Again I am wondering about the quality of the writing when I come across the part about Gregg Juke being a published writer. And we know he likes to read, and it's not just comic books, though he has the platinum self esteem to include them in his list.

And back to the photos. Ok, I give them a 7 for the ultra quaintness of the brick building with the creaky wooden staircase, but I'm up to a 10 for the messages on the faces. These are guys you'd invite to your table between their sets at your family reunion. (Provided Melvin wasn't there; he always tells the same trucker and accountant jokes. I get the feeling these guys have heard them all, too.)

There's something else on this site I have never seen before. They honor the subs. My observation is that most bands kinda mumble names when there's somebody new sitting in because Leon had the epizootic and couldn't get off the sofa. Not these guys. They put their pictures right up there, practically giving them equal billing, honoring them for what they are: heroes of the first water, willing to head to the front lines and see action when they're needed.

See what I mean? This is a site of sites.

Spend a little time.

Ponder that painting on the bricks. How'd they do that?

Now I think they owe me a T-shirt. Size L. I'll pay the postage. I didn't say all that much nice, and besides it's all true, nearly.

I'm headed back there to listen to some blooz:

A Mercury Station Wagon is about all they need. Faded yellow if you can.

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