Posts Tagged ‘Chandler Travis’
Review and video by Joel Patterson
The thing that makes Chandler Travis one of the archetypal showmen and performers of our age is not only his outlandish, swaggering humor. That’s the hook, I think… that’s what people mention and remember, the hysterically funny, outrageous wisecracks.
What really ropes you in is the awesomely courageous and gentle way he explores human emotion. All his many love songs are at the heart of it all meditations on this theme – not sentimental wishy-washy fantasies of imaginary happiness, but site specific stories of two way streets, cul-de-sacs and dead ends. It’s honest in confronting the tragic aspects, as well as the delirious joys, of falling in, out of and sideways in love.
Here he brings his quartet – naturally named Three-0 – to Saratoga Springs’ legendary Caffe Lena last Friday night. Opener was the master of solo electric guitar and sheer stream-of-consciousness poetic intensity Pete LaBonne.
NOTE: The Chandler Travis Three-O returns to Nippertown for a show the Ale House in Troy at 8pm on Saturday, June 16. Mark your calendar now…
CTP3O at Caffe Lena?
No, it wasn’t the latest Star Wars droid. It was, instead, another Chandler Travis musical project coming to Nippertown. As in his many other bands, Chandler is the ring master of the circus, albeit a little smaller circus than others. Billed as a trio – er, rather a three-o – the actual line-up caused Sarah Craig, Caffe Lena’s director, to quip that math wasn’t the reason they went into music. The band began entering the stage with bassist John Clark first – the rest of the band letting him hang out by himself for awhile, swinging in the breeze, as he said. Maybe it was less than three, as the rest of the light crowd chuckled. Eventually, the other bandmembers showed up – a grand total of four, with valet Fred Boak joining in.
Wow, what a weekend, nothing to do except sit back and listen to one great band after another.
Originally, I signed up for the Clang! Thang mainly because Chandler Travis and his different projects (Chandler Travis Philharmonic and the Catbirds) were scheduled to play, but I was also curious about the revamped NRBQ with Terry Adams. I had missed him both times he came to Amsterdam’s Riverlink Park with the Rock and Roll Quartet. With all performances in the East Windsor Clarion Inn’s ballroom, weather would certainly not be a problem (good thing too, because Friday and Saturday saw some soaking rains). Going in with an open mind about the other performers I had never heard of, I found I was in for a great surprise as each one was wonderful.
Chandler Travis is back.
After years of banging out music that is both sweet and out-there – sometimes at the same time – singer-songwriter-ringleader Chandler Travis seems to have made Nippertown his second home. In a dizzying variety of different musical contexts – from solo to the Incredible Casuals to the Chandler Travis Philharmonette to the full-blown, three-ring Chandler Travis Philharmonic – he’s become a regular around town, making stops at Caffe Lena, The Linda, Valentine’s Music Hall and some Indian restaurant in Clifton Park.
NAME: Chandler Travis
BAND AFFILIATION: The Chandler Travis Philharmonette, the Chandler Travis Philharmonic, the Incredible Casuals
1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … First album I ever bought was Chuck Berry’s “One Dozen Berries”. The first record I ever managed to capture on my own was a square green and white record I got for free in a hardware store about how to lay linoleum floor tile. Singles, many singles, too: “The Witch Doctor Song”, “The Little Blue Man”, Chuck, Elvis, Jerry Lee… Early on, I stole so many singles from the record section of my local grocery store that they closed the record section entirely.
2. THE FIRST CONCERT I EVER SAW WAS … I saw Leon Bibb, Dionne Warwick and the Dave Brubeck Quartet on three separate occasions at Darien High School (Dionne was late and drunk, but I still love her); later on, happened to catch a bill with the Blues Magoos, the Youngbloods and the Left Banke at a roller skating rink in Westport, CT. (The Left Banke killed, with a bashing drummer in green sweat pants named George something-or-other and a gum chewing lead singer named Steve Martin – not that one. They were way tougher than I would’ve expected.)
Like some cosmic collision between NRBQ, Marcel Duchamp, Pee Wee Herman, Captain Beefheart, the Ringling Brothers and Spike Jones, the Chandler Travis Philharmonic is utterly charming and totally unpredictable.
Since making their recorded debut as the Philharmonic a dozen years ago, the band has released 20 – yeah, count ’em, 20 – albums, sporting such intriguing titles as “Let’s Have a Pancake,” “Y’ Gotta Have the Mental,” Let’s Music,” “The Dog Ate My Album,” “The Sound of Food,” “Monkeys of Nothing” and “Le Spectacle de la Lizarde!!!”
Their latest album is “Tarnation & Alastair Sim” (Sonic Trout, 2007), although things are a bit confusing as the CD cover simply says “Kitty” and the CD itself is printed with the word “Al.”
Anyway, here’s a list of eight things that you’ll find on “Tarnation & Alastair Sim,” the latest album from the deliciously demented Chandler Travis Philharmonic: