“You may ask yourself, how do I work this?
You may ask yourself, where is that large automobile?
You may tell yourself, this is not my beautiful house
You may tell yourself, this is not my beautiful wife…”
Timbre Coup proved to be a savagely entertaining and mega-talented quartet – easily the best opener of Troy’s Rockin’ the River free concert series. Long compositions like “Talking Sleep” flirt with jam-band trappings, but the underpinnings are all signature progressive rock. And to do prog-rock the correct way, like Timbre Coup does it, you have to be able to play, to have the chops. You just can’t fake it. When they pulled off the swap-instruments trick on their tune “Stealth,” it proved to be an innovative touch. Despite the fact that the members of Timbre Coup are only twentysomething, guitarist Benjamin Pickering admitted, “Our heroes are bands like King Crimson.” He was joined onstage by his brother Matthew on drums, Andrew Chamberlaine on guitar and Daniel Gerken on bass.
Headliners Start Making Sense – as the name of this band suggests – is a Talking Heads tribute band. The SMS line-up sets out to sound like the Talking Heads, using not only a core guitar/ bass/ drums unit, but also by fleshing out the sound to a seven-piece band that incorporated keyboards and percussion, as well as female backing vocals, much like the later period Heads. The only nod to recreating the look of the Heads was front-man Jon Braun as David Byrne. He has the look; he has the quirk; and brother, he really has the voice.
In recent weeks, Jillian’s in Albany has been looking something like Tribute Band City with shows by Live Wire (AC/DC), Appetite for Destruction (GNR) and Fatal Sting (Scorpions), as well as the upcoming Stormfront (Billy Joel).
But one tribute band on Jillian’s slate has me intrigued – Start Making Sense, who take over the downtown stage at 9pm on Friday. Yes, they’re a Talking Heads tribute band.
Start Making Sense is a seven-piece combo led by frontman Jon Braun in the David Byrne role. They hail from Bethlehem, PA. And they’re managed by Andre Chomondeley, the guitarist and mastermind behind Project/Object, probably the only tribute act that I’ve consistantly enjoyed over the years.
It’s going to take some serious versatility to cover the Talking Heads’ wide and varied musical legacy from the jittery, minimalist new wave of “Talking Heads: 77” to the Afro-funk of “Remain in Light,” but Start Making Sense just might pull it off.
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