September 11, 2011

Concert #602 - Jackshit at McCabe's Guitar Shop (September 10, 2011)

This was Jackshit's first appearance at McCabe's since their two Christmas shows in December 2010 and let me tell you: nine months without a Jackshit concert is a mighty long time. I could have caught some of their other gigs in the LA area at the Baked Potato and Echoplex, but none of these other venues offer the same certainty as McCabe's in terms of good seating. At McCabe's, things are clear: you get there early, you get to sit wherever you want, which in my case means front row, directly in front of Val McCallum's amplifier.

I took along a group of friends that amounted to slightly more than 10% of the venue's capacity. They all went home happy, including the four or five first-timers among them.

Last night's set list had more than the usual amount of new songs and to make room for them, a few old favorites had to be left out, as was the case with "Big River" and "Pretty Polly". I missed both of them, Polly in particular. By the way, when I say "new songs" I mean new to the band's repertoire, not recently written songs.

There is a noticeable shift in Jackshit's song selection. Just like before, their set has quite a few semi-obscure old folk-rock and classic country songs, but the numbers that drop out seem to be replaced with songs from the repertoire of decidedly non-country performers such as Jimmie Vaughan, the Beatles, the Who, Pat MacDonald and the Rolling Stones. Yet "False Hearted Lover", one of the evening's best new songs, is a traditional country piece that seems to indicate that the Boys from Cochtotan will never stray too far from the strong classic country flavor of their earlier years. And with songs like "Tiger Man (King Of The Jungle)", the band has reaffirmed its knack for little-known gems that go back in time at least as far as "Ugly And Slouchy" and "Hold That Critter Down".

Among the new additions to their set: "Baby's In Black", "So Sad About Us" and "Child Of The Moon", from the catalogues of the Beatles, the Who and the Rolling Stones, respectively. Bob Dylan & the Band's "Tears Of Rage", yet another new addition, lacked the catchiness that is so typical of most everything Jackshit does.

There were no guest stars, but the always-fun Shit Horns dropped in for the usual "Ring Of Fire" and "The Lonely Bull", it was a blast.

The set list ("So Sad About Us" played in lieu of "Pretty Polly")

And now for the "Good News" department: after months of suffering, Val McCallum, a.k.a. Beau Shit, was finally in a position to show the audience the kidney stone he had passed a couple of weeks earlier. The event was celebrated with a twisted rendition of "Islands In The Stream", a song written by the Bee Gees and made into a huge hit by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton. With slightly modified lyrics such as "islands in my stream" and "we can pee together", the song generated lots of laughter in the room and it was good to see urinary humor make a come-back after having been ignored for so many years in favor of the other excretory matter.

And Val had more good news for us: there will be a third Jackshit album in the not-too-distant future. I can't wait!

This was my twenty-second time to see Jackshit live in concert and I'll be back for more. A whole lot more. Because they are devilishly good, individually and collectively.

Beau & Shorty in action at McCabe's (September 10, 2011)
The fabulous Shit Horns
Val McCallum setting up before the show
Dave Faragher and Yours Truly, with their cock-adorned hats
Some of my friends, before the show
Veteran Jackshit fan Tul, with first-timer Poornima
McCabe's employee Mikki Itzigsohn arriving with munchies for the band

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