Monthly Archives: September 2010

  • 0
Nuns of Brixton, a Clash tribute band in full convent regalia, played Bender's Tavern in front of a rapt crowd last Friday night (Photo:Michael McGrath, denverpost.com/reverb)

Reverb: Nuns of Brixton, Gestapo Pussy Ranch @Bender’s Tavern, September 24th, 2010

Nuns of Brixton, a Clash tribute band in full convent regalia, played Bender's Tavern in front of a rapt crowd last Friday night (Photo:Michael McGrath, denverpost.com/reverb)

Nuns of Brixton, a Clash tribute band in full convent regalia, played Bender's Tavern in front of a rapt crowd last Friday night (Photo:Michael McGrath, denverpost.com/reverb)

Having seen Jim Yelenick in his other bands — the hardcore Pitch Invasion and the hilarious acousti-punk Sputnik Slovenia — I figured I’d seen the gamut of his personas, and loved them all. But none topped his loose adaptation of Joe Strummer in a full nun habit, wildly leading a packed house through a litany of the best tunes from the Clash. Yelenick fronted local quintet the Nuns of Brixton (a Clash tribute band) last night at Bender’s Tavern and put on a simultaneously heroic and hilarious show — all in full convent uniform.

The Clash, a.k.a. “The Only Band That Matters,” has forever topped my live dream list. I’m a bit skeptical of tribute bands, so I was prepared to take in a mediocre show at best, but I knew I’d enjoy just being a part of the nostalgia.

Read the entire review, and see more of Michael McGrath’s phots at

Denver Post Reverb!


  • 0

Reverb: Live Review of Bobby Bare Jr. @ the Hi-Dive, and Bobby’s reply. . .

Bobby Bare Jr. is still brilliant, still funny, still one of the best lyricists around - but he seems just a little wiser. (Photo: Hunter Armistead)

Bobby Bare Jr. is still brilliant, still funny, still one of the best lyricists around - but he seems just a little wiser. (Photo: Hunter Armistead)

I reviewed Bobby Bare Jr.’s show at the Hi-Dive on South Broadway last Wednesday, September 15, for Denver Post Reverb, and Bobby took the time to comment. I was shocked, and pretty stoked – but not too surprised. I’ve seen him a number of times, and have known him to be damned personable, approachable and easy to talk to. What concerned me was that he seemed just a little pissed at my review – because I pointed out that this show was a little “morose,” in comparison to past ones.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Bare’s been through Denver a number of times in the last six or so years, usually with his band the Young Criminal Starvation League. He consistently entertains full houses with a show bursting with energy, smiles and laughs and filled with hopelessly catchy tunes and brilliant lyricism. While the lyricism and catchy tunes haven’t changed, Wednesday night’s performance was much heavier, more morose. He used to play barefoot, howling impossibly quaint stories that inspired giggles more than sympathy from behind an unwieldy mop of sweaty curls, out of a mouth always bent from recent laughter.

But on Wednesday he wore a dark blue jacket and slacks, a white cowboy hat and shoes. His hair was still a wild mass with a mind of its own — it’s gained even more independence over the years — but it wrapped a lined face adorned with sensible glasses. And his mouth inspired a visage of Joe Cocker crooning amidst considerable pain, rather than ebullience.

He looked and performed more like a later-in-life Roky Erickson than the wonderful and careless Bobby Bare Jr. that has been here before.”

and you can read the review in its entirety, as well as Bobby’s response, at Denver Post Reverb (Please do!). . .

I guess “morose” may have been a poor word choice. Bobby seemed happy, and the crowd and the band really did have a great time. I just thought the fact that he seems to have grown older – just a little – stood out, and that’s what I focused on for a brief, visceral review.

To clarify, Bobby’s seen better years, I’d imagine, than the past four. During that time, he’s nearly lost a child, gotten divorced, and nearly lost his mother to a tree that smashed through their house, and landed directly upon her head. If that’s not enough to make you re-think a natural happiness – even just a little – then I don’t know what is . . . .

My only point in the review was meant to show that I saw Bobby as more adult now, and less carefree, funny, and poetic in his songs and stories of heartbreak and devotion – and so many other things. His brilliance, as a performer, musician and songwriter is still fully intact, in fact may be even stronger. Just slowed a bit. And maybe a little wiser.

Maybe “wiser” would’ve been a better word choice. That would’ve been just as accurate . . .