MTV’s Five Dollar Cover is based on The Hill’s, but set in the Memphis music scene. Fascinatingly, it was created by Craig Brewer who made ‘Hustle and Flow’. There’s something about the dialogue in these unscripted shows that drives me crazy because of it’s tendency to be off a couple beats from real dialogue. Oh, and Ben Nichols from Lucero is one of the characters on the show. I can’t imagine watching this, unless I watch it on mute with closed captions.
Look, we’ve all been there, hanging out with friends having a good time, something crazy and dramatic happens and someone says, “Man. This could be on TV.” But then STOP. If you think you and your friends have ridiculous times that should be on TV or in a movie, WRITE A TV SHOW OR A MOVIE and probably hire some actors. Unfortunately, not everyone can improvise, and when they try to, it makes me want to change the station.
After only seeing Lucero in divier venues (The Middle East, The Living Room, and a dingy boat riding around the Boston Harbor), I was interested to see what they did in a classier venue, like the Paradise. While the sold-out crowd was into it from the get go – singing along and finger pointing – the band started out a little stiff. Whether it was playing some new songs or the newer arrangements to older standards or the apparent complete sobriety, something wasn’t clicking on stage for the first couple songs. The situation turned around quickly, though, and after the audience carried the band out of gate, they were treated to the Lucero performance they were expecting. [I don’t know if there’s ever been a more vanilla opening paragraph, blech. Writing about things dispassionately sucks!]
The band was joined on stage by a slide guitarist and keyboardist (and at one point towards the end, some random bald guy from the audience singing a Replacements cover) adding extra heft to the songs and all told, Lucero played for two and a half hours, which is NUTS. It got sloppy towards the end of the night, which is hard to avoid when 2 of the members are drinking straight from bottles of Jameson, but this was still the most polished performance I’ve seen – Ben only forgetting the words to one song and mixing around the verse order of another – and really, what did you expect?
Now you guys can see what I’ve been going on and on about: Cory Branan and Lucero.
Cory Branan, a singer from Memphis (now living in Austin), sung about in a Lucero song, is a compelling stage presence. Dustying up his voice to better suit the narration of the song and playing the shit out of his acoustic guitar, Branan is a little bit country, a little bit rock n’ roll. There weren’t too many people there, but those who were had a good time.
So there’s these punkers, right, and usually they’re playing with electric guitars and amps and drums, and then they go on the Revival Tour without their bands and with their acoustic guitars. They bring along a slide guitar player, a stand up bass player, and a fiddle player for support, and then the awesomeness happens. I liked it better when they were all playing together, but then Ben, Tim, and Chuck in that order.
It was terrible weather for a cruise around Boston Harbor, but Lucero is one of my favorite bands and I was on a boat with several of my friends. The sound wasn’t so good, but Lucero is one of my favorite bands and I was on the boat with several of my friends. You couldn’t see the band at all, but Lucero is one of my favorite bands and I was on the boat with several of my friends.
These guys were even better than when we saw them in April, maybe because they used a couple of the opening band’s musicians (pedal steel and keyboards from Bobby Bare Jr (who was great in his own right)). There was less beer throwing this time, but, really, when has that been such a bad thing? At the end, my friend broke up a fight, which is also, not such a bad thing.