Win Free Tickets! The Foghorns, Levi Fuller and the Library, Colt Kraft Band at Columbia City Theater, Friday Jan. 2nd

2015-01-02by Sean Jewell ::

I hope you ring in the new year resolutely encrusted with vigor and vehement dedication to new, healthy habits. I also hope that you’ll come down to Columbia City Theater on the second day of January and swiftly –mercilessly– smash those barnacles of resolution to bits. I hope you grind them into a fine dust under your dancing shoes. I mean, what were you thinking? We dig you, warts and all. Don’t ever change.

On that very real note, has anyone noticed how simple, sleek, and good feeling the music of The Foghorns can be? That’s called honesty. The secret to The Foghorns’ lo-fi, quotidian rock ‘n’ roll lies in the glorious banality of their subject matter. While I do recommend going all the way back to their excellent record A Diamond as Big as the Motel Six when you try to prove me wrong, their most recent EP The Big F has three perfect examples of this. “This Christmas All I Want Is A Job” is a song whose title speaks for itself (and the rest of us, at some time or another). “Ain’t I A Man,” perhaps The Foghorns’ most popular tune, is a vicious critique of social order and the difficulty of even feeling like you’re a person at all. It’s built on a Bo Diddley beat and comes with Diddley’s signature hypnotic clave rhythm. This, combined with scathing observations on the bourgeois, builds a painterly, realist composition. None of this is to say anyone has noticed, because  the chorus is carefully designed to get you to shout along, while dancing nonstop. Then (between covers of classic subversive tunes) there’s “400 Dollars,” a devastating blues jam about the difference in the value of 400 dollars depending on your social strata. This rigorous examination of ordinary life, combined with a rock band that includes the woozy, comforting sighs of bass clarinet, is the appeal of The Foghorns.

Speaking of hidden meanings in this perversely anti authoritarian puzzle of a band –whether or not they realize it– only release music on odd years. This means two things: one, the rumors of a new album must be true, and, two, ILLUMINATI. Kidding folks, the truth is, was, and will always be stranger than fiction, and that’s why you should listen to The Foghorns for entertainment purposes. Shit’s real.

Levi Fuller and the Library expand on that idea a bit (the realism one, not the illuminati one) and inject just a hint of magic into their songs. Levi’s latest moves steadily from whimsy to ever more fantastic overtones. The guitars distort and reverb more, the lyrics give in to fantasy, the vocals grow and harmonize into choral chants. Levi Fuller and the Library are singing about simple realities: the need to belong, childlike innocence, the search for a few simple truths. Sounds easy, but the hunt for oneself is a disorienting trip. Before you know it you’re imagining eating clouds, jewel toed deities, and chanting about love. Levi Fuller and the Library released The Wonders That There Are this year, and this should prove a good celebration of that.

Colt Kraft opens, this band is racking up a list of appearances in all the right spots over the last couple years. Check out this video that impressively captures their immersed, lonesome, sound.

Cool, well, if you stuck around through my lecture on realism in the arts you should come out to the show so we can meet, because you’re the only one. We’re giving away some tickets to this show so leave a comment and let us know who your favorite realist painter or author is, and we’ll be in touch.

Purchase tickets here.


  1. One of my favorite realist painters is Edward Hopper. While his landscapes are interesting, as a writer, I love the pieces of his work that have people in them. They always seem to be interrupting a moment, and I like to try to imagine what is happening. When my sister got married, I wrote her a poem based on the painting of two women at Huey’s cafe because it really felt like there was something there that reflected back on the relationship I have with my sister. I often use his paintings as starting points for my own writing.

  2. In literature, I’m partial to German realists like Gottfried Keller. His “Kleider Machen Leute” is a biting critique of petty bourgeois conventions, but might also be resigned to a universal dominance of style over substance.

    Thankfully, Friday’s bands have both!

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