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crackling electronics, rooty folk & hard-shit-kicking alternative country
Saturday, 06.02.2016, 20:02
oh what a night...
The Good Life (USA)
Tonight’s the night for not just one but two high-octane acts from that immense swath in the Midwest of the good old U.S. of A (right?)

THE GOOD LIFE is named after the same-named slogan of the shit-kicking State of Nebraska (formerly ‘The Beef State’ for you vegetarians). Poetic mottos aside, this is a helluva fascinating and experimentally astute multi-plex band formed around the ex-Cursive master Tim Kasher. According to the MusicExpress «He’s of the breed that has never let himself be restricted by conventional song structures when penning the poetic texts about lost love and the emotional every-day fight for survival. Performed in an easygoing link between crackling electronics and rooty folk strumming that transforms it all into a small master piece.»

David Letterman has gotten a taste of The Good Life and so has Sarah Kuttner. Sticking with the name calling, the current edition of Rolling Stone magazine wrote about the 4-star album «Everybody’s Coming Down» (2015): «Tim Kasher is a first-rate songwriter which he again proves with this first album by the band in 8 years. It’s familiar in its crumpling style, its emotional and organic whether in the easy bubbling ‘Diving Bell’, the witty ‘Everybody’ or in the sacrilegious ‘Holy Shit’. Tim Kasher remains faithful to the style of charming unpolished indie rock.» Just let the good times roll for chrissake.

BIG HARP is the second of tonight’s one-two punch and formidably hard-shit-kicking alternative country at that. Starring the wife and husband team of Stefanie Drootin-Senseney on bass and vocals (also with The Good Life, she’s also founder of the women’s rock’n’roll camp «Omaha Girls Rock») and Chris Senseney (vocals, guitar, keyboards) the duo live is a trio completed with a flesh-and-blood drummer by the name of Daniel. Interesting also Stefanie and Chris with their intriguing stylistically opposing voices: She with a breathy intonation reminiscent of the girl groups of the 60’s, he with a slightly broken full baritone (Focus).

Roll it, Chris Senseney: «The band started in 2010 but the roots of it went back to 2007 when Stef and I first met. We spent time together, drank and smoked and already after a few months Stef had a baby in her belly and this tour of dives came to an abrupt end. We got married, moved from Omaha to L.A. and had another child. All of that within three years. Stef did a little touring and I got a job at an agency for data entry. I quit and we recorded (the album) ‘White Hat’. Once we loaded up the kids and went on tour the songs actually turned out snottier and faster and we wanted to record that as well. We allowed ourselves to be as gloomy and as loud as we wanted to be. The result is ‘Chain Letters’. If our first album sounded like a tiny town in rural Nebraska halfway to L.A., the second sounds like the second half of the way from Stef’s home state to the City of Angels. Hopefully this time we sound a bit more like Iggy Pop of the 70’s than Leonard Cohen. Actually I’d like it if it all sounds like Cohen fronting The Pixies. That’s not happening. Well, maybe a little. You decide…damn, it’s 1 A.M. I have to work. See you.»

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