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home : on stage : on stage February 26, 2015


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7/28/2014 3:15:00 PM
Mike Dillon Band makes national tour stop at Main Stage
The Mike Dillon Band (Mike Dillon pictured) will perform at Main Stage Wednesday, Aug. 6.
The Mike Dillon Band (Mike Dillon pictured) will perform at Main Stage Wednesday, Aug. 6.
decker. (Brandon Decker pictured) will perform at MainStage Saturday, Aug. 2.
decker. (Brandon Decker pictured) will perform at MainStage Saturday, Aug. 2.

Wednesday, Aug 6, a very special guest will highlight and cap off a big weekend of rock music at Main Stage.  The Mike Dillon Band will pass through Cottonwood as part of a national tour.

How many artists can claim being praised a "punk rock provocateur," "jazz vibraphone visionary" and "percussion virtuoso" in the same sentence? There's only one: Mike Dillon. Whether through his affiliation with artists like Les Claypool, Brave Combo and Ani DiFranco, collaborations such as Garage A Trois, The Dead Kenny Gs and Critters Buggin or bands he's fronted, including Billy Goat and Hairy Apes BMX, the Texas-native has set his own standard for 25 years now.

With his latest effort, Band of Outsiders-released via Brooklyn label The Royal Potato Family-Mike Dillon has perhaps conjured the perfect storm of all these past endeavors. His manic creative vision found its match in three young musicians he met in New Orleans. Carly Meyers-whom Dillon describes as "a High Priestess of Trombone who channels the energy of Iggy Pop through the chops of JJ Johnson in second-line parade"-provides harmonic counterpoint to his vibes and percussion ("All Walks of Life") as she simultaneously ups the band's art-rock ante ("Carly Hates The Dubstep"). The rhythm section of bassist Patrick McDevitt and drummer Adam Gertner turns on a dime between snarling punk rock assaults ("Homeland Insecurity"), deep funky go-go ("Head"), ska grooves ("Here The Burro") and experimental hip-hop beats ("7AM At The Jazzfest") with all points covered in between.

Dillon recorded Band of Outsiders at Studio Center in Miami with the help of co-producers Gary Vandy and Richard Maloney Jr. Vandy is an old school engineer whose work includes over 200 platinum records predominantly in the disco and dance genres. His love of Zappa is what attracted him to Dillon's work.  In the age of pro-tools chicanery, the production is straightforward, capturing Dillon and his band playing live in a room.

"Two tours of Mexico and a steady dose of Brazilian music was the jumping off point for these new songs," explains Dillon. "Add our love for The Melvins, Deerhoof, Bad Brains, Dead Kennedys, Trouble Funk and all things New Orleans and this album surpasses our intention to make the freakiest, most vibrant dance music on the planet."

Lyrically speaking, Mike Dillon draws from his love of Miguel de Cervantes, William Burroughs, Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Anton Wilson to tell stories of New Orleans debauchery mixed with age-old themes of travel, love, self-destruction and greed. Delivered with Dillon's trademark vocal rasp, the record has the intensity of a Tom Waits-meets-Frank Zappa black comedy. Rumor has it that Dillon lived in the same apartment that Waits shared with Rickie Lee Jones for the past seven years. However, Dillon discounts those rumors: "This apartment has housed dudes from Morning 40 Federation, Ani DiFranco, an old Conga player and a bunch of heroin addicts."

Taken in its entirety, Mike Dillon's Band of Outsiders is a snapshot of four musicians hitting full stride. Having relentlessly toured the country in 2013-both headlining and opening for artists like Fishbone, Clutch, Primus and Galactic-its 13 songs bristle with a group mind, spill over the sides with the visions invoked during countless dead-of-night drives crisscrossing the country in a van and hit their target with a sonic assault only possible from a band that's played 400-plus shows over the last two years.

"People are always trying to figure out how to describe our music. Maybe we should call it New Orleans punk jazz Brazilian math rock? It's a gumbo of tribal percussion, The Meters, old school hardcore, Brazil, hard bop and anything else that might move us," concludes Dillon. "But you know, I really don't care what you call it. We kick out the jams harder than anyone, and we also know when to heed the lessons of The Minutemen's Double Nickels On The Dime and keep things straight to the point. There's a reason we called the record what we did. We're the living, breathing definition of a band of outsiders, but together we deliver simple majestic beauty, let's leave it at that."  The show begins at 8 p.m. and costs $5

Over the weekend, local favorites The Invincible Grins will do a CD release party at the venue's monthly "First Fridays Art Walk for their recent release "Chin Up."  The band will bring in bands The Andy Warpigs and Hot Rock Supa Joint to join in the celebration.  The show is Friday, Aug. 1, and doors open for the art walk at 4 p.m.  The event is free.  

Saturday, Aug. 2, sees the final installment of the decker. monthly residency at Main Stage as the band shifts focus to the release of their fifth studio album, Patsy recorded at Tucson's Wavelab Studios, a recording studio responsible for producing records from such noteworthy acts as Iron & Wine, KT Tunstall, and Amos Lee.  The Sedona-based band has toured relentlessly the last 5 years, playing over 600 shows while releasing 4 albums and is in preparation for several national tours in support of the upcoming release.  The band will play a free show at Main Stage which begins at 9:30 p.m.

Main Stage is located at 1 S. Main St. in Cottonwood.  All events are free to the public unless otherwise indicated.  Main Stage is open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.  For more information please call (928)202-3460 or visit www.mainstagetheater.com.

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