Posted by: Cory | July 18, 2008

Review: Lebowski Fest

Achievers from all over the country (and possibly thte world) descended upon Louisville last weekend for the flagship Lebowski fest on the Executive Lanes Lawn.  Every character you can imagine, from countless Dudes and Walters, to several Jesus’, viking girls, blue men, a pope, and just about everything else you can imagine. 

Although Brian Posehn was the headliner of Friday night, the treat of the weekend for me was seeing Pleaseeasaur…a comedic musician from Seattle who essentially performs songs for the commercials of fake products, including Action City News while wearing skin-tight pants, or later when he was dressed as a yeti and dancing alongside the snakes wearing sunglasses, which were being visually projected onto the screen behind him from backstage.  Perhaps one of the best lines that seemed to be missed by virtually all of the audience was after a song about a white cargo van, and “strangers have the best candy”, he mentioned some other car that he had right before he got the white cargo van, implying he was the pedophile.  Having signed to Comedy Central for a multi-cd deal (three, I believe) back in 2006, Pleaseeasuar has been on a pretty wild ride, touring with such contrasting artists as Pinback…Lebowski fest seemed to be the right kind of home for him as a true nerd humor was required to appreciate it (I couldn’t stop laughing).

As for Brian, he put on a solid performance after coming to the stage 15 minutes late or so.  If you haven’t heard him before, he was on Sarah Silverman’s show, along with a series of other things, and told mostly self-depreciating jokes and informed us that gay sex isn’t gay if you listen to heavy metal, that when you buy a home porn spammers will assume you want to be able to produce a little more in the end (I can’t bring myself to give better detail here), among many other jokes, most of which were equally comical and horrifying. 

Saturday brought Everthus the Deadbeats from Indy.  Some confusion resulted in them not playing the Indie Day spot at Ear X-tacy that morning in place of The Interstates (review and photos to follow).  It had never occurred to me before, but as ETD prepared to start, they played a clip from The Big Lebowski on loop which said “Everthus the Deadbeats, Lebowski“, which in the movie came right after after they urinated on his rug, which set the rest of the fuzzy sequence of events in motion.  Suddenly, it all made such perfect sense.

ETD played an animated set with the drummer jumping any and everywhere in his stars & stripes shorts.  ETD sound like they could have been an old vaudeville troupe of gypsies, but they look a little too clean cut and pretty for it.  Mixing deep vocals and a wonderful blend of synth, bass, drums & guitar, the fivesome put on, in my opinion, the best show of the festival…

ETD were followed by Technology vs. Horse, led by Kentucky Prophet.  My previous instance of seeing Kentucky Prohpet was for the Beejeezus 9 release, where, with his trusty iPod in hand, he rapped over pre-recorded beats.  Although the absurdity of his vocals remained (with songs about selling drugs to celebrities), the backing band was very tight and together.  I couldn’t help but laugh the first time I saw KP, but as a full group, they put together an entertaining show…

For Mike Doughty, I’ve asked a friend of mine to write the review…

Review below by Matt Satterly

What can I say, Mike Doughty and the Lebowski fest go together like, well, the Dude and the dude from Soul Coughing.  The venue was great and the mood was right.  Doughty was accompanied by his traveling partner Andrew “Scrap” Livingston who fits well into the quirky niche that Doughty has continued after the collapse of his former band.  The show started with Tremendous Brunettes and a few comments to the Pope who was in attendance and drinking beer.

All the bases were covered, from Janine and Circles to Girl in the Blue Dress and Navigating the Stars.  Obviously there were notable songs missing, but if you are a fan then nothing short of celebrating the entire catalog would satisfy.  The Kentucky native delighted with his thought provoking lyrics and percussive rhythms, achieving on all levels.

Doughty managed to add his jazz influenced variations to several songs which makes for an enjoyable live show.  Never one to try and duplicate the studio version Doughty went so far as to replace an entire verse with nonsense syllables, “not a whole word in the bunch”.  The usual crowd banter was there, often deferring to Scrap to fill in the blanks.  Many Lebowski references were tossed out much to the delight of the crowd.

Continuing to defy convention, or at least mock it, Doughty put a nice spin on the “ok,we’re leaving now and I mean it we’re going and we’re not coming back… ok, a few more songs” encore tradition.  After explaining the process in detail, they played their “fake last song” and turned their chairs around and faced away from the crowd.  After counting to twenty or so they finished with The Gambler and 27 Jennifers.

Having recently seen the two at Phoenix Hill for the “Question Jar” show I was a bit let down this time, if only for the fact that they didn’t play as long.  I’m still waiting to hear Stoned Opera live but it looks like I will have to keep waiting.  All in all, Doughty definitely Abides…


Everthus the Deadbeats

Technology vs. Horse

Mike Doughty


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