100 Shows of 2010 - #91: Spindrift @ Strange Matter, 11/21/10

Sometimes, friends, it is indeed funny how things work out. You might find yourself a little bummed out because your trip out of town to NYC fell through. But then, lo and behold, you discover that a band you've wanted to see for years will be playing not far from you. And all will be right with the universe. Lest you think this is all theoretical rambling, I assure you it's not. It happened not long ago, wouldn't you know. Yours truly was mourning the loss of a trek to New York City, when onto my radar blipped a band I think is nothing short of amazing: Spindrift. And not even a drive to and from Richmond on a work night was going to keep me from this show (also featuring pretty fine sets from Boney Loner, The Young Sinclairs, and The Diamond Center).

MINI RECAP: Spindrift = Sunbaked Bliss! Overall Score: A

I listen to Spindrift quite a bit. The Legend Of God's Gun to me is nouveau (spaghetti) Westernism at its absolute best. Much like what might happen should Ennio Morricone find himself strung out on various peyote-like subtances in the middle of the Joshua Tree National Forest. And so, as Spindrift took the stage, under a backdrop of a bleached blue Western sky and fog machine eminating just a touch of spooky atmosphere, I knew good things were in store. Singer/guitarist KP (Kirpatrick) Thomas looked the part, sporting a hat and an embroidered jacket that made me think of a dark side of the moon Gram Parsons. They began with "Girlz Booze Gunz", a slow rolling song filled with dusty deserts and faded mining towns. "Speak To The Wind", with its almost eerie jangle, had visions of jangling spurs, trails of sweat creeping down weathered faces, and itchy trigger fingers dancing through my head. I began to equate Spindrift as being the musical equivalent of Pioneer Town, in the deserts of California (if you've never been, go). Both more than a little quirky, unexpected, and yet breathtaking in their own ways. This song, and so many others, are spaghetti psych at its finest.

New song "Hellbound" came across like a train going full tilt towards the River Styx, a furious barn burner that made me imagine some down on his luck card shark selling his soul to Lucifer while this very tune was taking a turn on the player piano. It's as though this band has managed to capture the very essence of Western nostalgia and turn it on its ear into something nigh on magical. Some of the newer songs toned down the Western revivalism, but of course I loved them still. "Red Reflection" had a slink to it, but also a crazy sense of time slowed down as tumbleweeds roll by and the clouds float aimlessly, endlessly. This is the music you want playing when your car breaks down on some lonely desert highway, mirages shimmering on the baking blacktop. They ended with my most favorite Spindriftian nugget, the unfathomably awesome "Indian Run". The chanting and insanely frenzied pace of this song translates even better live than on record.

Spindrift, you sasparilla sweet cowboys and cowgirls, is a band that absolutely unquestionably without a doubt shouldn't be missed. They're incredibly talented, they play with something akin to an unholy possession, and the music they make might just blow your mind.

mp3: Speak To The Wind (Spindrift from The Legend Of God's Gun)


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