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Thursday, December 14

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Review Fri Apr 02 2010

Review: Miles Kurosky @ Schubas, 4/1

You know that phrase "If it's Mark E. Smith and your grandmother playing bongos, it's a Fall show"? Well, it's hard to not think the same about it being a Beulah show no matter who accompanies Miles Kurosky. Even though longtime members like Bill Swan and Steve LaFollette (among others) made significant contributions during their day, Kurosky's synonymous with Beulah, for better or worse. Four albums of sugary yet complex pop music and heart-wrenching subject matter carved them out a nice spot in indie-rock lore by the time they called it quits in 2004. However, for the first half-hour of Kurosky's set at Schubas on Thursday, there was nary a word about his career before his solo debut album The Desert of Shallow Effects.

The set began with "I Can't Swim", a song that wouldn't've sounded out of place during Beulah's prime. It employs a kitchen sink method of songwriting and arrangement that makes it a bit jumbled on record, but was simple indie-pop delight live with two guitars, bass, drums, keys and horns. The half of TDOSE that sounds like a lost Beulah album came across in the same way that a friend from high school does once you become an old man like me - totally recognizable with some extra mileage. The other half of TDOSE that's essentially Kurosky saying "I'm doing something else now!" (veering from verse/chorus/verse with some blips and odd time signatures tossed in) came across as if that friend from high school were now transgendered - a perfectly acceptable progression, though not exactly what you may have expected. The musicianship was a little loose, but everything was received with warm applause.

Then a half-hour in, the audience got a taste of what they really wanted to hear. The first recognizable notes of "Emma Blowgun's Last Stand" drew out an enthusiastic cheering section from the front. Once the minute-long build led into the riffs, more cheers followed from around the room with the crowd joining in to sing along with something, dare I say, nostalgic. A couple more TDOSE tunes later and it was back to Beulah with "Landslide Baby" and a requested "Popular Mechanics for Lovers." Luckily, Kurosky has no qualms about reaching into his past. Perhaps the time away from Beulah has softened him. Between some amusing banter about Youtube clips of himself and comments about the set list, he appeared much less cantankerous than I remember when I last saw Beulah in '03. When the band left him alone on stage to play "You're Only King Once" and "Gene Autry" at the end, he actually seemed pretty content, especially upon hearing everybody join in to help him sing. Unfortunately, that magnificent ending was followed by one song that made me and others think, "Just because you have a song to play doesn't necessarily mean you should play it." It was a bore. That's a minor gripe, though. Overall, it was very fun to hear both the new and old Miles Kurosky.

 
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Michelle / April 2, 2010 2:01 PM

I was just recently turned on to Kurosky, and have been totally digging his new album. Bummed I missed this show.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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