Jon Poor Band, Will Stewart, Vulture Whale

Jon Poor Band

Will Stewart

Vulture Whale

Fri · December 29, 2017

Doors: 9:00 pm / Show: 10:00 pm

$8.00 - $10.00

This event is 21 and over

Jon Poor Band
Jon Poor Band
Rock Music from Birmingham AL

Jon Poor is a musician and songwriter based in Birmingham, AL. He is an alumnus of the jam-rock outfit Feijoada and the Southern/British rock group Willie and the Giant. His debut solo full length album Blank Domino is available now at all major online stores and streaming services.
Will Stewart
Will Stewart
Rock from Birmingham AL

Like the tides under the Gulf of Mexico moon, like a sea of bodies undulating under the strobing lights of some clandestine New York city disco, Will Stewart’s Faultline EP is in constant motion. It’s the sound of transition, persistent and occasionally chaotic, of inevitable change in the wake of charting bold new directions in life and music, past projects and pre-ordained centers of musical cool be damned.

Late last year, just as Stewart’s Nashville retro-soul outfit Willie and the Giant seemed poised for a breakthrough—having been named “New Band of the Week” by influential London newspaper The Guardian—the band broke up, unable to reconcile its creative differences. “Until recently, the idea of being in a band was always more appealing to me than being a solo artist—that feeling of camaraderie, of being brothers in arms,” Stewart says. "But these days, I feel more confident in my music and songwriting. I feel confident in being in complete creative control. It’s liberating.”

Striking out on his own also inspired Stewart to move from trendy Nashville back to his old hometown of Birmingham, Ala. “I don’t want to sound cynical,” he says, “but Nashville was just a sea of poseurs. The things I’d originally found charming about the city have been pilfered and castrated by every industry entity in town. All the coolness is being co-opted right out of it. I mean, there are still a lot great bands and people I love, but it’s honestly killing the vibe.”

As for Birmingham, Stewart feels much more connected to the scene down there, where he also plays with his friend Janet Simpson-Templin (of Wooden Wand) in dreamy indie-rock duo Timber. “Birmingham just feels like home,” Stewart says. “There’s so much amazing music going on under the radar, I’ve got a ton of friends here who are in bands—when I moved back, I fell right into the mix again.”

Before he departed Nashville, though, Stewart cut the three-song Faultline EP at Penny Sound with producer/engineer Mark Petaccia, drummer for powerhouse rock & roll trio The Wans, who’s also made a name for himself mixing and engineering records by artists such as Yo La Tengo, Dungen, Caitlin Rose, Jack White, Lambchop and Jason Isbell.

The first song they laid down for Faultline was spooky, acid-drenched Brit-invasion vamp “A Week Ago.” “With that song, I’d been listening to a lot of 13th Floor Elevators and Captain Beefheart,” Stewart says, “and I’d just purchased a Rhythm Ace, this old ‘70s drum machine, to help me with writing. It only has four or five settings, so it’s really primitive as far as the beats it can make. I think JJ Cale used it on a bunch of stuff—just a four-on-the-floor beat.”

Stewart handles all the vocals and guitar on the EP, plus some bass, while Pettacia plays drums and organ on “A Week Ago,” and Stewart’s old Willie and the Giant rhythm section Mac Kramer and Grant Prettyman tackle drums and bass, respectively, on garagey jangle-rock throwback “Keyhole” and the EP's pulsing indie-disco-pop title track.

“The songs were all over the place, stylistically,“ Stewart says. “The fact that the EP sounds so cohesive is a testament to Mark’s ability. With his production style and skill as an engineer, he was able to glue everything together and help me realize my vision.”
Vulture Whale
Vulture Whale
Rock from Birmingham AL

Rock band in Birmingham, Alabama. Since 2005

Wes McDonald - Vocals and guitar
Lester Nuby III - Guitar and vocals
Keelan Parrish - Bass
Jake Waitzman - Drums

Out of the indie punk bomb shelters of Birmingham, AL beheld the inevitable union of local heroes The Ohms and Verbena. Purveyors of hero status records that just about every Southeastern kid worth his snot in rocknroll would give a nod to as an influence in one way or another. Originally coined as Wes McDonald and The Fizz, the quartet featured Verbena’s drummer and later guitarist, Lester Nuby III, the formidable backline of Keelan Parrish on the low end with Jake Waitzman keeping time behind the drum kit, with front man Wes McDonald aka Terry Ohms of The Ohms holding court lyrically and playing rhythm and lead guitar. They were simply too well-versed to not be tagged as a cohesive unit, a dream of a vulture eating a whale by Nuby birthed a new creative vehicle and a band was formed.
Vulture Whale’s 2007 freshmen self-titled effort, released on Nuby’s Ol’ Elegante stamp, was a nearly perfect southern indie rock record -- tapping the same vein as remarkable debut records by McDonald’s
Ohms and Nuby’s Verbena in 2000 and 1997, respectively. McDonald’s vocal stylings straddle the gap between The Jam’s Paul Weller and Philadelphia’s G.Love, a slight nod to Mick Jagger, and a shit ton of Wes McDonald. Nuby and McDonald trade guitar work and form an impervious front with Parrish and Waitzman, each upholding their end like a jack stud supporting a header in a stick framed house.

Each member bringing their own paint to the proverbial canvas, the ship calmly steered by McDonald and his musical genius come bar stool comedian take on songwriting --equally drenched in Parliament Funkadelic , Marc Bolan and T.Rex, as the Ramones. That’s been the "plam" from day one, take it everywhere and nowhere at the same time. They’re better than steroids were for baseball and OJ was for Ford Broncos, beautifully exotic yet weaving the basket between perfect indie pop and obtuse punk funk. Ever entertaining and genre bending, Vulture Whale is a cornucopia of styles and permutations, draped in the critically acclaimed shroud of indie rock and its rags.

2016 sees the band’s 5th release, Aluminium, and first on the newly revamped Cornelius Chapel Records imprint headed up by Dexateens frontman Elliott McPherson. Aluminium is locked and loaded with brain clinging heady rock numbers, dramatic buildups and genuine American rocknroll of the southern persuasion with ample crunch and face melting riffs piled up with false euro bravado. Crafty rock n roll proving yet again why Birmingham is forever a spot on the indie rock map, as deep in talent as it is cultural history. Aluminium’s release finds it just in time for that early Alabama spring and yet another to add to their near sixpack of critically definitive indie rock offerings. Maybe we can get another one out of them before the year is through. –Scott Zuppardo
Venue Information:
The Nick
2514 10th Ave S
Birmingham, AL, 35205