I am currently engaged in a tight battle of wits and words with a Henry Clay Person, via the magic of our computers. He challenged me in some sort of turf war repping, calling our match “Denver vs. LA.” Sorry Colorado, I’m losing. Mostly because he played “axil” for a large number of points and I have not yet caught up (oh, but I will).
I’ve seen Henry Clay People live several times and they’ve blown me out of the water each time. I dragged everyone I could to see them at SXSW, and I think I tallied 3 or 4 times in the roiling sweaty masses beneath their stage.
Tomorrow they bring their literate, bluesy/Stonesy, Pavement-rock to Denver’s Larimer Lounge, part of their current summer tour that’s moved them through Lollapalooza (where they were one of 15 to see, alongside bands like Depeche Mode and Heartless Bastards), and will deliver them back home to Los Angeles on Friday (Aug 14th) for a show at Echoplex, where apparently it is a summer circus and there are balloon animals involved.
Their shows radiate the joy of a good, ragged rock anthem and brotherly love (Joey and Andy are sibs, and like to tease each other good-naturedly while they bring the rock). Their music is loud and expansive, even redemptive. It makes me feel good on my insides (and in my eardrums).
Henry Clay People recently debuted two unreleased songs over at Dodge‘s Laundromatinee site, along with two songs from their excellent, highly-recommended 2008 album For Cheap Or For Free (out on Aquarium Drunkard’s Autumn Tone label).
In that video up there for “Half Asleep,” you can feel some of the swaggering, lazy, sexy guitar work that won me over, along with memorable lyrics like, “I was half asleep when you said you were sorry to me …yeah I was half awake when you took it back.”
For the other two songs (mp3s) and to watch the rest of the session, head over to Laundromatinee — there’s one more unreleased song over there (“The Good Ones”), a glimpse of where they’re going.
Their MySpace player features my four favorite songs on their album, including “You Can Be Timeless,” which I’ve never seen them play live so I am crossing my fingers for tomorrow night. The mp3 of that song is also part of the free Lollapalooza digital sampler, along with folks like Fleet Foxes, The Raveonettes, and Joe Pug.
Rock on, and scrabble hard.