In all seriousness, we do humbly ask for your support and participation in this year's event. Lord knows we couldn't put on the Cover-Up without you, and it is, after all, the 10th annual Cover-Up, so we'd like it to be especially awesome. And that aforementioned site includes way more information than you could ever want to know about the event. And, in case it doesn't, feel free to send any questions you might have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the case of Bobby Bare Jr. (whose dad shares the same name, minus the "Junior"), it probably didn't hurt. Still, no one can really teach you to write songs as simultaneously clever, funny and heartbreaking as Bobby Bare Jr. does. Bare first emerged on the music scene in the late '90s with his roots-rock outfit, Bare Jr., releasing an EP and two full-length albums that showed a young, promising songwriter not quite yet fully formed. But early in the 21st century, Bare began releasing albums with his band, Bobby Bare Jr.'s Young Criminals Starvation League, on Bloodshot, and truly found his own voice and style. His first release under that name paid homage to his past by covering a song written by Silverstein, his father's former collaborator, but it also reflected his own taste by including a cover of The Smiths' "What Difference Does It Make?"
Bare Jr. has just released his fourth album for Bloodshot, The Longest Meow, and it demonstrates a singer-songwriter who seems to just get better and more diverse as his career progresses. The album contains 11 songs, recorded by 11 people (including members of Lambchop, ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, Clem Sound and My Morning Jacket), in 11 hours. Ostensibly it was recorded in such a fashion to capture the live experience, but you'd never know it was a rush-job by listening to it. The album is as diverse as anything he's released so far.
There are still country roots, but there's a lot more, too. Opener "The Heart Bionic" is a charging, horn-fueled barroom rocker; "Back to Blue" is a traditional honky-tonk tune that's distinguished by male/female harmonies and a mariachi horn arrangement; "Sticky Chemical" is informed by the musical era that came just post-doo wop; "Uh Wuh Oh" is a two-minute-long pure rocker whose lyrics are completely unintelligible aside from the titular chorus; "Demon Valley" sounds like a countrified version of a song that could have appeared on The Replacements' Tim; and the lone cover song, the Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?" is perhaps not the most inspired choice, but is rendered here as an acoustic ballad.
Along with an increasingly impressive catalog of albums, Bare Jr.'s live shows are a real treat. He and his Young Criminals Starvation League come off as a bar band with something to prove, injecting energy into every song they perform, an energy that is downright infectious.
Witness it for yourself when Bobby Bare Jr.'s Young Criminals Starvation League play Plush, 340 E. Sixth St., on Saturday, Oct. 7. Opening the show at 9:30 p.m. are the Jon Rauhouse Trio, fronted by a guy who's played on sessions for countless acts (and is a member of Neko Case's band) and Loveland. Cover is $7. Call 798-1298 for more information.
Or, better yet, go see them perform live, when they play an early all-ages show at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., next Thursday, Oct. 12. Things kick off at 7 p.m. with an opening set by Sean Na Na, the power-pop performing alter ego of Sean Tillman, best known as his other alter ego, Har Mar Superstar, the most unlikely sexy R&B star in the universe. Trust us, this one will be more than worth your $10 cover charge. Need more info? Call 622-8848.
You can try to avoid falling in love with Mosquitos when they perform this week at Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E. Toole Ave., but you'll fail. Ireland's Oppenheimer open the all-ages show at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 10. Cover is $8, and you can call 884-0874 for further details.