Vandalia + Lorenzo Goetz = Awesome Week

That’s right, it’s a Wendy’s update. Driving home from St. Louis last weekend, following a Christmas show with elsinore and Gentleman Auction House, elsinore bassist Chris Eitel and I stumbled across the Vandalia exit on I-70. Expecting the regular fast food lineup, we were surprised to find a Wendy’s that appeared to be open. Upon closer inspection, we found that it was not only open, but it was packed. This place was like a fast food Mecca. It seemed as though people had traveled for miles just to get a Frosty. And let me tell you, my spicy chicken was amazing. We were giddy like schoolgirls. We called friends to tell the tale. Oh, and then someone told me that the one in Danville has been open this whole time. Damn it.

So, 2007 is here. 2006 sure went out with a bang, though, with hot shows happening all over town. Seth Fein’s The Nicodemus Agency hosted a show at the Iron Post that was huge, with Headlights headlining (say that outloud). Mike ‘n Molly’s hosted a full room there to see New Ruins and Archives of the Future. The Boat Drunks played the Highdive. It was a great night where you could go out and see good bands instead of having to pay an insane amount to have a lame time.

The big show that I attended (and am still trying to recover from as I type this) was at Cowboy Monkey, where the guys from Lorenzo Goetz put the band to bed for good. The second night of a two-night stand, the New Year’s Eve show boasted a ton of special guests, more nudity and more drunkenness than the night before. Over two nights the band played a large portion of its catalog, though “Grand Theft Bus” was nowhere to be seen. Night One was kicked off with a performance from Brandon T. Washington and Andy Lund (visiting from San Diego), who played some of their old Temple of Low Men songs, as well as some excellent cover choices (Peter Gabriel, Squeeze, Jethro Tull). It was great to see them back on stage together.

Local newbies (ha!) Santa played second, followed by elsinore, who chose to do a largely cover-filled set (with songs by Ryan Adams, David Bowie, the Beatles and Pink Floyd – the last featuring Andy Lund on a spectacular guitar solo). Lorenzo Goetz hit the stage shortly before 1 a.m. and played until closing time, finishing the night off with a cover of Beck’s “Sissyneck,” featuring guest appearances from damn near every musician in the bar. The second night featured only elsinore as an opener, giving both bands a little more time to rock. LG played close to two hours with two encores. Guests like Brandon T. Washington, rapper Krukid, Ryan Groff, Joe Funderburk, Nate Jones, Anthony Gravino and more shared the stage with the band off and on all night. It was a very excellent way to end the story of a band that gained much popularity in its years. We’ll see the guys (apart from Jesse, who is now drumming for American Minor) around and in other projects, I’m sure, but it’ll be sad not to see them as a unit. Oh well, at least I got to see Eric Fisher try to stagedive. That may have been one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. But he probably didn’t wake up on his kitchen floor the next morning, so I guess I can’t laugh too hard.

Tonight the scene starts to get back to normal, as Jazz Sandwich hits the Cowboy Monkey stage. The band boasts one of the most talented rosters of any in the area, with members from several other area bands like Temple of Low Men, the Brat Pack and Angie Heaton and the Gentle Tamers. The lineup is: Josh Quirk (drums), Josh Walden (bass), Jesse Brown (keys), Tom Paynter (keys/flute), Jeff Helgesen (trumpet) and will feature guitarist Brian Wilkie for this show. The band plays a wide variety of songs, from jazz standards to rock songs to TV theme songs. For this particular show, though, they’re calling it a jazz odyssey. There will be more free playing and less structure, along with a planned video show. Jazz Sandwich plays from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., and there is a $5 cover charge.

If you’re out early tonight, Ryan Groff (of elsinore) will share the Aroma corner with Them Damn Kids. Like all Aroma CafÇ shows, there is no cover. There is, however, a tip can for the musicians. So, get in there, have some coffee, and enjoy some great music.

Friday night has longtime local favorite Bruiser and the Virtues at Cowboy Monkey for only $5. That’s a bargain for an entire night of great blues covers and originals by an excellent band. But if you’re sitting at the bar, be prepared to pull your drink out of the way, as Bruiser has been known to go wireless and walk on the bar during a solo. Showtime is 10 p.m.

Saturday night there are two great shows at the Iron Post. Early there is a Lynn O’Brien set (7:30 p.m., with a $5 in advance, $7 at the door cover), and later Quadremedy will be playing tons of classic rock covers (10 p.m., $3). Lynn is quickly becoming one of the area’s finest female artists, with a fast-growing fanbase. Quadremedy has been impressing crowds lately with a fine selection of old and new covers.

Cowboy Monkey’s popular Guitar Hero night will be taking a short break from Wednesdays, as DJ LEGTWO (Larry Gates of Lorenzo Goetz) will spin all month. But never fear, as Guitar Hero night will happen this Saturday night at 10:30 p.m., with no cover!

Tuesday night will begin a new rehearsal space tenure at the Canopy Club, this time with 56 Hope Road taking the weekly slot. They’ll play each Tuesday in January, with no cover and cheap drinks (including the $2 Long Island!).

Looking ahead into next week, I’m hosting a show at the Highdive on Friday, Jan. 12 for my birthday. Playing that night will be elsinore, The Wandering Sons, Cameron McGill, Gentleman Auction House, Noah Harris and plenty of special guests. So, if you’re looking for something to do that night, come hang out with us and see a ton of great live music.

Mike Ingram wants to wish his mom a happy birthday. He would also like to apologize for anything stupid that he did on New Year’s Eve. His New Year’s resolution is to get a new picture for his column. He can be reached at

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