Amateur Lovers Succeed With Music Of Sexual Embarrassment
In case their band name doesn’t make it clear, the Amateur Lovers are no Don Juans.
But they sure do know how to craft a pop tune.
These three guys from Seattle - one of whom grew up in Spokane - have taken all of sexuality’s most awkward and embarrassing moments and put them with a catchy keyboard-laden power pop.
There’s a tune about a young boy first realizing he likes girls.
There’s a song about the embarrassing caveman quality of sex.
And then there’s the song “Consolation Prize,” an ode to a certain kind of self-gratification. Pleasure’s easier to supply than demand/so when you’re all alone/do you take matters into your own hand/ or are you in the 10 percent who lie.
‘Cause even though the feeling’s not entirely the same/you know that there’s a consolation prize for losing the love game.
“The paradox between how mostly everybody does it but nobody is willing to admit it, that concept seems so funny to me,” says 24-year-old Sean Boots, the singer/keyboard player who penned the song. “Everybody had a story in high school about how somebody got caught and how they were ruined.”
The tune, with its superb vocals and ‘70s-style melody a la Supertramp, is the first single off the Amateur Lovers’ debut album, “Virgin White Lies.” It was released last month on Stone Gossard’s Loosegroove Records.
Boots, whose parents are a bit embarrassed by their son’s song, grew up in Spokane, starting the piano in first grade. He graduated from Central Valley High School.
After college at Whitman, Boots hooked up in Seattle with singer/guitarist Scott Clampett and bassist Mark Livingston. They’re still looking for a permanent drummer.
The songs from their new album have actually been recorded for a year. Formerly called the Young Lovers, the band had to hold off putting out their CD - and had to change their name - after a go-around with a band in Massachusetts called Younglove.
With the album finally out and getting airplay on college radio stations, the group is drawing comparisons to the Ben Folds Five. Indeed, the band does have similar upbeat tunefulness and cool keyboard work, although the Lovers hadn’t even heard of Ben Folds until in the midst of recording.
“The album sort of describes the entire process of growing up, not necessarily just when you’re a kid but the whole process of up to where we’re at right now,” Boots says.
“Rubik’s Cube” is a jaunty outing about the fear of success. “The Day You Went Down,” a sweet-yet-melancholy tune set to acoustic guitar, talks about life-altering moments.
After touring the states this summer, the Lovers will head to Australia where Sony is releasing their record and planning to shoot a video for “Consolation Prize.”
Catch them in the act first at Outback Jack’s tonight when they open for The Goods and Pavlov Jones. Look for the first full-length album from Pavlov Jones soon.
Show starts at 9:30. Cover is $4.
The Lake City blues
Coeur d’Alene is the place to be this weekend for a dose of sizzling summer blues.
The Duffy Bishop Band brings their scorching act to the outdoor Tubs Blues Garden on Saturday. This Seattle combo is fronted by spitfire performer Duffy Bishop, who in March was named Entertainer of the Year and Best Female Vocalist by the Washington Blues Society.
On her latest album, “Back to the Bone,” smoke absolutely drips from Bishop’s vocals. The recording was awarded Best Blues Album.
Show starts at 4 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10. Catch Too Slim and the Tail Draggers at Tubs tonight. Show starts at 5:30 p.m. Cover is $5.
Also on tap is bluesman Hans Olson. He appears at Mad Daddy’s Blues Club at 9 tonight and at Moon Time Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
A jazzman’s life
Alex Bedini has found his fountain of youth.
It is his guitar and the music he loves - jazz.
“When I play, I play with soul,” says the 74-year-old Coeur d’Alene man who lies at the core of the Inland Northwest’s jazz scene. “It’s in my heart. That’s what keeps me young.” It was nearly six decades ago when Bedini first picked up a guitar as a boy growing up in Rochester, N.Y.
Over the years - and despite the interruption of service in World War II - he played with some of the jazz greats - Joe Pass, Charlie Parker and Stan Kenton.
In the 1970s he moved to Coeur d’Alene and opened Papino’s Italian restaurant. He quickly became a central figure in the area’s jazz scene.
Today, he still grips the instrument with a loving ferocity. His fingers move spryly, as he wrings a torrent of jazz-soaked notes from his fretboard.
“I’m getting better - like wine,” he quips with a smile.
Bedini performs tonight at Hobarts Jazz Lounge with the Dick Hubbard Quartet. Show starts at 9 p.m. Cover is $4. He also appears Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. in Coeur d’Alene City Park and at The Ridpath, Aug. 7-9.
Lots of punks
Spokane punk rockers The Fumes, are back at Ichabod’s North tonight.
The foursome has had a busy spring and summer. Aside from touring and playing the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, they’ve been working on their first album to be released on Scooch Pooch Records.
After getting signed to the label in January, making this album has been a nice change from previous efforts.
“We can afford to spend more time and not have to worry about saving our own money to record the album,” says bassist Robert Heyenrath.
The album is due out in October or November. Boycott and Jetpack open the show tonight. Cover is $4.
For round two, check out Portland’s Bomf at Ichabod’s on Saturday. They come bearing a new cassette full of their full-tilt songs.
The tape - titled something I’m unable to print in this family newspaper - contains 11 tunes. Those, plus a half dozen more, will eventually land on a CD, singer/guitarist Scott Kellogg says.
Kellogg - previously of the defunct Spokane band Mother Load - joined the raucous rockers of Bomf about a year ago. Has that changed the group’s sound much?
“The songs are a little longer and a little poppier because that’s my nature. I’m into writing really catchy songs,” Kellogg says.
Burns Like Hellfire, the Spokane country punkers formerly named Chattanooga, have made some nice headway with their feisty cowpoke sound. They and the Leeches open. Show starts at 9:30 p.m. Cover is $4.
News and stuff to do
The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies swing into the all-ages club, Area 51, tonight. This Eugene, Ore., seven-piece is one of the coolest acts in the Northwest, whipping out a ska-swing-rock-punk fury wrapped in rabid horns and so addictably danceable you’ll go home with aching bones.
Show starts at 9 p.m. Cover is $8. Area 51 is located at 117 E. Boone.
California roots rockers, the Mother Hips, play a free show at The Bayou Brewery on Thursday. With warm vocals and easygoing guitars, they casually trip from country twang to Brit-esque harmonies, to sunny beach vibe. Show starts at 9 p.m.
Look for big changes at The Mars’ Ugly Rumors Lounge next month.
After Aug. 17, live music will be eliminated for the most part. The lounge will close for a few days of remodeling and will reopen Aug. 20 as an expanded casino operation, says Mars president Rob Saucier.
The four gaming tables currently in the lounge will be increased to 10. Pull-tab machines also will be added.
Until mid-August, however, live music will continue. No Regrets performs tonight and Saturday. Guitarist Michael Powers - a jazz artist known for his splendid dips into the blues and funk - will play Wednesday through next Saturday.
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