Before I get started, I pulled the winner for the Go Sailor 7" this morning! Child of the Sea, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address so I can send it to you!
Saturday night was a benefit show at the Beachland Tavern for the (recently renamed) North Collinwood Alley Cat Project. Prisoners played along with local band Rainy Day Saints and touring band The Kyle Sowashes (who won my heart when they covered "The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory" by Guided By Voices.) It was a great night & I'd love to write a lot about everyone, but for the sake of brevity, I'm just going to focus on Prisoners.
Full disclosure: when Drew first started playing with Prisoners, I wasn't exactly wowed. I had seen them once before (at the Blue Arrow for the 7" release show) and left feeling sort of whateverish and then they kind of fell off my radar. I remember thinking that they sounded a lot like The Replacements and also like I wanted to just go home and listen to Gaze or something.
I am a first impressions kind of person -- I have a lot of knee jerk reactions and am regularly declaring that I "hate" things (as in, "I hate the Lost finale," "I hate the song 'Perfect Day,'" "I hate everyone all the time" (ok, that's not something I said, but Kate said it while we were eating lunch today and I could totally identify) etc.) I almost never revise these initial reactions. I mean, I've honestly been sitting here for the last three or four minutes trying to think of a time I've changed my mind about not liking something and I can't think of an example.
But, I'm starting to change my mind about Prisoners. When Drew started playing with them, he had a CD-R of the album and a live bootleg that he would listen to in the car while trying to learn his parts. I was not into this. I still remember getting in the car to go copy zines before the Chicago Zine Fest and groaning when I realized that he had left a Prisoners CD in the CD player. It was frustrating to have my regular regimen of car songs (Bee Thousand, Exile in Guyville, and Strumpet interrupted.) But I left it in and on the way back, one of the songs caught my ear and I actually got a little mad at myself for liking it because I am not into retracting my opinions and having Drew give his patented "Drew's always right" speech (FYI: "Drew's always right is pretty much the full text of this speech.)
Anyway, last night was a tipping point for me, in the kind of way where I am going to have to listen to Drew tell me that he's always right, because Prisoners played an amazing set at the Beachland Tavern and I had to listen to like a zillion people talk about how great they were and accept that they were right. It was an awesome set. I've seen them a couple of times since Drew starting playing with them and they get better every time, but last night was definitely a marked improvement from the last time I had seen them & I'm actually (get this!) really looking forward to the next time I get to see them (which will probably be on June 7th with The Jacuzzi Boys, since I'll be out of town for their show on the 28th.)
Their full-length LP is due out on June 19th (there's going to be an album release show at the Blue Arrow), but you can already buy copies from Blue Arrow Records or direct from the band at shows. They've got upcoming shows at the Beachland Tavern and Now That's Class and there's a midwest tour in the works, too. You can see tour dates and sample songs on their MySpace.