Picking Gentleman Jesse and Dan Melchior over X was a better idea than one might assume, as both expert songsmiths and their bands performed Saturday at Eyedrum to celebrate the closing of Melchior's art exhibit.
Melchior, an artist in every sense of the term, played a short set of his expertly-crafted tunes. The combination of his British accent and the storytelling quality of a couple of his songs was strangely reminiscent of John Cooper Clarke. Of course, Clarke was a beat poet in an era influenced by different drugs than his 1960's counterparts, while Melchior is a jam-band guitarist who writes post-punk influenced lyrics. Even some of the tedious songs with excessive guitar solos were enjoyable enough to show that Melchior, a Durham, NC resident via the UK, is truly a multifaceted artist.
Gentleman Jesse and His Men closed, and they for the most part put on their standard show (dancealong powerpop with Adrian Barrera's wit filling any down time between songs). The good news is the band played at least four or five brand-new songs in addition to the pair of yet-to-be-recorded tunes we already knew and loved. Does this mean a new LP that, like its predecessor, will have to be re-pressed numerous times is around the corner?
Considering this show was $7, which is probably the going price for a domestic beer at Variety Playhouse, it was a bargain when compared to the evening's other option.