Monday February 12th, 2001 at The Grand Emporium in Kansas City, MO
Gooding, namelessnumberheadman

Gooding Gooding namelessnumberheadmn namelessnumberheadman [more]

(Note: This is just a quick look at this one as I’m a million years behind on my show accounts.)

An odd Zone Monday that really wasn’t a Zone Monday it seemed. First there were only two bands — which is nice, but not usual. Second the headliner weren’t local. Regional rock night on Zone Monday? Oh well I wasn’t too disturbed because at least there were people in the club.

I’m not sure what time Namelessnumberheadman started their set-up, but it 10:00 by the time it was all configured, mic’d and sound checked. I’m sure this band with their seven keyboards, acoustic guitar, drums, and three vocal mics, always presents interesting problems (or opportunities as we say in my office) to the folks running sound. However, I sensed a bit of clandestine glee and maybe even a twinkle in the eyes of the band members as the sound person ran this way and that looking for DI boxes and additional microphones. That perverse mirth from absurdity grew when she began hunting through the soundboard to find which line might contain a signal for keyboard number three.

When all things were making the right noises, or at least the expected ones, the band launched into a set list very similar to the one they debuted a few weeks back at the El Torreon. I think there may have been one additional song, but mostly, if you saw it before, you saw it again. Luckily the band have just the right balance of stage show and entrancing melodies which make it impossible for this band to get old. Watching Andrew Sallee sing, play keyboards and drum (with a maraca no less) simultaneously is nearly as fun as watching Geddy Lee, and you don’t have any attitude or security to deal with.

Previous accounts detail the bands warm and organic electronic sound, so I’d suggest reading this one to get a picture. As I said above, we’re in a hurry here.

Although you could tell there were a few dozen Gooding fans in the audience, the rest of use had little idea what to expect from the band. I knew they had a hell of a lot of merch including posters, postcards, photos, and I’m pretty sure you could get them autographed for $1.50 each. I wondered if a road manager might accost me later and tell me that I couldn’t take photographs without the band’s permission and a photo pass available at merch headquarters.

Now I’m the indie kid out there that likes wank as if I drove a Camero, but Gooding began by going over the top and then the must have erected some sort of scaffolding because they just keep going up. That Geddy Lee thing I talked about earlier, this is where you’ll find it.

Gooding is first and foremost, just one guy, evidently named Gooding (I guess to better allow for him to speak of himself in the third person). To help him tour, he’s brought along a live bassist (six strings is usually a sign to locate your coat), a drummer and an interesting sort of projection show. Although Gooding claims his music is trip-hop, and it may be so on record, live it was very indulgent funk with strong danceable grooves.

Gooding is an excellent guitarist and in each of his songs he displayed proficiency for another style, discipline or genre. Although his main focus was funk (in just the first song Gooding gave his wah-wah pedal more action than mine has seen in all the years that I have owned it), he also showed he could play the blues, and even presented some jazzy Latin moments in several songs. I imagined Gooding back in his home (which is either Chicago or Wichita — I’ve found conflicting reports), bitterly teaching guitar students on the South-side of town and all along waiting for his big break. After all, he is the best guitarist he knows.

Don’t get me wrong, the guy was passionate and talented, it just all seemed a bit pretentious. So knowing I could either leave half way through his set and catch a bus that would take me within a few blocks of my house, or I could wait, see the full set, and then walk 9 blocks to get home, I picked up the coat I had found on queue earlier, and left.