Sunday, November 25, 2007

The von Jackson family non-singers.

If you haven't heard my kids' post-rock instrumental band, do yourself a favor and discover Brainbow!

Our family's rock-and-roll fantasy began when Joey received his first guitar, a Mattel Jaminator, in 1988. This precursor to Guitar Hero played amazing heavy metal leads. ( Just add attitude and imagination.)

Steve (Dad) had played keyboards in The Aces Wild, a favorite combo at University of Virginia frat parties other east coast venues during the 1960s. The lead guitarist in Steve's band was John Andrews, who later became semi-famous in Tracy Nelson's band, Mother Earth. So in spite of my history as a marching band clarinetist, our boys have rock and roll in their blood.

Their first actual band was the Knuckleheads, who played in our basement when the kids were in kindergarten, first, and second grades. We recently found one of the "basement tapes" and were reminded that the music consisted of random and anarchic notes and drumbeats, punctuated with people saying "poo-poo" and "butt."

Then the kids started getting lessons, and the music became more serious. Valium was formed in middle school, and they actually had a few paying gigs at local coffeehouses. Valium evolved into Jekas, cycling through a series of lead singers with ego issues. After dealing with temperamental behavior from the guys who actually had no musical talent (these were screaming thrash metal bands), Brainbow emerged as an instrumental only, all-original niche band.

So give it a listen and see what you think. The music's signature quality is its joyful energy and precise musicianship. All four guys participate in the songwriting, and they rehearse in a rented storage locker so as not
to disturb the peace in their respective neighborhoods.

You can catch them at Kansas City and Lawrence, Kansas, clubs including The Bottleneck, Jerry's Bait Shop, The Brick, The Mission Theatre, The Hurricane, The Record Bar, Mike's, and The Gaslight. See you there!

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