jordancook12string.jpg
Todd Hamm
Miniature electric twelve-string: check. Nudedragons shirt: check.
Jordan Cook, Pony Time, The Annunaki

Saturday, December 3

Sunset Tavern

Young Canadian guitar deity Jordan

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Welcome To Town: New Seattleite Jordan Cook Announces His Presence With Authority, Saturday At The Sunset

jordancook12string.jpg
Todd Hamm
Miniature electric twelve-string: check. Nudedragons shirt: check.
Jordan Cook, Pony Time, The Annunaki

Saturday, December 3

Sunset Tavern

Young Canadian guitar deity Jordan Cook appears (according to a trusted source) to have recently taken residence in our fair city, and his first show in town--playing the night cap for Saturday's KEXP Audioasis benefit gig at the Sunset--couldn't have been a better introduction for his new pool of admirers. Wows were generally exhaled as Cook strutted off stage upon completion of his whirling, mainly one-man set like he had just hit a 600-foot home run. The pep in his step was well warranted: the man was lightning in a bottle for about half and hour; ripping through Hendrix-style solos and stomping out tasty blues licks from atop a kick drum, behind the drum set, on top of a stage-monitor, etc.. It was quite the entrance to the scene, and just like the great, young (although fictional) Nuke LaLoosh, he threw us the heater and announced his presence with authority.

If we may first backtrack a few hours to the beginning of the show, I will set the scene. The Levin/Metcalf tag team wrangled another quality, snap-shot of a bill for the Audioasis devotees this month, kicking off with heavy local quartet The Annunaki, then hitting popsters Pony Time before Cook closed things out. The Annunaki was a downtempo metal trip, who offered nasty riff after nasty riff, which of course caught my attention off the bat, but drug on a bit long. There's a statement in repetition--which is the droning basis for the glorious "stoner metal" sub-genre--but, at least live, they relied too heavily on it. Their change-ups were cool, and it would have been nice to hear more.

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Todd Hamm
Pony Time
Marketable duo Pony Time was up next, playing surprisingly rich garage constructs disguised as fun little surf-rock ditties. Singer Luke Beetham worked first a guitar then a snazzy, baby blue fifties-style bass perched fashionably high on his chest. Everything was drenched in reverb, even their witty between song banter, and sounded great. Style, they had plenty, and the chops to back it up.

It was then time for the absurdly talented Canadian headliner, Jordan Cook to take the stage. He fumbled with his dozen or more effect pedals for a few minutes before standing before the audience, wearing a ski cap, tough black pea-coat, skull-stomping boots and a mean fuckin' Elvis sneer. He kept time with a kick drum he had set up center stage, and began putting on what would more accurately be called a display of skills than a formal concert. As previously mentioned, he was all over the stage, driving the crowd into a frenzy, grinding sounds from his guitar with the back of his hand, the ceiling beams, the mic stand. His extended solos were soul-dripping, finger-flailing explosions that he looked like he could have done in his sleep. I heard word in the crowd that both Duff McKagan and Ben Shepherd (who was in attendance) have projected that Cook could find his name atop the "best ever" list of guitarists when his career is all said and done, and it wasn't a stretch to see why.

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Todd Hamm

Where on record, his influences jump out immediately at times (Jet or Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver sound like they could have co-written most of his tracks), his live show morphed his studio tracks into wildly drawn creatures that were bluesy and dangerous. He rocked out a rendition of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" (which, I'm not sure, but might have melted into part of his own song "The Chain" from his new album Seven Deadly Sins which would have been cool considering his version could be an answer to Mac's), and shed his standard-sized guitar for a miniature twelve-string, which he thoroughly dominated just as easily as his first axe. He played the guitar and drums at the same time. After putting on a serious display, he tossed his hat and coat aside and called a couple of smiling local musicians (one being the drummer from The Annunaki) to the stage, and finished the night off with a bang.

Random Thought: there were more people taking pictures at this show that any show I've been to in quite a while. Like, everyone in the joint had a camera or phone out (myself included).

Saturday's Audioasis gig was a benefit for Camp Ten Trees, a worthy organization that you can learn more about here.

 
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