|New Town Drunks|
I first saw Frank Turner three years ago in Austin and have continued to be a big fan, including hosting the launch of his 2010 North American tour in my living room. The British singer/songwriter played a solo acoustic show at Latitude 30 on Tuesday night and opened with "I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous," "Try This At Home" and "Peggy Sang the Blues" before doing a couple of new tunes. One was about getting tattoos, and Turner got a pretty bad tattoo in Austin before, and the other was called "Time Machine."
Turner returned to more familiar territory with "Substitute," "Wessex Boy" and "Me and My Friend Dan" before covering Tom Petty's "American Girl." It hurt to tear myself away from the club after "I Still Believe" and "The Road," but I've seen Turner quite a bit over the past three years and have been waiting to see Joe "King" Carrasco and The Crowns for 30 years.
|Joe "King" Carrasco and The Crowns|
I finally got my chance at Skinny's Ballroom, a relatively small room that wasn't even full. That was a major injustice. Carrasco's nuevo wavo mixes new wave, rock and roll and conjunto and is a total blast. Carrasco lives and plays regularly in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and told me that a lot of his neighbours are from Ontario, but I don't think he's performed in Toronto since I moved there in 1988. Carrasco's early albums were big favourites of mine and he pulled out some classics like "Let's Get Pretty" early on.
|Joe "King" Carrasco|
But the band has a new album to push, and title track "Que Wow" just became my favourite song written by a guy stricken with typhoid in Mexico. Carrasco said he was friends with both Manu Chao and ? and the Mysterians' Bobby Balderrama, which gave him even more credibility points along with his cover of "96 Tears." I don't know Spanish, but I sang along to every word of "Buena." Carrasco changed crowns mid-set and came into the audience a couple of times, including climbing on top of a table beside me at the bar, and ended the 80-minute set with an extended "Don't Bug Me Baby." He wanted to do an encore, and we were all ready for it too, but the club unfortunately nixed that.
I talked to Carrasco after the show and traded business cards, so hopefully that planted enough of a bug to get him up to Toronto. In the meantime, folks in Austin can see the man and his band at the Austin Music Awards tonight and at The Dog and Duck Pub on Friday at 4 p.m.