Radkey / Bloodbirds at the Taproom, 1/31/13


St. Joseph’s Radkey came to the Eighth Street Taproom in Lawrence last night, and a small group of hardy rock fans braved bitterly cold temperatures to catch the trio of young brothers in the bar’s basement. The boys were shooting a music video for “Is He All Right?”, meaning the Taproom’s concert nook was lit better than I’ve ever seen it. In addition to some pro cameras on hand, audience members were encouraged to shoot with camera, phones, or whatever they had. I was really, really hoping to see a Super 8, but no such luck.

As always, the boys turned out a tight set. Their tunes are speeding up a bit, and they’ve been really rocking that whole punk rock vibe as of late. I’m hoping for a raucous performance when they come back to town on Friday, March 1. They’re playing the Replay that night to celebrate the release of their “Spirals” 7-inch on Replay Records.


I’ve been trying to see Bloodbirds, featuring Brooke and Mike Tuley of Ad Astra Per Aspera and Ad Astra Arkestra, ever since they formed over a year ago. Every track I’ve heard from this bunch of psych-punks rocked my socks, and it certainly helps that anything Mike’s been in (Short Bus Kids, Ad Astra … even the Madd Scientists) has been worth catching or hearing.

Really, though, this is a band to not only hear, but watch. Mike moves around, dancing with his guitar to the grooves laid down by bassist Anna, who stands with her back to the audience, except on the rare instances she harmonizes on vocals. It’s drummer Brooke who lays down the most interesting visuals. Her timing is metronomic, but she adjusts instantly to any of the changes presented by her husband Mike. Watching her play is hypnotic.

Their set closer was a cover of Spaceman 3′s “Walking With Jesus” that blew my goddamned mind. It was droning, hypnotic wonderfulness, and when I asked Mike about it afterward, he said they’d only learned it the week previous, and had only planned on playing it if they got drunk enough. I’m certainly glad they did.

Bloodbirds’ Psychic Surgery LP is available from Bandcamp right now, or you can wait until April and pick it up on LP.