The Show: Wednesday, November 5, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Mark Growden

By Ken Shimamoto

San Francisco musician Mark Growden says that the Wreck Room is his favorite place in the country to play, and who can blame him? Part singer-songwriter, part bluesman, part avant-gardist, he’s an avatar of bohemian weirdness on a par with Tom Waits or Joe Henry and sings like Eddie Vedder on belladonna, so of course he fits in well with the Wreck’s funky/sleazy/artsy ambiance. His music is consistently filled with surprises. Back in February, at a show that was documented by local filmmaker Phil Fagan, Growden made music by singing through his banjo, dropping and slapping his lap steel, and playing a small accordion that looked like one of those portfolio-organizer things.

On his new c.d., Live at the Odeon, he covers the hoary chestnut “Gallow’s Tree” (done up as Led Zeppelin never dared imagine it), the Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me” (reimagined as blues), Tim Buckley’s “Song to the Siren,” and Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” (which in Growden’s hands becomes a sexually ambiguous vocal tour de force). Other highlights of the disc include the warped tango “Fuck Boy,” a favorite during his last Wreck Room visit (when Growden introduced it as an ode to his second grade teacher), and “Fatalistic Hoedown,” which he claims was a favorite when he “used to play with the Joy Group, Monday nights at the Catholic church.”

This Wednesday night, he’ll be trading off sets with Woodeye frontman Carey Wolff. Last time Growden was in town, he joined Woodeye onstage, playing baritone sax on “Motel Room” and R.E.M.’s “Country Feedback.”

Will this be an occasion for a Wolff-Growden collaboration? Film, as they say, at 11.

Wed at the Wreck Room, 3208 W 7th St, FW. 817-348-8303.


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