Friday Night: Andrew Karnavas At McGonigel's Mucky Duck

Andrew Karnavas McGonigel's Mucky Duck July 16, 2010

We did not plan on writing a review of Friday night's Andrew Karnavas show at the Mucky Duck, but after sitting in on near two hours of super-solid folksy Americana (and some blues, too) it seemed like it had to be done. Notes from the show:

  • You know what's cool about the Mucky Duck? When you're on The List to see the show, they print up these little cards with your name on them and reserve a table for you right near the front. You can show up two minutes before the set starts and it's no problem at all. It's like Goodfellas, except you don't have to join the Witness Protection at the end.
  • Karnavas is tall and thin and handsome and talented, and has very manly-looking hands. These are all desirable traits, apparently. At one point in the evening, after Karnavas made some innocuous statement like, "Thanks for sticking around, it's a long set," several women made several dirty jokes ("Long is good," and things of that nature). If you can't get laid after taking a girl to a Karnavas show, there just might not be any hope for you.
  • Nick Gaitan was filling in on bass. It's cool when your "fill-in" is widely regarded as one of the best in the city at his position. It's like saying, "Oh, sorry, kids. Your drama teacher couldn't be here, so Leonardi DiCaprio is going to teach class today. I hope that's okay." Plus, Gaitan's sideburns look like they weigh as much as Hyundai Accents, which is always fun.
  • At Karnavas's request, Clory Martin hopped up onstage to do a song or two. She ended up taking a little longer to get herself ready to perform than it probably should have taken. Karnavas looked a bit agitated. We asked him afterwards if he was pissed and he swore he wasn't: "Oh no. I was having fun, just annoyed at myself for handing her the wrong guitar that was all out of tune." Whenever Aftermath gets into an argument with our wife and say something we shouldn't have, we always pull the "Oh, no, I was just playing" move too. Anyway, they performed a song called "Goodbye To You" and looked intensely in sync doing so. Great moment. All of the other women in the room no doubt hated her afterwards.
  • Two words: Marshall West. Five more words: Is a mother-effin' thug. Eleven more words: We mean that to say he is a very good drummer. Fifteen more words: If you have to explain something, there was probably a better way to say it. One more word: Dammit.
  • Lead guitarist Daniel de Luna is a monster all the time, but he's absolutely uncontainable when he's playing anything with a bluesy riff to it. If he felt like lighting his guitar on fire after every solo, it wouldn't be unjustified. And what's more, his niftiness is made even more so by the fact that he relays entirely none of his enthusiasm for the genre with his face. It's bizarre. He's hands are going a mile a minute, the entire place is burning to the floor around him, and his face looks like yours when you're playing the first few levels of BrickBreaker.
  • Karnavas does this thing where he turns and stares at whoever it is in the band that's playing a solo or an important bridge or something. He just stares right at them. It's hard to tell if it's an encouraging LeBron James-ish "Hey, Way To Go, You're Doing A Great Job" stare or a Michael Jordan-ish "Don't You Dare Fuck This Up" stare. Either way, look for it. He'll do it.
  • You know who was probably a jerk? The guy who invented the pedal steel. You literally need every one of your appendages to play that thing. It makes cool as shit noises, but just seems overly difficult. He was probably related to the guy who invented the musket. Or Yahoo! Maps.
  • By the way, Bart Maloney was the one playing the steel pedal at the show. He plays in Umbrella Man, the Steven Reynolds Band, Whiskey River Revival and Los Pistoleros de Texas. He's fly. More importantly though, he looks like an extra from Deuces Wild. Although, if your name is Bart Maloney, you're probably pretty much required to look like that.
  • When Karnavas is playing alone on the stage, just him and his guitar, he sounds like what a big empty field looks like right before it rains. It's completely desolate. When he sings things like, "I've made a stranger out of you, and you don't wanna know me no more, and I don't know what I should do" or about being "too common to remember, too easy to miss," it's like the universe wants to cave in on itself. He's got that "I'm Deep And Mysterious And Introspective And Endlessly Heartbroken, So Why Don't You Take Your Shirt Off" role down to a T.

Personal Bias: Aftermath first saw Karnavas perform in July 2008 at an open-mike at Bar Boheme. We've been following his career ever since.

The Crowd: Mostly white. Karnavas had some family there too. At one point, he acknowledged his sister was in the crowd, made some small talk about how he was going to play a song that he knew she liked and dedicated it to her. Then he started singing about a woman in the shower and how the water dripped off her body or something... not sure how many other people noticed that.

Overheard In the Crowd: Besides the dirty jokes the women were making?

Random Notebook Dump: There was a kid at the show. She couldn't have been more than 5. It was weird.

See Karnavas and his Runaway Sun cohorts online here. Nick Gaitan is here, Bart Maloney is here and Clory Martin is here.

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