Modest Mouseketeer

Justin/Britney/Christina contemporary plays real music for real people, for no money

So you’re a musician, the commercially nonviable kind. You have friends in high places who could grease palms and open doors if you wanted, but enlisting their support damns you to suckdom-by-affiliation.

New Mickey Mouse Club alum Tony Lucca made his choice, as his promo materials blithely pass over the whole MMC experience. If he’s trying to cover it up, come on, Tony, get real. Style deduction for making us get all Watergate, but bonus points for keeping the faith in obscurity while your early ’90s MMC contemporaries Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake sock away their ill-gotten gains.

Whatever meager booty Lucca’s got stashed is well-earned, ’cause his funky, bluesy pop/folk is for real. It’s also damned good, and has earned him cult-fave status in his home base of L.A. and primo placement for his fine cover of Daniel Johnston’s “Devil Town” on the first-season finale of Friday Night Lights, TV’s latest pop-culture hatching ground.

Fri., Sept. 19, 8 p.m., 2008
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TJ MacKay
TJ MacKay

I was introduced to this artist almost by mistake. He opened for Sarah Bareilles at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston (bought tickets for my kids) and not only blew the room away, but turned out to be a really nice guy. I never expected to come away from that evening with anything other than pleasant memories of time well spent with the kids, but was hooked before Ms. Bareilles ever took the stage. I picked up three of his CD's at the show and added the remaining collection over the next several weeks. The "Live in Hollywood" album has become one of my favorites and contains a few tracks that are simply brilliant. I have no idea how this artist has flown below the radar for so long, especially given his background and quality of performance. Attended a second show recently in Phoenix at the Modified Arts venue and was equally impressed.

If you are a fan of music in general, catch this guy at your earliest opportunity. If you are a fan of acoustic music, this is a "can't miss performance" and you have to pick up the "Close Enough EP" and the "Live in Hollywood" album.

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