Kirkwood Dellinger at Yucca Tap Room

It'd been almost two years since Kirkwood Dellinger released a record, an 8-song EP called Miniature Stallion. The title of that record is a reference to a man whose unfortunate demise came about as a result a colon punctured while having anal sex with a horse. A great title, to be sure, and one that sets the right tone for the anything-but-serious Tempe band.

Not much has changed about Kirkwood Dellinger's sense of humor, but the band is showing some musical maturity. In fact, it's fair to say the title of their just-released album Gold, is just as appropriate now as the horse-fucking reference was back then.

Gold dropped on Saturday night, celebrated by a show at Yucca Tap Room. It was an ambitious lineup, with six other bands scheduled to perform. While most show bills have rhyme and reason to them, taking into consideration style, genre, and the overlapping fan bases of the bands, this one may have been thought out, but didn't make as much sense on the surface. It seems that the Kirkwood Dellinger crew looked to their friends to be collaborators for the evening. And guess what? It worked. It was actually a bit refreshing to have bands of all different styles playing on one stage. Arty rock, punk rock, and hip-hop peacefully coexisted.

The headlining boys -- fronted by Elmo Kirkwood of Meat Puppets lineage -- debuted songs from their new record, and did a few old favorites as well. Their new material is light, poppy, and danceable, even if their lyrics reference those with huge egos, and fantastical, fictitious, less decipherable places.

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The band is unabashed and unapologetic, and the night was filled with memorable quotes from Elmo. Somehow Paul McCartney came up during the course of the evening, and Kirkwood's quick response was, "If that guy were here right now, I'd let him shit in my mouth."

The night was fun, and the crowd was dancing and smiling throughout the evening.

Kirkwood's final thought? "I want you to know that at the end of all this, the resounding feeling I come away with is that I want you to buy my CD."

That's pure gold.

Critic's Notebook:

This Weekend: Kirkwood Dellinger CD release party at the Yucca Tap Room.

Better Than: Having your colon perforated.

Personal Bias: I totally dug the eclectic lineup, and having heard an advance copy of the album, I was pretty excited to hear the catchy new tunes live.

Random Detail: Cris Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets was in attendance, and toward the end of Kirkwood Dellinger's set, he came up to the front of the stage to take pictures of the band with his cell phone. Gotta love family.

Further Listening: "Ariel Pacific," "Mother's Claw," and "Plants and Animals" off of the new Gold record. Some of the new tracks are available on the band's MySpace page.


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