Minus 5/Young Fresh Fellows frontman Scott McCaughey has been blurring the distinction between his two bands for a while, to the point where many of the songs on either group’s LPs would be appropriate for the other. Both return this week with new efforts: the Minus 5’s Killingsworth and the Fellows’ I Think This Is. The tunes are more divergent, with Killingsworth featuring a heavy alt-country vibe and I Think This Is being a typically funny garage-pop workout. When he’s not fronting his own combos, McCaughey is a sideman for R.E.M. and Robyn Hitchcock, the latter of whom produced I Think This Is. McCaughey is guest-editing magnetmagazine.com this week. Read our Q&A with him.
McCaughey: I’ve had the pleasure this year of crossing paths on three occasions with the magnificent Ian McLagan, and it would be difficult to imagine a finer entertainer and gentleman. “Mac,” of course, has an incredible history, from the Small Faces to the Faces to touring with the Stones and then Billy Bragg in more recent years. You can read about it all in the most lively and enjoyable prose in Ian’s All The Rage autobiography. But having just seen Ian McLagan & The Bump Band live a couple times, that’s what I’ll be raving about here. It’s incredible to think that anybody can waltz into the Lucky Lounge in Austin, Texas, during happy hour on most Thursdays (no cover!) and catch the Legendary One and his amazing combo knocking out two rocking sets of Faces, Mac originals and a generous splash of Ronnie Lane tunes to help keep the fallen Face ever in our hearts. And what a band: Scrappy Jud Newcomb on guitar, Don Harvey on drums and Mark Andes (now Ronnie Johnson) on bass, with Mac working his magic on piano and the big ol’ Hammond organ. It’s a bit like seeing the Faces, with a heavy dose of NRBQ mixed in, in your living room. The Bump Band passed through Portland recently, playing the White Eagle Saloon, which must hold all of 80 people. Another amazing show, on a stage about eight inches high. Don’t miss your chance to catch Ian live, wherever it may be, and seek out the beautiful Never Say Never Again, the most recent addition to the overlooked and vastly underrated Ian McLagan & The Bump Band catalog. Mac is the man—send him over a pint of Guinness after the show! Video for Ian’s recent appearance on Letterman with Patty Griffin after the jump.