Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

There is not much left to tell about PWRFL Power. Myriad articles, interviews, and reviews, about the spoof singer-songwriter creation of Japanese Seattle transplant turned New York denizen Kaz Nomura, from both the local arena and national level, seem to be created at the same rate as his constant stage appearances. This particular Friday night served as his "home-coming" from his recent departure to the other side of the country; however, for me this night was completely about the touring opener.

Indianapolis' Grampall Jookabox is the stage name of David Adamson. Modernizing the one-man band set up, pedals and drum machine are added to the classic guitar on back and drum in front–singular, mind you, not a full kit. Donning flashlights like a extraterrestrial, Adamson began his half hour pounding out a drum beat. The rhythms are tribal in essence, sparse and repetitive but down-to-earth.

The play button was used as the primary instrument for a few songs, including second tune "Lets Go Mad Together", also the second song of his second album Ropechain. The live looped beat churned out like a Native American rain dance, which is appropriately about the same manner of dance our solo performer pulled out as he scatted schizophrenically over the mainly pre-created backing. The closing song was single "The Girl Ain't Preggers", resting completely on the drum machine for everything including back-up vocals. This allowed Grampall Jookabox to get down with the kids, jumping off the stage to prance around the mostly bewildered younger crowd.

However, this was no karaoke hour. The moments showing Adamson as a great performer came during the songs in which he created live looping. Loop pedals as his band members, the drum was laid down, vocals were layered, drum machine was introduced, guitar or bass was blended in, then his singing came on top. Ranging from a sing-talk to a high soul falsetto, the vocals are the charm of Grampall Jookabox, at times comical but surprisingly honest.

The true charm in Grampall Jookabox's performance was in the way he puts himself out there–dancing unabashedly, carrying a big sound by his lonesome–all while wearing a green sports jersey and a bright orange hunting cap, flashlights strapped to each limb.