Wise Monkeys Ace Vegas Back to Back
report filed 8/22/99

It's been a couple of weeks since the monkey and I last swung through the rhythm jungle together.... this weekend's double dose was just what the rock and roll doctor ordered. Since the Colorado tour, WMO has been gigging around southern Cal, and this Friday/Saturday run at Legends in Vegas is about as far as the band'll be from home for a couple of weeks...

Equal to the challenge of back to back shows, WMO successfully navigated a "no repeat" weekend, continuing to mix up their seemingly never ending cache of rarely played oldies and killer new stuff. Some of the brand spanking newbies WMO has pumped out recently include: "Take a Moment," "My Brand New One," "Horizons," "Blink of an Eye," and "People on my Lawn." Look for some, if not all of these tunes, on a new studio album scheduled to be recorded by the end of this year with a tentative release sometime in the Spring.

Speaking of recording, longtime WMO friend and production guru, "Big Board" Bob came along for the weekend trip to the neon city. So did that taping madman, Nick from Tapetree.com. Taking the opportunity to actually catch the monkey two nights in a row at the same club, particularly a room with the warm acoustics of Legends, Bob brought all kinds of multi-track gear to record the shows... the guy had a ton of stuff. In fact there was no room inside for all of his equipment, so Bob set up in the alley behind the bar.

Don't get the wrong idea though , the vibe in the neatly secured back area is one of Legend's most endearing amenities... many a set break and after show chill have been logged into the tie-dyed blotter from underneath the stars, in what some regulars refer to as the "party patio." Last night, we were treated to a fantastic lightning show to the north and east!

Nick on the other hand mounted his mic's right in the sweet spot, mid room/center stage. Reports are that the tapes did in fact came out swweeet! Several other tapers were in the room as well, including RJ, the prolific and unofficial Legends archivist.

Las Vegas art-popsters, "Penelope's Pet Dragonfly," opened Friday night, and on Saturday, "Tunji," a very interesting groove machine out of Austin kicked things off. Never one to turn down an opportunity to jam, AG joined Tunji for most of their edgy, polytextured, explorations of horn driven Afro-funk-fusion. Later in the evening, Tunji's saxman returned the favor and sat in with the monkey for a little alto-maximus!

This was my first time experiencing Tunji... they rocked!

Give these guys a shot and catch their traveling show if you can - tell 'em mrlee sent ya...