1) Does time really exist?

2) Is poetry dead and did the Koch Brothers kill it?

3) How important was the moon in humanity's spiritual evolution?

4) Is this new animal therapy for depressed gorillas morally right?

5) Why are the Spikedrivers not a national phenomenon?

  OK, so I don't go see them for a couple of years (the Spikedrivers, not the Koch Brothers whose calls I refuse to take anymore because I took a ten grand grant on a pigeon research scam I ran on 'em concerning the Jim Rhodes statue on the Statehouse lawn. Don't ask about the details, suffice it to say they've relegated me to the dead debts section of their political funds portfolio though I told 'em to sell my debt to the city of Detroit--more later).
  Which was a good idea--time away from the living entity of which you are enamored. Return a time later and you can see how they've evolved, aged, matured; or devolved, decayed or gathered the moss of immaturity and contempt from too much familiarity from being in the same places with the same faces.
  Lo! Absence has indeed made this Spikedriving heart grow fonder. No downward spiral they. Quite the contrary and straight to yet another possibility: are the Spikedrivers better than ever?
  Not only were they a funny treat for sore eyes in their Halloween get-ups at Woodlands on All Hallows Eve, they were so good and so on I found myself once again shaking my head in loving disbelief and wondering as several years before--now tell me why is it these guys aren't huge?
  There he was, the main driver of spikes, Jesse Henry, dressed as a late-middle-aged lady sagging in all the right places. Heavy with drooping boob drag, a shifting gut and a derriere to put the Kardashian blimp to shame, our massively encumbered Henry all the same was nimbly and niftily workin' his colossal fake butt off strummin', singin', dancin' and sweatin', really really putting himself into it. An experience to whisk you away indeed because our big-boned Henry is one helluva rail-splitter live. When he gets intoxicated by his and the band's performance and the enthusiasm of the crowd, he really goes. Boy, can he sing and has a real knack and love for excessively wordy lyrics. Seriously, Henry can spew and spit like an Appalachian Eminem--Jay-Z and Nas are lucky he's a white boy who got chosen by Americana instead of suburban hip-hop as his musical style of expression. So good with so many words, I wonder if he can act?
  Rolling through a set that was heavy with party humor including Young MC's "Bust A Move" and AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds" and Spikedrivers originals like "My Condition" from their new album plus a really mellow original that nicely arrested the night's frolic and then gently released it back into the wild with a fantastic guitar-driven folk-rock electric guitar workout between John Boerstler and Steve Sweney with assist from Megan Palmer on fiddle.
  Ah, yes, Miss Palmer, Henry's foil and fellow-front-person. Dressed like a pirate of the Caribbean replete with eye-patch and sword, Palmer added vocal harmonies, the occasional lead and plenty of lucidly piercing, rocking fiddle more than plenty capable of soaring with the guitar players. She really adds a lot being up there. She adds a dimension of presence I don't think another band in town can boast of having. Plus she looked cute as hell as a lady pirate.
  And thus it was: a fine front man, his fine woman musical partner riding shotgun, two killer-diller guitarists each with his own articulate lead style and a rhythm section with Steven Fox on stand-up electric bass and Nate Anders on drums, both of them absolutely knowing their place in the process supplying deep roving bottom and steady timekeeping and accents, respectively. They shadow the flow of their front four like an understanding mirror, always making them look good thanks to a feel that keeps the crowd either dancing or entranced.
  The Spikedrivers at Woodlands on Halloween: entertaining as hell, high-spirited as all get-out, as good or better than any other Americana band on NPR's playlist. Can't answer the question why they aren't on late-night TV talk shows rockin' America. Can't tell you why they're our best-kept secret. Can tell you on a good night they are gol-dang good and on a great night...well, too much fun and much too good to share with everyone.
  He was the hardest workin' cross-dresser in Columbus Halloween night, Honestly, ol' Jess has got enormous performance skills. And you could tell he was having a great time. But dig, yo, he was working his tail off. Awesome!

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