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John Wesley Coleman - Mad Planet - Milwaukee

John Wesley Coleman came to Milwaukee on a chilly Tuesday night, to the Mad Planet.  With a band he dubbed “the Blazing Saddles”; he kicked off the show with “Bad Lady Goes to Jail” from the album (Goner Records) of the same name.  It set the tone for the evening with its bluesy 60’s garage rock sound; a little loose but always aware of its origins.  “Little Miss Keith Richards” started with a Violent Femmes intro, homage to the hometown crowd and turned into a great 70’s country rock song reminiscent of the Byrds.  And there it was, John Wesley Coleman, a little country, a little R&B, a little psychedelic, a little Roky Erickson.  This was a true melting pot of American rock and roll.  “Can’t Stop Dreaming” from the  Bad Lady Goes to Jail album started off as pure honky tonk country and turned into a Hank Williams meets Little Richard stomper.  From the same album, “Ooh Basketball” went from 60’s power pop to a noisy distortion filled funky organ jam.  Ending with “Money in my Pocket”, introduced as a brand new song, was a garage rock and roll frenzy, which completely fell apart towards the end of the song.  Hell, the drummer even fell off her chair.  One more song to officially close the show, a nice pop number to bring it all together.  While this may have seemed nice and rational there was something else going on under the surface, something ominous.  It’s as if he is saying “Screw you Wayne Coyne, stay off my yard”.  Or maybe not.