What in the hell is a Psychic Rodeo?
Jesse Lent, bassist-producer of CSC Funk Band (the first live group ever signed to legendary hip-hop label Fat Beats) and frontman of The Monte Vista, is inviting all worthy spirits, both living and dead, to mount the stage at Hank’s Saloon this summer in hopes of creating an experience like no other.
Starting June 30, Lent’s Psychic Rodeo residency, will be held on the last Thursday of every month, starting at 8 p.m. Expect performers of all disciplines at their most untethered and arresting. The musician has even reached out to a couple of psychics in hopes of contacting the spirit of Hank Williams or Walt Whitman onstage, but so far their rates have been too high.
Admission to The Psychic Rodeo is free, a decision Lent hopes will encourage a freewheeling feeling.
“I wanted to create a recurring night where musicians I know feel comfortable dropping in for a song or two and where the audience feels like anything can happen, because it can,” Lent said.
To help kick off the Rodeo, fellow CSC Funk Band member Colin Langenus, who fronted the legendary experimental rock outfit The USA Is A Monster, will join Lent on June 30. A prolific solo artist, Langenus has released several albums for Northern Spy Records under the moniker Colin L Orchestra since USA Is A Monster’s 2009 breakup, with Lent contributing bass to a large portion of the material.
So, in light of the pair’s musical past, does that mean Langenus and Lent will be sharing the stage as well?
“Of course,” Lent said. “That’s the whole idea, to showcase a huge circle of tremendously talented musicians who aren’t getting nearly the attention they deserve. The longer this residency goes, the more we can share from our little corner of the world.”
As the owner of his own small local record label Love Sick Records (based just a few blocks from Hank’s) the songwriter-producer also hopes to make the Psychic Rodeo a place where he can feature his various musical projects, unveil a new wealth of material for a forthcoming solo album and feature more acts he is producing or performing with.
Each month the Monte Vista’s singer and guitar player plans to feature one other artist who will open the night. Lent will then perform either solo or with a group, followed by some collaboration between him, the opener and any other spirits on hand.
Where did he get such a crazy idea?
“Not too long ago, residencies were a lot more common in the city,” he said. “They were always my favorite nights, something to look forward to each month. I hope that I can turn the last Thursday of the month into that sort of thing. But I also want this to feel like something different, a little loose, hopefully something a bit riskier than having the same bands perform the same sets they do every time out.”