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Kris Orlowski

Edgy, roots-rock at Jazzbones

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As a music writer, this is probably the last thing I should admit, but what the hell. I’ve always believed in honesty.

Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly cynical or particularly burned out, reading band bios really gets to me. Sometimes I feel like if I have to trudge through one more overly wordy explanation of how a band sounds I might gouge my own eyes out. Describing a band’s sound in writing usually goes one of two ways. It’s either so cliché that the description tells you next to nothing, or it’s worthlessly abstract.

Either way, band bios and sound descriptions usually end up meaning absolutely nothing.

Tonight, Kris Orlowski will play Jazzbones in Tacoma. Being unfamiliar with Orlowski’s act, I found my way to and, naturally, his bio.

“By deftly combining the intensity of a full band with engaging pop-driven melodies, Kris Orlowski has created a sound that is stirring, distinctive, and quintessentially northwestern. Flanked by bassist Jason Stiles and drummer Tim Rummerfield, the band delivers a pulsing, edgy roots-rock sound with strokes of Alternative and Americana sway that tease the ballads and tragedies of tomorrow.”

If someone can tell me what that means, I’ll buy them a drink. If someone can tell me how Orlowski can “tease the ballads and tragedies of tomorrow” I’ll buy them two.

But don’t be deterred by the lack of actual information in Orlowski’s bio. After all, he’s building a following based on his music, not self-promotion skills. Orlowski and his band have talent. There’s no denying it. Far more telling than any witty paragraph offered on, the music speaks for itself. Check out a few mp3s on his Web site, and if you find yourself so inclined, check out Orlowski at Jazzbones. It’ll be “quintessentially northwestern” — whatever the hell that means. — Matt Driscoll

[Jazzbones, with Listen & The Reaching, Thursday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m., all ages, $5, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169]

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