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Jay Munly & the Lee Lewis Harlots (Wednesday, December 1st, Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis)
Jay Munly in a photo from the Gothic Theatre on 8/2/04 from the Slim Cessna's Auto Club website - Photo credit Michael Graetz

By Karla Ludzack

With a rare solo appearance in the Twin Cities, Jay Munly of Slim Cessna's Auto Club was a show not to be missed. Munly is touring with The Lee Lewis Harlots in support of his latest solo effort, Munly & The Lee Lewis Harlots. The band consists of two female violinists, who also provide backing vocals; a cellist; an upright bass player; a drummer; and Munly, mostly playing acoustic.

The vibe of Munly show is a little different than that of the Auto Club, but the songs about religion, sex, death, and murder are similar. The crowd reaction is also akin to the whooping, hollering, and dancing that accompany an Auto Club show.

The difference lies with the band. The strings make the sound a little softer, and this makes Munly's screams and yodels even darker and more cataclysmic. The Lee Lewis Harlots vocals also provide a nice touch and are a welcome change to the sound.

Attending a Munly show is a little bit like going to church. Even now as I recall the show, I can hear the fire and brimstone preachers from my childhood resounding in my ears.

As I watched him perform, I wondered what Munly himself thought about the crowd. There was a running joke throughout the show about a young redhead dancing with an older man she claimed as her uncle. The crowd seemed mesmerized for part of the show, but eventually became more interested in having their own fun. A typical crowd for Lee's, and not the most respectful folks I've ever attended a concert with.

I don't know if Munly is destined for a wider audience. He certainly is talented enough, but I get the impression that he makes music for himself alone. Perhaps that's how he exorcises those demons that seem to plague his haggard frame and dark-ringed eyes.

Openers for the show were The Infernal and The Knotwells.

Karla Ludzak is

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