Living

Holly Golightly talks about making music and life on the road

Editor's note: The Holly Golightly show in Kennewick was canceled. The band was scheduled to play Monday at the Red Room, but their van broke down outside Seattle, band representatives said.

British garage rock queen Holly Golightly hasn't really had a place to call home for years. She put up stakes in Georgia recently, but touring has really made "home is where the van is."

"All my stuff is in a container at sea," Golightly said from her tour van while rolling through the cornfields of Iowa on her way to a show in Minnesota. "About the only thing we've had time to do (at her place in Georgia) is meet our neighbors and ingratiate ourselves with the local businesses. When we're done with our tour, we might have a couple months where we can, you know, plant something."

At this point, I can't help but think to myself and laugh that Golightly's cockney accent sounds much closer to Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady" as opposed to her namesake, the refined upper-crust wannabe Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's." But I digress.

Golightly used to be known more for patterning her songs after golden age British bands like the Animals, sprinkling in garage rock and R&B for a distinctive sound.

Her focus has shifted since. On her current tour, she has teamed up with The Brokeoffs, which basically is the name under which a Texas dude named Lawyer Dave operates. Dave has been touring with Golightly for about 10 years, playing stand-up bass in her four-piece band. Now it's just the two of them, which is the incarnation they were supposed to be bringing to the Red Room in Kennewick on Nov. 24.

They’ve put out two albums now as a duo and concentrate more on making music that reflects Americana and dirty backwater blues.

"It's really something we started for our own entertainment and we haven't stopped since," Golightly said. "I've always (dabbled) in R&B and old blues. This is just more concentrated."

For the uninitiated, Golightly says her shows focus a lot on the duo's newer stuff, but they're also playing some of Golightly's older stuff that they've adapted.

"Dave's drum set is quite a spectacle," Golightly said. "He plays them with his feet. But people may also be surprised that we sound like a full band."

Jeff Dunham

If laughter is the best medicine, Jeff Dunham played the rogue pharmacist at Toyota Center.

The comedian/ventriloquist brought along famed dummies Walter, Achmed the Terrorist, Peanut and even Bubba J for a near sold-out show and an audience that was one of the more electrified I've seen for a rock show let alone a comedy show.

Dunham previewed a hefty portion of his Christmas special that aired Nov. 16 on Comedy Central. One of the more memorable skits employed the dead terrorist Achmed that is nothing more than a skeleton in a turban, err Santa hat this time around. There was a long and seemingly spontaneous skit about the vulnerable Achmed being diagnosed with scoliosis. The joke being that the doctor ordered X-rays on the dummy and the punchline "Why don't you just take a Polaroid?"

Get it? Achmed is a skeleton. But the thing I can’t shake is that the joke seemed like a riff that was never done before. You see, Dunham's opening act was a comedian dubbed Guitar Guy and he was out to help Achmed sing "Jingle Bombs." What ensued seemed entirely genuine. Dunham stopped numerous times because he just couldn't stop laughing as Achmed tore into Guitar Guy's alleged drug use. But as I watched the Christmas special in the following days, the very same act was re-created to perfection. So I'm still not sure whether I feel duped or even more impressed that he could pull it off so convincingly. I’ve been leaning toward the latter.

Dunham even got in a joke about Finley, which drew a hefty round of applause. But nothing got the audience fired up more than Bubba J, a redneck dummy full of one-liners. Dunham, at points, even recoiled in amazement as the audience recited in unison the punchlines before Bubba did. "This is like the Rocky Horror Bubba Show," Dunham said. To which Bubba said, "This is like the church of Bubba J. Let's read from 2nd Bubba 2:19. Today's Communion will be Budweiser and corndogs."

When he said "this is officially the weirdest show I've played," it honestly made me fearful for the redneck pervasiveness in our community. That is, until my editor told me she saw a recent Dunham show in Reno, Nev., where the same thing happened. It's just one seriously beloved character.

Dunham is incredibly gifted in that he gives his characters so much life and converses with them so honestly that you forget they’re not real. I sincerely hope Toyota Center brings more acts like this to town it was an unforgettable show.

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