The Cocker Spaniels Live At Noni’s Bar And Deli in Atlanta

The Cocker Spaniels
Live at Noni’s Bar and Deli
13 November 2010

Sean Padilla, AKA The Cocker Spaniels, is a musical powerhouse, causing comparisons to Raymond Scott who finally eschewed band members when they couldn’t satisfy Scott’s heightened sense of spontaneity and musical perfectionism.  Padilla declares on his web site that he will take on a live band when he finds one worthy of his expectations.  Once that happens, the dynamic of his live performances will certainly change.  But a band won’t change the endless supply of energy that he brings.  In some ways, the size of the audience doesn’t matter because Padilla gives everything to each performance, to every composition.  Sean Padilla is an optimist.

Padilla books his own shows, lining up the venues and the additional bands for each bill.  This time around he crisscrossed across more that nineteen states and D.C.  If you understand exactly what it takes to book a tour and make it happen, the only proper response is an expletive of feigned disbelief that he does this all himself.  He’s one of the most ambitious people I know.  That brought him to Atlanta last Saturday.  The show was to have happened at a club that triple booked, so being the consummate professional that he is, he didn’t dwell on what-ifs and scrambled to find an afternoon and evening venue.

Padilla opened his set with “The Only Black Guy @ The Indie-Rock Show,” a consistent crowd favorite.  From here, he lurched into several songs that he has fine-tuned throughout previous shows.  That fine-tuning finally paid off with the eighteen tracks of

His colourful compositions are all based on very personal experiences as he explained from the stage when he introduced each song and it’s unique history in his life.  And like every other Cocker Spaniels’ show, this was an interactive event.  When he wasn’t tied to his guitar, he lurched from the stage and made this one of the most personal concerts ever witnessed, running, sliding, kneeling, crooning ,and emoting to several audience members and even opening the door to serenade the passers-by outside.

Padilla never tires, singing of the “Overeducated Underclass”, which most of us can relate to.  In spite of the reality that creeps into such a statement, I can’t really see him anywhere but on stage and in a studio.  Any other vision is incongruous.

It doesn’t seem so long ago that I met Sean Padilla at Emo’s Austin, Austin’s premiere Indie Rock Club, and the quintessential venue to be introduced to Padilla whose influences range from early 90’s Hip Hop and Guided By Voices to Jimi Hendrix and Prince.  It was January 2005 at the What Made Milwaukee Famous show and he was at the front of the stage with his camera and he handed me his first CD release, Withstand The Whatnot. He’s been a friend, and I’ve been a fan ever since.

26 July 2011


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