When blessed with a cool, unique name, being creative is almost a requirement. Musician-performance artist J Mantooth obviously got that memo. Whether he's dressed like he raided Little Orphan Annie's closet, is about to run a nude marathon or auditioning for Mob Wives, the vocalist and frontman for eponymous local rock band Mantooth, is entertainment personified.
Mantooth performances are a crazy, fun experience, something not easily translated to vinyl or plastic—but the band's latest release, Everybody's Ashtray (Missing Beats Record Co., Dec. 2016) comes close. J Mantooth, guitarist-songwriter Douglas Taylor, bassist Bob Taylor and drummer Jay Jeargan Angst deliver a passel of raw psychedelic rock reminiscent of Screamin' Jay Hawkins (with fewer theatrics).
Live or recorded, Mantooth is worth checking out. Do both: Visit facebook.com/toothman46 for more on Everybody's Ashtray, and see Sea's Apprentice, Mantooth and Sleepy Seahorse open for Brett Netson on Saturday, Feb. 4, 8 p.m. at Navajo Room, 4900 Emerald St. (admission TBA).
If you're looking for less bombastic ear nourishment, you may be happy to learn another member of the Interesting Name Club, singer-songwriter-guitarist Livingston Taylor, is performing Friday, Feb. 3 and Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Sapphire Room. Taylor, who wrote "I Can Dream of You" and "Boatman"—which brother James Taylor recorded—has a long and storied career, touring with the likes of Jethro Tull and Jimmy Buffett, and currently performing around 80 shows per year. Tickets to see Taylor at the Sapphire Room are $48-$42, and shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Visit sapphireboise.com for more info.
In places-with-neat-names news, MING Studios is hosting Storyfort and Death Rattle Writers Festival Present: Fiction and Poetry on Wednesday, Feb. 1. It's an evening of readings by a handful of accomplished writers—with, coincidentally, some of the coolest names out there, like Christian Winn and Josh Bootonore. Visit mingstudios.org for more.