Lotta chatter online about a dramatic MySpace post by head Spitter Ben Barnett saying Kind of Like Spitting has broken up. Through around eighty-three albums in the last decade, give or take a flexidisc, the only KOLS constant has been the always compelling Barnett, who claims he'll keep making music, probably. This is like a person breaking himself up. Kind of like a name change/personal crisis.
In any case, maybe a new moniker will do Barnett good, however endearing it's become to the KOLS faithful. I've always liked his output and sometimes loved it like crazy: the combo of a memorable, close-miked voice straining for the high notes, gut-spilling honesty and a punk-folk sensibility was always worth hearing, even when it missed the mark by a mile. Which wasn't too often.
The one time I caught Barnett, at the lil Galaxy Hut in Arlington, VA, he played acoustic and unamplified with frequent collaborator David J, after the rest of the band apparently bailed on the tour. Standing on chairs, they alternated between the Spitting catalog and the tunes of the late great Phil Ochs, who, in the year 2002, I'm ashamed to say I had only a passing knowledge of. The next time I tried to catch 'em, opening for John Vanderslice, Ben apparently bailed on/was booted from the tour the night before it got to me. It's hard out there on the road.
KOLS went on to record a fine tribute record to Ochs. Here's a cut from that record, along with a few more of their tunes. Please buy their records here and here. KOLS is dead, long live KOLS.
MP3: Kind of Like Spitting - Aubergine
MP3: Kind of Like Spitting - When I'm Gone (Phil Ochs)