I stopped by The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) for the show — one I was quite excited about. Dr . Hamburger was providing projected video over the bands. Starting out was The Leaky Boat Blues which was Tim from A Wonderful. He played some great acoustic that I really liked. Next was a nearly minimal version of Baby Shiver's Boutique. I have to make it a point to see these guys more often — their "motley folk" music is enhanced by their singer's crystal clear and ever-so-melancholic voice. Finishing up the night was Autumn In Halifax — just Dave this time accompanied by the electronic-boxes form of the Leaves. His luscious, poetic acoustic rock always cracks open some inner creativity and I'm left longing for the night to never end.
I headed out to [LOCATION REDACTED] to see a show with some bands. Up first was Colonel Parmisan who did some slick looping noise and feedback. Oliver/Reeg was next in a more electronic form (which I guess is called "AC-DC") and they played a sort-of experimental-alternative rock instrumental kind of thing. Next was Autumn In Halifax who are still a strong favorite of mine … the poetic lyrics over equally-interesting electrically-modified acoustic is just the ticket. Finally was out-of-towners Deleted Scenes who also put on a good show with their experimental-alternative rock.
Unfortunately, I can't really talk about where I was because it's a secret. See there's that fairly new law that the City has been using to shut down non-commercial music events — as opposed to out-of-control house parties as it was "intended". As such, the shows are quietly announced through word-of-mouth, and only friends get told where to go.
Later that night, Ali and I headed to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to see the bands. Starting off, Stone Baby did some pretty good ambient noise although I got tired of it before they had finished. Likewise, the last band was Mountains who did also performed some good ambient noise — somewhat different and somewhat more engaging than Stone Baby.
Autumn In Halifax played in the middle. I was impressed when I first heard Dave Merulla's solo presentation, but have grown to love the band with "the Leaves" — a semi-rotating group of backup performers. On this particular night, I made a note that they "uncork my dreams and inspires me to create". The meandering melodies and the ambiguous lyrics lead my mind to a place where I contemplate my dreams, goals, and projects in life. It's really a treat.
I headed out to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) a second time [and a late update to the JayceLand page, in case you wondered if you missed it the first time]. First up was Bird Show which consisted of one guy playing synth-sourced, digitally-altered, experimental, anti-melodic, anti-tempo music. It was a lot like interesting ambient — only not mellow. Next was Sun Circle who did a trippy meditative set — in one song, for instance, they harmonized reed instruments with a rolling synth tone and burned incense; it was actually a lot better than you might expect.
Finishing up was Autumn In Halifax — joined by "leaves" Joe Tunis and R. Scott Oliver. Although I loved Dave's solo work when he first started playing as Halifax, I've come to really enjoy the new line-up, especially now that it's more mature. The lush poetry of Dave's lyrics works just as well now as it did before, only now it's set against a more traditional three-piece band.
I got to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) a bit early just in case but things got started later than usual. I chatted a bit with Dave Merulla of Autumn In Halifax who was interested in what I'd think of the show tonight. Despite my description last week, Dave would be playing things vanilla acoustic style: no "Leaves" (additional members who join him now and then) and no "band in a box" (a reference he made a few years ago to the digital effects he uses).
In the end, the show was excellent. It's still Dave and still his songs. He was clearly itching to use some effects or have people accompany his playing at times, but he persevered. Afterward he said that he likes to do a few shows all alone like that to shake out the songs. It's like he's building a foundation: that the melody and lyrics have to be strong on their own before he fiddles around with adding decoration and style. And they are generally strong songs to start with. He'll be playing them with "The Leaves" in July at The Little Theatre Café (240 East Ave.).
I've come to really appreciate what he's trying to accomplish. He said that he enjoys playing with additional people for the variation it causes — that there's always something unknown by doing that. He commented that it's usually a matter of trying to figure out which of the wheels is going to fall off first. And as such, the band is constantly changing … I said that my notes on bands are thrown way off with this kind of thing: by this time next year, Autumn in Halifax will have a completely different sound, although rooted in the same quality of music.
I got to thinking about how I like to see people do what they've done before, but it kind of makes them machines. I already have machines for that: they play back audio recordings. So no matter how many times any band plays something different, there's always the possibility of revisiting what was through the last CD.
Anyway, the other band up was The Weird Weeds. They do a sort of accessible experimental music — a bit of alternative-rock and with a bit of experimentation and a bit of harmonization. One of their members was nursing some kind of cold with whiskey, but they still did a great job.
I got a chance to check out the closing of Re-Member at The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) Although I didn't find anything so captivating I couldn't leave, there were quite a few works there that I at least liked enough to keep looking at and absorbing. I didn't get a chance to see the bands but I at least got to say hi to the players — particularly Dave of Autumn In Halifax whom I haven't seen in months.