Seeing These Electric Lives, The Static Jacks, and Walri Play at Tympanogram's 1-Year Anniversary Show at the Bug Jar

I headed over to the show at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) so I could get back in practice staying out very late for tomorrow's show. It turns out, it was the 1-year anniversary of Tympanogram blog and they arranged the show. I chatted with one of the guys doing it and he seemed nice enough — and glad the show was going great.

First up was WalriMySpace link who are a nice, harmonius rock band; "psychedelic love rock", they say. Gerry Szymanski told me to check them out, and despite numerous performances in town, this is the first time I've seen them. The Static JacksMySpace link were next and did an entertaining, animated, high-energy punk-rock show. I lent a hand to plug in a lost microphone cable and keep the show going. These Electric LivesMySpace link finished off the night with some excellent, thumping, power-pop rock. And, like The Static Jacks, I was there to try and keep the microphones connected, working, and not breaking in half (the last of which without success as the lead singer was so brutally strong and/or the mic stand was already busted.) In all, it was a fantastic show in my book.

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Watching Hinkley, The Corrections, and Burning Daylight at the Bug Jar

I walked through the blowing snow (because, believe it or not, it beats dusting, scraping, and shivering in the car several times) to The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) to catch the show. When I got there, from HinkleyMySpace link was already playing. If you read other critics, or talk to local rock band members around town, you've likely experienced the universally glowing reviews of Hinkley. In my mind, they're one of a few bands that I have weak memories of strongly enjoying, but when I'm actually at a show, I find their musical intelligence to be overwhelming and I kick myself for not going to every Hinkley show. Perhaps it was the [literal] cold weather, but I thought they sounded [metaphorically] extra warm. I describe their sound as deceptively mellow, complex rock-and-roll. I find there isn't much more point than saying, "I think they're worth seeing for this reason", and avoid the "sounds-like-these-three-bands" cliché [and remember, kids, the trendy way to pronounce is "clitch" as "clee-SHAY" is totally cliché].

Next up was the new-to-me band The CorrectionsMySpace link. I threw the word "warm" in the adjectives in my notes, down from "extra warm" for Hinkley, so I guess it was all about average kinetic energy after all. I also described them as bouncy, alt-country rock. I'm easily swayed, and visiting their website, I decided to add "acoustic pop-rock" as well. Any of those descriptions will do. Their musicmanship was also top-notch — and their lead singer was a charismatic smiler, sending a message of welcoming familiarity to the audience. Their musical style led me to compare them to early Barenaked Ladies, 1980's Elvis Costello, and a bit of Tears for Fears, even though cliché dictates the last band be obscure. Alas, I may have tainted you alls opinions, but I believe in your ability to ignore me.

Finishing up was Burning DaylightGarageBand linkMySpace link and I was getting tired and still had an hour of walking ahead of me, so I left after just a few songs. I can't help but give them lukewarm monikers like "solid acoustic-driven bar-rock" because I just don't hear the complexity. It's good, accessible, and it rocks, but I'm seldom surprised. Like Hinkley, I have weak memories of enjoying them. However, in this case, it's indistinguishable from strong memories of somewhat enjoying them. Lots of people love them, so don't take my word for it, and don't sweat it that I'm not a big fan.

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The Bogs Visionary Orchestra and Eric the Taylor at Boulder then Cuddle Magic at the Bug Jar

I braved the snow and headed to Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) to catch Paul BurkeMySpace link's show there. Paul himself stopped by for a while, but he was performing with his other band, other/other/other at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) that same night (in a sadly under-advertised show). Starting out was The Bogs Visionary OrchestraMySpace link who played a rich tapestry of their modern Americana. Next was Eric the Taylor who I also liked: one guy playing ethereal, meditative, synthesized soundscapes. I'm really glad I stopped by.

Paul encouraged me to go to The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) as well so I went there and caught the tail-end of other/other/other. Next was Cuddle MagicMySpace link who I hadn't seen before. They are a large band with a variety of instruments. They play what I've come to call "motley folk" like Baby Shiver's BoutiqueMySpace link but with their own nearly orchestral arrangement. I was getting tired, and alas, couldn't stay for the rest of the night. I'll look forward to seeing them sometime soon, though.

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Old Boy and the New York Vaults at the Bug Jar

I went to The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) and caught up with Old BoyMySpace link who played great power acoustic like I expected. I can rely on these guys to really pound out some awesome music. They were followed by The New York VaultsMySpace link who played some excellent punk-rock. I didn't stay for long, though: I've been less of a party monster lately and headed home early.

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BELBIVDEVOIVOD and Godlazer at Boulder

I headed out to Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) where Paul BurkeMySpace link was hosting bands he liked. Tonight, he included his own production BELBIVDEVOIVODMySpace link which consisted of excellent electronic near-melodies with a bit of a dark edge. I like to listen to his work because it makes me look at everything in the world differently, and somehow intensifies a sense of serenity and inclusiveness, almost like a drug. Next up was Godlazer who DJ's and remixes, frequently heading into mashup and experimental territory. Not everything he played piqued my interest, but it mostly hit home.

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Other/other/other and Jay Repp at Record Archive

I started out by heading to The Record Archive (33 1/3 Rockwood St.) to catch the in-store bands. First up was Jay Repp playing solo. I generally liked his acoustic-rock and modern-rock style, but I wasn't particularly drawn-in by it either. As before, I greatly liked other/other/other with their melodic trancey synthesized music. It just touches on dreamy and ethereal, but stays rooted in gently danceable beats.

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A Visit to Tarpon Springs, Florida

Ali and I got a chance to get out of the house for a bit on our visit to her mom and step-dad in Florida to check out the local fauna. I searched the Internet for Pensacola's Mad HappyMySpace link (a band I've liked quite a bit and who I would expect to play in places I'd like to visit) to see if they had played anywhere in nearby Tarpon Springs.

They apparently had [although in a more thorough search, I don't think they did], so we went to The Neptune Lounge and CycleryMySpace link (13 S. Safford Ave., Tarpon Springs, FL): a bar/lounge by night and a bicycle shop by day (albeit next-door to one another) situated along The Pinellas Trail. We managed to hear the last song from the first band but got to see The Sound of ArmadaMySpace link who played a good variety of jammy modern rock with a distinctive country flair.

From there we went to The ZoneMySpace link (121 E. Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs, FL) which was a nightclub and lounge. I gather that the reggae-funk band on the nice outdoor patio was called Paris, and indoors, they were playing a typical dance DJ mix. It was almost like two clubs in one … something I guess I should expect from such a small town.

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Autumn in Halifax, Part of Baby Shiver's Boutique, and The Leaky Boat Blues with Dr. Hamburger at the Bug Jar

I stopped by The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) for the show — one I was quite excited about. Dr . HamburgerMySpace link was providing projected video over the bands. Starting out was The Leaky Boat Blues which was Tim from A WonderfulMySpace link. He played some great acoustic that I really liked. Next was a nearly minimal version of Baby Shiver's BoutiqueMySpace link. 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 HalifaxMySpace link — 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.

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Where is Fred Brown? and the Bogs Visionary Orchestra at Boulder

I headed to Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) to catch the show there. When I got there, Where is Fred Brown? was already playing. Conceived as a three-piece with John ValentiMySpace link, Alfred Brown, and Paul BurkeMySpace link, it's temporarily named for the absence of its middle member. They played a great set of melodic trance-snyth. It had this nice dreamlike finish to it. I also stayed for The Bogs Visionary OrchestraMySpace link who played some excellent "new Americana", so-to-speak: rooted in Americana, but with a modern-rock presence. Unfortunately, the flu I'd been fighting for the past three days was getting the best of me and I didn't stay for Seth Faergolzia.

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The Beaumonts at Taste of the Gate at Village Gate

The other day, I met the drummer for The BeaumontsMySpace link. He mentioned playing in Hypnotic ClambakeMySpace link and I knew that JoAnn VaccaroMySpace link also played with them (among a cast of thousands, I guess) so I had seen him again at the show last weekend. Well, we got to talking about The BeaumontsMySpace link and Rochester people, and he mentioned that Marianne Buckley would be in town and would be playing with them today. I had known Marianne (and Steve from The Beaumonts) for years — they were among the first people I ever met in Rochester in the "music scene".

So today I'm at Village Gate Square (274 N. Goodman St.) to see the band. I discovered it was an event called Taste of the Gate by a group called Rochester A-List. Their deal is that if you sign up for the mailing list of the "best" events in Rochester and had RSVPed for the Taste of the Gate event, it would have been $10 instead of $15. I gathered that some or all of the money collected went to an adoption service which was there and had a raffle as well.

The event was — I guess — a way for restaurants at Village Gate to showcase their food. California Rollin' at Village Gate Square (274 N. Goodman St.) took it seriously and produced a great number of sushi rolls. Salena's (274 N. Goodman St., at Village Gate), I believe, provided a chicken wing tray with a kind of salsa sauce that was quite good. And although I only hovered near their table for part of the time, as best I can tell, The Gate House (274 N. Goodman St., in the Village Gate; formerly Salena's location) put out two sandwiches and (possibly) a pizza. Nonetheless, the $15 "buffet" wasn't much of a deal for the 200 or so people who were there.

Well anyway, The BeaumontsMySpace link were excellent. They play a sort of rock with a ska-ish fluidity. Steve's influence in the band is at the forefront, and their CD is (so far) fantastic. Plus, I got to chat with my old pal Marianne — formerly of White Cotton Panties. I wore the T-shirt for the band that I had autographed at Norton's Pub (1730 Goodman St.) or some such place. It's sure been a while …

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