I went to the The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) with high hopes. First, I'm a big fan of Auld Lang Syne with their fantastic, heavy, electric, lounge-folk. Tonight they didn't disappoint with a set that built from catchy, straightforward acoustic rock to a wall of sound in that same style. A friend of mine had mentioned that his friend would be playing as My Brightest Diamond. Playing a variety of instruments in turn, she's an excellent soloist with a melodic voice. In all I was thrilled to have been there.
I got a later start than I wanted but it turned out to be timed perfectly. Just minutes after I arrived at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.), Stereophone started their set. The trio played fast, hard-pop-rock with a notably deceptive effortlessness. Although they jokingly implied they were new to live performance, they were proficient with their songs.
Next up was Red This Ever who played great punk synth-pop. Listening to their album after the fact, I reinforced the notion that they were influenced by bands like Ministry and Depeche Mode, bringing in the hard instrumental aspects of the former with the a singing style closer to the latter. I chatted with them after the show — apparently they decided to make the road their home for the next 2 years, leaving Baltimore, Maryland in the rear-view mirror. I wish them well and hope that lead singer Roy stays serious-injury-free (despite my best efforts, advising improvements on how to attach plastic milk crates to one's feet.)
As always, I went in cold, having not even listening to the sample songs Tympanogram posted. Black Elk Speaks started things off. They do some great vocal-harmonies, and play rock influenced by a lot of genres. Although I have nothing bad to say about them, I did lose interest after a while.
Next up was Hosannas who I enjoyed a lot. They played great synth-rich atmospheric rock. I picked up their latest CD Together and have been enjoying it as well. Finishing up was Young Empires who played an excellent set of synth-rock alternative.
In all another successful show — and another reason to keep an eye on what Tympanogram is up to.
It's been a while since I wrote about seeing music at all … but I have been out. I spent some time at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) and met some cool people from the bands and from around town. The bands didn't start until late, but another local musician and friend of members of The Missing Teens offered to let them play a bit in the basement. So we went there for a few minutes and a few songs — a proper preview of the great, high-energy rock with a lounge-jam edge we were to see later on.
Back at the Bug Jar, Illimanjaro kicked things off with some high-power, melodic, fast rock. Their guitarist was particularly apt at very fast playing and did a few impressive solos. The Missing Teens was up next, replacing the temporary iPod with Illimanjaro's drummer and not one but twokeytars. Thunderbang! finished things off with some well-executed funky lounge-rock and even got a few people dancing.
Once again I found myself back at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) This time it was an extraordinarily light crowd — even for a Sunday. Shelley Short had apparently canceled most of her tour due to some issues that kept her wanting to stay near home.
Jon Moses started things off. He's clearly more comfortable improvising and being inclusive and seemed a little off being on-stage separated from the sparse audience. Nonetheless, he showed his acoustic soloist skills admirably. Then it was Les Shelleys turn which shrank the audience notably further since Jon relinquished the stage to once audience-members Tom Brosseau and Angela Correa. They provided an impressive display of their elegant vocal harmonies and evocative lyrics — the only other instrumentation being Tom's guitar and Angie's percussive clapping and stomping which gives exactly the kind of minimal-but-not a capella sound you'd expect.
I was pretty psyched to go to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) tonight. I knew I couldn't go wrong with Hinkley, I had good memories of Daryl Fleming and the Public Domain, and recently saw the excellence of Dave Donnelly who started things off. This time on the Bug Jar's main stage, he brought a mix of original and classic country songs with a well seasoned skill and the perfect voice to do it.
Daryl Fleming was next and played his own style that is loosely an interesting mix of lyrical, groove-rock-ish country/folk/rock. He was saying beforehand that he's recently been fascinated by the unusual chord progressions in some fairly popular 1960's songs — he demonstrated it with a vocoder-enhanced cover of The Seekers' "Georgy Girl". You really never know where Daryl's mind is going to take him on stage.
Finishing up was Hinkley who I consistently re-experience as excellent, deceptively mellow, complex rock-and-roll. I never catch on right away, but quicker-and-quicker I'm swept into the nuances of this excellent band.
I headed over to the show at The Bug Jar (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 Walri 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 Jacks 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 Lives 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.
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 Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to catch the show. When I got there, from Hinkley 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 Corrections. 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 Daylight 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.
I braved the snow and headed to Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) to catch Paul Burke's show there. Paul himself stopped by for a while, but he was performing with his other band, other/other/other at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) that same night (in a sadly under-advertised show). Starting out was The Bogs Visionary Orchestra 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 Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) as well so I went there and caught the tail-end of other/other/other. Next was Cuddle Magic 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 Boutique 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.
I went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) and caught up with Old Boy 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 Vaults 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.