Grooms - We begin, as we so often do, with a Brooklyn trio. The guitarist is the lead singer, although the female bassist adds some vocal lines on occasion. The first song began with a choppy post-punk sort of rhythm until it burst out into a hard psychedelic screaming guitar workout. OK, I am awake now. As the set progressed, I was really feeling a Sonic Youth sound--kind of the Daydream Nation classic rocking sort of sound (the swirling guitar and the bass lines really come close). They performed some songs from an album and debuted some new ones and it was not easy for me to judge the standouts aside from the opener. Still, this band has a good sound and some nice potential.
Holly Miranda - A four-piece this time, with Miranda on guitar, keyboards, and lead vocals. the two axemen add backup vocals throughout. Early on I was hearing a bit of a Banshees sound, although more jangly and modern. As the songs went on, there were shifts in style, but all within a clear vision. Lots of creative moves going on behind inviting vocals. I was quite impressed. The music was mysterious and transcendent. There was a decent enough Monday night crowd at the downstairs Black Cat stage and everyone seemed to be as involved as I was. She covered Yoko Ono's "Nobody Can See You Like I Do" in addition to her own originals. There was a lot to like tonight and I anticipate the stages will be getting a lot bigger for Ms. Miranda and her band.
Quote of the night: Something I have thought about often mentioned by the Grooms guitarist... "Sometimes I say thanks before anyone claps, I don't mean to..."