Shortwave Communique - A local four-piece begins tonight's proceedings in front of a pretty meager Monday night crowd. They have a couple of guitars going with the rock rhythm section. The songs vary a bit from power pop to indie rock. I really liked the instrumental psyche jam the most and also found the power pop a bit better than the rest. They seem young and have a nice set worked out that will likely get better as they continue. I would recommend to work on the guitar arrangements a bit more. They creatively tried to do different things beyond one guy doing leads with one guy strumming chords, but they were too often in the upper registers with the rhythm section too quiet to hold a bottom or mid-range. Minor critique, but there are always a couple of things I may see to keep me from going crazy about a band. But I will have no problem seeing these guys again and enjoying their set.
The Hoof and the Heel - A four piece from Montreal is up next. They have keyboards, acoustic guitar along with bass and drums. The music is fairly simple with two points of focus. The first is the quality pop-rock songs that do show a nice touch with melody. The second are the consistent dual voices of the male and female vocalists. There is a nice magic to a woven vocal line with two voices together for almost the entire set. I was reminded of some of my other favorite combinations. They were not quite as overpowering as Balin/Slick from Jefferson Airplane or quite as earthy as Doe/Cervenka from X. They were somewhere in between with a good pop sensibility, showing deep feeling in one song and fiery excitement in the next. This is a fairly young band from what I gather, so it will be interesting to see how they progress. They promised to return and I just may be there the next time.
Quote of the Night: "Hoots and Helmouth" which was my response when I was asked by the doorman who I came to see. Oops, it is one of those H&H bands.