The Idiomatics - This trio hit the stage with some nice indie rock with just a touch of power pop in the early songs. They mix up their rhythms some which is always a nice way to keep interest high. The guitarist sang and the vocals were a highlight, reminding me of my old pal Jughead from Cincinnati's SS-20 (I really would like to find references not as obscure, but it is tough some days). At times the band was a bit mannered and the guitarist needs to place his effect boxes in a set up something better than the minefield he created tonight. I liked their song "Rosemary" which had me thinking of other bands that did songs with Rosemary in the title... Deep Purple, Simon & Garfunkel and Bert Jansch come to mind. Nice set that went over well.
Strand of Oaks - This band is one guy singing and finger strumming a hollow body electric guitar. His playing, singing and his songs were good enough to command full attention the whole way. His voice and guitar sound reminded me of some of my favorite odd folk artists, especially Meic Stevens from Wales. He was engaging with the crowd without the overbearing nature that some solo artists engage in. He played through an overly loud song that boomed out from the downstairs jukebox or some odd source. Excellent set.
The Loom - We have a six-piece band from Brooklyn with a bit of instrument shifting, but mostly featuring drums, bass, electric guitar or banjo, guitar, keyboards, french horn or trumpet. Male vocals lead with female vocals prominent in assistance. So if you guessed this set up produced some sort of quirky Americana sound, you would be right. But this group really produced some excellent quirky Americana folk-rock with jazz and psychedelic touches as well. The rhythm section reminded me of what Pentangle had with veteran jazz sessionmen that could add different flavors to their mix. The horns and other instruments seemed to weave in and out with almost fade-in and fade-out quality. Very unique sounds reminding me of some of my favorite Toronto artists like Elliott Brood and Do Make Say Think. I will have to check them out again to see if it is the songs I like best or the arrangements. No matter tonight, as it was a very strong set in front of a good crowd.
Little Big Heart & the Wilderbeast - The 21st gig for one of my favorite local young old-school prog-rock bands. Even if you have never heard any old school prog, you would not have any problem getting into this band's accessible rock songs. They are a four-piece with a couple of guitars and a bass player who adds some keyboards. The three guys in front all sing well and each has some leads. They have gained a lot of confidence and not only bring some enthusiastic fans, but are attracting some new ones as well. A few sound problems tonight with some feedback and it was kind of an off night for the sound in general (which is challenging here as a lot of it is stage volume) but it was minor and they handled it just fine. I have seen them four times myself, and this won't be the last. Do check them out some time and see for yourself.
Quote of the Night: From the Loom's singer "Be sure to sign up in our guest book and leave your email and information so we can find you... Hmmm, that sounds rather ominous. Leave your personal information and we will find you."