Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Howlies - Young Buffalo -- Black Cat - July 18 2011

Young Buffalo - From deepest, darkest Mississippi (not really, they are from Oxford) come this interesting trio. The opening song had a tribal thump with powerful guitar chords and keyboards as all three wailed away on vocals. The bass player alternated with a couple of banks of keyboards and they all ended up doing a lot of instrument switching with each taking turns on lead vocals. This was indie rock on steroids for power more than speed, although the pace was quick with lots of fast jangly guitar. Part Feelies and part Neu! works its way into this music more in spirit than style. Good stuff here with motion, melody and thrust. They are hitting a lot of the country this year and hopefully they will make it back some time. I think many of the 25-35 people here would be happy to see them again.

Howlies - The crowd grew a bit more for this Atlanta four-piece. There will always be room in my life for simple catchy pop-punk and straight up driving punk rock. This band was clearly born out of the Ramones and sounded even more like the Lazy Cowgirls who were in the generation in between the Ramones and the Howlies. This band has their chops with really great speed and harmonies. There were also more twists and turns musically as they did slow it down a tad for an early 60s style once and then did a heartland pop song with plenty of pace. There were more of downstrokes on these guitars in this 40 minute set than you would see in the longest Grateful Dead show that you never went to (if you were like me). Fun, fun, fun. The crowd was digging it and the band mixed it up well, but that was not overly essential. It's not like the Ramones ever went into improv mode. So, this was straight forward rock music, yet intricate in its simplicity.

Promo of the Night: I just finished interviewing Damon Tutunjian of the Swirlies who are playing the Rock'n'Roll Hotel this Friday night. I will be posting it shortly so you can see how awkward we both were talking on the phone for the first time. It was interesting though, in that we could easily sit down and talk music for about 3-4 hours which may be the way I will take these interviews if I do more of them. But I do want to promote this interesting band that has been around 21 years, so come out this Friday night for a rare chance to see this band. Could be the last.

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