Hott Tubb - A rock band sandwich on electronica wry tonight. This Philadelphia duo starts things off surrounded by a mass of old analog amps and whatnot. One guy is on keyboards and the others plays guitar and handles some electronics. They both add vocals to the mix. It is plenty loud and rhythmic with reverb drenched vocals. Normally reverb covers a multitude of vocal sins, but in this case, the vocals did shine through well enough on their own to be considered an asset to the songs. I was getting a bit worn out from the din as often happens during these sets, but they won me over with their final two songs. The vocals were soulful and there was a touch of R&B in the guitar. Good songs, so there is hope for me yet finding more in this genre. They went over well enough with yet another nice weekday crowd at the Velvet Lounge.
Satori Trova - This is the second time seeing this up and coming local band. They bring an interesting array of sounds with the usual core rock trio of instruments along with keyboards, saxophone and a sole lead vocalist. It struck me how much more they commanded their sound tonight. The rhythm section lays down a clean beat with the guitar and keyboards creating some sonic treatments that is more psychedelic than shoegaze, but with plenty of rock and rhythmic chops to it as well. There is a lot to dig into here and the vocal work gives the songs a good sense of separation from each other. The crowd is having a great time and it has swelled to at least 40 by now. That is more than came to see Grant Hart and Nick Oliveri combined from shows about a year ago. Of course Nick Oliveri would be happy playing here for a couple years as opposed to where his next gig may be. The band's stage patter needs some work, but if that's the most negative thing I take away tonight, then this band did well. And they survived some mic problems and other sound issues like pros. They are spending a bit more time in the studio than on stage these days and it will be great to see what they come up with. Based on the old and new songs I enjoyed tonight, this is a band to keep your eye on in 2012.
Earth Alien Hybrid - We finish with another electronica duo, this time from somewhere in the DC area. They win the award for best web site I have visited with nice animation and just enough information. One tidbit that I learned and liked is that they loop everything they play and do not use samples. That made sense as some of the keyboard bits started simply and got a bit more dense as the set went on. The second member played electronic drums, which I find so much more welcoming than drum machines. He also looped some beats and came out to do vocal work out front. The vocals were nice and twisted which also brings them out from the pack. They were in a talk-sing intense style, not unlike those of MX-80 Sound (a band I reference way too much, but I was just talking about them with a friend from Mass an hour before the show). There was room for some more interesting sounds and melodies in the songs, but these guys have the right idea in providing an entertaining set.
Quote of the Night: From the opener referring to the sound check or concepts beyond?
"Don't worry. It will all be over soon."