The Spinto Band - I just enjoyed their recent soundtrack album which was not much like their regular set as it turned out. But that is ok, as these guys do pure pop for now or then people. It touches on power pop, but it is lighter focusing on vocal work and interesting guitar moves that were not overly angular. It was more of a Zombies (especially Colin Blunstone) type sound. The hooks were able to pull grins out of me (no easy task this week). The keyboards had a nice effect coloring the songs and adding depth to the light approach. They had a nice kazoo and synth drum intro which I wanted to write about as that will likely be the only time I ever say that (and I repeat myself enough other places). They even had a lounge pop feeling with a few songs that worked well because the songs were so sharp and hooky. Thinking back, I really liked pop music as a kid and I am liking it as I age. It may have slipped a bit in the young adult years, but not really as even with a lot of punk bands, pop moves were key. There are a lot of variants to it, and the Spinto Band offers up their particular successful formula. And the sizable crowd tonight was supportive of that.
Jukebox the Ghost - This local trio is getting awfully big, if that was not obvious just for the fact of this headline show. But the local crowd showed up and was excited to see the set. And rightfully so, because they continued the fun by adding onto both the indie spirit of the opener along with the pop hooks of the second band. They line up with keyboards, guitar, and drums with traded lead vocals and harmonies. Entering, the stage, they all took positions with an instrumental beginning. Something seemed off and the keyboardist walked to the back of his bank and found a loose plug on the floor, picking it up and pointing at it with an milder Archimedes look. Plugged in, they went into a nice pop tune. The second cut was an absolute stunner that reminded me of the best of the Decemberists with all kinds of creative sounds coming from just three people. There were a couple more rocking variations amidst the mostly pop songs which did make for a full involving set. The pop was a bit more in the Herman's Hermits/Lovin' Spoonful more often than the Zombies/Raspberries, but that is not all bad. And those intriguing rockers really made the straighter pop more interesting. I also enjoyed the keyboardist's skill which was a bit higher than most of the people you see on keys these days. Pop music is still a great pleasure of mine and all the bands delivered fine sets this evening.
Quote of the Night: One of my favorite filmmakers just died. Ken Russell was not always brilliant, but his films were always fun and challenging. Here's a nice quote from him: "This is not the age of manners, I want to shock people into awareness. I don’t believe there’s any virtue in understatement.”