In Your Memory - I got there a little early so I caught some of the soundcheck. Check that, this is the Velvet Lounge, so I got there on time, waited, they let me go up well before the show started allowing me to listen in. The soundcheck was excellent and I love the two distinct guitar styles. When the show began, it was a bit of a blast of guitar noise, thundering bass and drums that did not always connect. They got it together nicely thereafter but they clearly are a little raw at this point. But that is all forgivable as the guitarwork is loud, fast and complementary. It was like Serj Tankian (System of Down) on one side and Vernon Reid on the other. The bass player sings and keeps it deep and steady. The drummer does well with the beats, although some of the breaks sound a bit out of place. They do need some tightening, but that will all come with more practice and more gigging. They call themselves alternative metal or progressive and if that sounds good to you, then I advise watching this band's progress. They just may get it together and become something special. They are starting on the ground floor and that is where most people do indeed begin.
Your 33 Black Angels - Roky Erickson crooned that is a cold night for alligators, and that was also the case for music fans around U Street tonight. the crowd 'swelled' from 2 at the beginning of the first band's set to about 12 when this Brooklyn collective hit the stage. Thankfully the Velvet Lounge has a big enough stage to handle the three guitars, keyboards, bass, drummer, and vocalist. The keyboardist plays one of those Gary Wright handheld pieces that gives a guitar look. So of course there is a full sound and fortunately there is a lot of cool sounds fading in and out of the songs. There is kind of a semi-rural psyche feel that you can get in MV & EE and maybe a touch of Hush Arbors. I heard a couple of tunes that could have started with 16 Horsepower, but this band brings in more rock and psyche-pop moves. The indie scene should go for this, as it feels modern enough. But I really enjoyed the waves of sounds that danced around different genres and eras and followed good song writing patterns. I've said that about many bands before and the key to the success is having the songs and the confidence and this band had enough of both. The singer must have borrowed Stephen Stills' fur coat from the Big Sur show. Fortunately no hippie was present to harass him about it. He had a good low-key, but intense style and swapped spots with the guitarist on one song who had a more out front garage rock approach. Good swirling sound with the guitars and keys and some quality jams that were not overly extended as they had the songs. Good show, but hopefully the weather will cooperate for the rest of their tour. Fortunately they are headed south for a bit. They are accomplished and unique and I would be happy to see them again some time.
Quote of the Night: From Y33BA... "You know it's weird because it as cold down here s it is in New York... especially in this room."
Yeah that little space heater in the back looked severely lacking in confidence.