Janel & Anthony - Grant Hart canceled due to a bad back and I could not make another show due to a surprise dinner/visit with an old friend (and long time reader/occasional research helper--basically a music nut like me). So time to try out what else is happening at the backstage at the Black Cat. We begin with a mostly instrumental duo with cello and electric guitar. The instruments vary a bit with 12 and 6 string guitars and one song with two guitars. The sound is a fascinating blend of all kinds of prog sounds with touches of psyche and a bit of jazz, rock, or whatever they come up with.
Bands that come to mind are Piirpauke, Hidria, Tomerclaus, Windy & Carl, and many others as they really have a comfortable manner of shifting between sounds and songs. The core of the music has really accomplished playing which sadly is lacking in many of bands of this general style. They do not overdo the virtuoso bits by balancing things with thoughtful sonic layering. This is prog music out of intellect that could work just as well as a score to a silent Fritz Lang film. They even remind me of some combination of fine local outfits Blue Sausage Infant and Kuschty Rye Ergot who I saw recently at a Velvet Lounge bill. They surprise me further when the cellist adds her vocals to song. This one takes off into further reaches of the stratosphere and has me longing for a bit more vocals next time I see them. They have a second album coming out shortly and I am certain there will be a next time to review this great band.
The Chance - Three guitars, bass and drums. That is usually a formula for southern rock or shoegaze. Actually southern rock would often have keyboards, so it is shoegaze here. It is more of a rocking shoegaze with kind of a glam post punk rock vibe to the loud shoegaze wash of guitars. They seem to have a decent fan base here, but I just cannot find a way to join in. There is a certain quality present, but ultimately this is not something I have connected with before or tonight. Especially tonight as you will read below...
Quote of the Night: From the vocalist/guitarist for the Chance before they start... "I hope everybody has your earplugs."
Well, no as I forgot my plugs as it was rather a rushed evening and I can handle all but the most extreme volumes if I position myself toward or at the back. He was correct in that earplugs were mandatory tonight. And exactly why is that? What possible gains are there when everyone needs earplugs? If half the people do, I can see where the other half (usually including me) can enjoy the extra volume. But this was just harsh and unneeded. I don't mind Motorhead giving me cotton ears as they don't treble me to death while they are playing and cause any pain. This was annoying tonight, so I did not see much of this set. But I heard enough to determine that my opinion would not have changed much even if they were not assaulting my hearing.