Ditched by Kate - This local band lines up with a couple of guitars, violin, bass and drums with a microphone in front of everyone but the drummer. Things start out very trippy somewhat in the manner of Jessie Sykes who I saw on this stage a while back. The vocal work is great with primarily a male and female voice in unison much of the time. It has a slight Black Mountain flavor to it. They really get a good melodic drone going, not unlike Kuschty Rye Ergot for instance. They continue to work out their grooves and are quite hypnotic with lots of cool things going on underneath and occasionally over the top with a guitar solo. They work the inner space side of spaciness with an Americana landscape far off in the horizon. This is powerful material that held my full attention for the nearly hour long set. They have an EP out and are working on their first album, so stay tuned to this exciting area band. The vision and execution are already at an exciting level.
Sweet Interference - Can this high quality and more established local band follow that great set? Why of course! The on-stage instrumentation is not too fdifferent with keyboards instead of violin and the vocal work is slightly more female lead but with loads of harmonies and alternating vocal lines. The vocal tradeoffs remind of that of the 60s psyche garage bands like the Peanut Butter Conspiracy and even have a touch of Dengue Fever. Musically, the PBC comparison really takes hold although it is far more modern unsurprisingly. But the band really connects with the psyche-pop scene of the 60s as opposed to the acid drenched jam bands or hard psyche powerhouses. The songs have a certain snap to them and melodies stand out with some occasionally show-off creative moments. I rarely lament the loss of hit singles being played on the radio, but when I hear three or four of their truly outstanding songs (including my favorite "Minimum Wage") that could really pull in a wide audience, my imagination goes back to my youth listening to tinny pop radio. Waking up at 4am and still hearing these hooks in my head is proof enough for me. But that era is gone, so hopefully touring, good local live shows like tonight's well attended affair, and plenty of accolades from people like me will help get this music heard. The audience tonight would agree with all of this as they enjoyed the hour plus set and wanted one more song before leaving. Two more outstanding examples tonight of the diverse and vibrant local music scene we have here.
Obituary of note... On a sadder note, Ronnie Montrose died recently. He had a big tour planned and I had a ticket to see him this May. That would have been the first time I had seen him since 1980. I caught him twice when I was young as he was one of the fastest and heaviest guitarists around. Although some people recall that he played on all the Edgar Winter hits, fewer still know that he also played on pivotal Van Morrison albums. But I have been giving "Space Station No. 5" a few extra listens as I am reminded of the monster rock songs he created. Here's a nice write-up from Sammy Hagar from Rolling Stone.