Pilesar - This is a one man composer/musician accompanied by a guitarist. Pilesar handles all vocals, keyboards, electronics, stand-up drumming, and has a guitar-synth item that I have not seen before (note, he tells me it is a modified guitar hero console demonstrated here). The first number has a surprisingly scrappy sound that is quite accessible even though this seems on the experimental side. The second cut is a new epic featuring lots of sound shifting and instrumental variety. I am impressed by his drumming which I thought was going to be a simple tribal thump add-on to the songs, but instead is a key component to the music. There are lots of other great songs devoid of the cliches that turn me off on supposed 'experimental music'. The guitar work is good and has a spacey psychedelic sound throughout. They continued their 40 minutes around the ethereal world (well they played 38) with a cool chant/punk thing that sounded as if Quintessence was channeling Swell Maps or MX-80 Sound. This was both fun and creative, unique but familiar, a real treat to start out the evening.
Nervous Curtains - From Dallas, comes this interesting three-piece. They feature drums, vocals and keyboards and the proverbial guy behind the curtain who had all kinds of unseen keyboards and electronic equipment. It was a bit of a shame that some of the people who would have been here were likely at the Imperial China show a few blocks away. I would have been there, except that this was a rare chance to see this unique band. So a bakers dozen dug in and absorbed this fascinating half-hour set. The general scope of the sound is sort of a combination of Trent Reznor and Van der Graaf Generator (maybe a trace of Gary Numan). The drums are solid and the keys and electronics come up with a mixture of scrumptious melodic passages and assertive textural blasts. The songs are focused and manage to build intrigue. I often wonder why more bands do not attempt their own Van der Graaf type model, but there is probably a simple reason for that. It is not easy. But the Nervous Curtains offer their personal approach to this style and come up with a vibrant set of songs that will stay with me for some time. This was their first time here and hopefully it will not be their last.
Thee Lolitas - I just saw them a couple weeks ago and you can read all about that here. Nothing has changed although they did not do an Electric Eels cover tonight. I was wondering if they could incorporate something else like maybe a Nervous Gender cover? Although that was a synth band, they had great punk songs, so it may have worked. But instead it was their fine classic punk and hardcore sound with vocals that remind me of a cross between Chris D and Paul Z, the singers of Fleasheaters and Zero Boys respectively. This is always a welcome set and it won't be the last time I write about them.
Quote of the Day: More media fun courtesy of Football365.com (note Roberto Martinez is head coach/manager of my favorite little team, Wigan)...
Intro by Alan Nixon in The Daily Mirror: 'Wigan are reeling at the appointment of referee Phil Dowd for their clash with Manchester United tonight.'
Quotes from Roberto Martinez: "Phil Dowd is one of the most experienced in the game. He will be able to control the game."