Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Doozies - The Bynars - Harmonic Blue -- Electric Maid - Jun 16 2012

Harmonic Blue - I've been meaning to make it out to the Electric Maid for a show for some time. I would call it the Velvet Lounge of Takoma Park. It is not a bar, but a non-profit community space and there is only one stage and a cozy room for kids of all ages to enjoy live music. First up was a young band composed of Baltimore/College Park area players. They have a soulful rock style that is well composed and executed. It is a little safe and overly comfortable for my style, but I can not fault their execution. The bass player seems the most nimble player of the bunch, but the guitarist can really soar on the solos. Drums are solid and Vocals/acoustic guitar came through nicely in the well balanced sound. Even the introduction of a harmonica which normally has me rolling my eyes was welcome here as it gave a jagged edge to the comfortable music. 20 people grew to 30 during the 27 minute set and they were supportive of the sounds they heard.

The Bynars - This is a young trio from Boston of an east coast/midwest tour that features a lot of driving to cover the eight shows in eight shows. This is the second show, so these guys are fresh and energized as they unveil their layers of electronic/pop/rock. This is old school electronics with real synthesizers played for power and precision. The drums and guitar kept the rock machine going and it all came together as an edgy power-pop/new wave unit circa 1980 or so. It was catchy but hard enough and never cute. The vocal work was good if a little quiet in the mix which was a bit keyboard heavy in spots (although that was due to specific sonic outbursts on stage). We were all just getting warmed up when they had to cut it off at 17 minutes. This was due to time constraints as unfriendly neighbors will complain if shows go significantly beyond 10pm, but also due to a late start as the crowd was a little late developing. Sigh, complaint #92 about this issue. Now I am required to not mention this again for 30 days. Still, the Bynars gave a nice taste of what they are about, which is a way to treat catchy electronic music as a strong rock force and not just a rhythmic or atmospheric tool.
The Doozies - Two guitars, drums and three microphones are the vehicles for this trio to make their noise. "This is a new song." Well, it's actually a composite of just about any three Ramones songs, but that is cool by me. These guys just let it rip. The Grateful Dead sticker on the one guitar scared me a bit, but not to worry, no noodling here. And it was the other guitarist that appeared a bit more stoned than need be. They had more of the (non Grateful) Undead in their sound and even more of the Heartbreakers, that is had the Heartbreakers been speed freak stoners rather than, well, you know. They slowed it down a bit to some dirty blues rock that was not quite as effective. Keep the speed, lads, we don't want to hear things too closely here. Vocals were pretty muffled, but I think that was a good thing as they may need some work there. I enjoyed this although with their style I would have preferred this being the 17 minute set instead of the 33 minutes these guys played. And since it was 10:20, I am happy the annoying neighbors did not speed dial the police allowing the now 40 plus people here to fully enjoy their night of loud and fun rock music.

Quote of the Night: I actually had another good one from Thursday night, so here is one side of an overheard phone call at the DC9 from someone trying to meet his counterpart at the club...
"I'm at the main stage... You are not here... It's on the 2nd floor... What do you see?... Ask someone whether you are at the DC9... You paid $10 to go into a place that is not the DC9? So where are you?... The 9:30 Club, well that's close."

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