Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Hundred in the Hands - Dance for the Dying - Vorhees -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - Jun 19 2012

Vorhees - A one-woman show starts things off. She plays guitar, sings and does extensive looping with some electronica worked in as well. Nice little songs develop with breathy popesque vocals. I cannot say I am as moved as I would like to be, but I am still a tough sell for this sort of set. I appreciate the thoughtfulness to the art, but the live execution is a bit lacking. The 34 minutes were harmless enough and had their moments. The forty-odd spectators gave it all a serious listen and liked it well enough.

Dance for the Dying - I gave this synth-heavy local dance band a lukewarm review last year, but rather liked them a little more this time around. As I noted before, they have just enough toughness in their catchy pop tunes to create interest for me and make for a slightly more overall engaging set for the 50 people here. The drums are strong, guitar and bass just hard enough on the edges with tons of synth and high quality vocals, reminiscent of the Bangles with a cute side as well as some power. She can hit the deeper terrain when the song calls for it, and these sort of shifts made for a lot of interest in their half-hour set. Some of the synth moves were a little overpowering in the mix with annoying volume bursts, but otherwise the drumming kept it all moving and the pop melodies were infectious. I am growing to like this band.
The Hundred in the Hands - Looks like the electronica dance theme will continue with a drummer, a guitarist (and table of electronics), and a female vocalist on keys and more electronics. No more than a few seconds elapse, when I can quickly drop the electronica label and look at this unit as a full band with great individual components. Toyah Wilcox singing for PiL comes to mind. The drums are sharp and steady and have some electronic beats worked in as well. The synth moves  are atmospheric and reminiscent of bands from many different eras. The guitarist is profoundly banging out chords with verve and determination to push the sonic presence, yet not dominate (well not too often). The vocal work is highly styled and clean and powerful throughout. They carefully move and shift as they switch to bass or different guitar sounds depending on the mood they are after. They go a little quiet in the middle of the set before building to a roaring finish. A quiet encore completes the hour, This is a way to not only play great music, but to present it as a play with a hook in the beginning, a quiet building of tension prior to the rising drama and crescendo of a finish. Marvelous execution with plenty of heart behind it all. They made some new fans among the 60+ that were all up front in the club. Bravo.

Quote of the Day: Quiet night, so I'll pick on my favorite tabloid, the Sun with an article from last week (courtesy of

Intro in The Sun: 'Per Mertesacker has taunted Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Germany's grudge opener with Portugal.'

Actual quotes from Per Mertesacker: "We've managed to nip in the bud any of Ronaldo's efforts in past matches against Portugal and must try to avoid at all costs one-on-one situations. He's as fast as lightning and a master of football trickery but we will be practising how to stop him."

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