Love Inks - It is Friday night on the big stage at the Black Cat. Austin's Love Inks steps up to get the crowd warmed up. Well, at least half of the crowd that actually chooses to pay attention to this entertaining music. The rest engage in their usual mundane conversations that could exist anywhere and at any time, but for some annoying reason, it exists here and now. It is worse than usual tonight as Love Inks has a mostly delicate sound with recorded beats, guitar and bass, electronics, and quietly intense female vocals on top. There are some intriguing contrasts in the music with the bass player mirroring the pace of the beats, while the guitar and even the vocals dance around make their presence known at alternate pacing and volume. At times they get too settled, but when this works, the guitars reach out with menace, while the vocals soothe and the rhythm goes and goes. It is a likable sound that would work better if you get lost in it and not have that extra buzz from people masquerading as an audience. The singer sounded a lot like the Nuns' Jennifer Miro, although she clearly is inspired by Yoko Ono (along with the Washington Generals, Richard Brautigan, Pamela Des Barres, and others from my young adult years). There was a nice cover of 'Rock On' by David Essex, making me wonder just how old this band is. No matter, they hit the right buttons with me and hopefully made a few fans from the huddled crowd that was engaged in this fine set.
The Blow - This 'band' has one woman on stage singing and dancing and talking a lot,while the other woman is on a platform set up between the soundman and the stage, looking like a conductor with nothing to conduct. But there are computers and some music of sorts comes out. They wanted the room darker, but the bar areas were quite bright as usual. Frankly, the lights left a bit to be desired anyway, so it hardly seemed important. But there was some interesting talk about silence (ha!, dream on), creation from nothing, etc. There were some catchy bits here and there, some intelligent although overblown banter. Yet this really was not working for me as a live presentation, and although a slightly higher percentage of the crowd was paying attention (at least after the first song), I chose to take my future conversations home early tonight.
Quote of the Night: From the Blow... "It's pretty hard to find silence in the world."