Pleasure Curses - It often happens that I recognize the name of a band I had seen before, but can't place the specific sound (or do worse and guess wrong). This was the case tonight, but before this local duo struck a note, I immediately recalled that this is the guy that looks and sounds like Morrisey as they concoct some decent electro-pop music. Their half hour set still went along those lines tonight, with the singer playing guitar on the opening and closing numbers while occasionally fiddling with some electronics. But the music was mostly set up by the other member who played a lot of bass, worked synthesizers and electronics, and even hit some drum pads. The vocals work well to establish a mood with just enough breathy qualities in them. Even with the instrument shifts, there are some moments that get a little too 'samey' for me, as the second song with the guitar snapped me back to attention. I would suggest they add a few guitar chords in a few more songs to keep us on edge a bit more. But this was a likable set from a band that does bring the pleasure, even if we are all cursed.
Pillar Point - The Iota certainly succeeded in booking complimentary bands tonight as this touring trio picked up right where Pleasure Curses left off with a solid set of thoughtful pop music with plenty of electronics and keyboards. The band is actually one person with two touring members, but I am reviewing a live show, so it is a band for me. They included keyboards, a drummer which always helps in the live setting, and the singer played guitar frequently. He created some interesting tones, but more importantly, added some heft to the songs generating some real rock excitement. The keyboards were busy in a positive way as the songs merged complex underpinnings with clean melodies on top. The second to last song they played was a perfect example of combining different layers of sound into a vibrant song. They are from Seattle, on their first tour, and could develop enough fans to do this all again some day. It was a smallish Tuesday crowd with lots of good shows going on throughout DC, but there was some real dancing and enthusiasm here, so I think I chose well tonight.
Quote of the Night... or rather another 'musician on musician insult as collected by Tom Hawking:
21. Paul Weller on Freddie Mercury
“He said he wanted to bring ballet to the working classes. What a cunt.”