Sunday, August 31, 2014

Perfect Pussy - Joanna Gruesome - Potty Mouth - Love of Everything -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - Aug 30 2014

Love of Everything - This is one whimsical set from one whimsical guy from Chicago who plays guitar, bass, keyboard, electronics, and sings a lot with plenty of looping. There is a strong outsider quality with an airy detached sense of happiness within these slight songs. It is spacy at times with a sens of childhood wonder about it all. I can see people not loving this, but it is pretty hard not to like it. It is simple, but by design as the organization of these ideas was clear. You could feel the crowd enjoying it as they began to feel the vibe here. At 28 minutes, it was just right and an effective first course in a long evening of music.

Potty Mouth - These four women have carved a spot in my musical world where I enjoy keeping up with them and everything they do. They are from Northampton, MA and are composed of some Smith grads with a young singer guitarist in front handling most of the vocals with clarity and a subtle sneer akin to Penelope Houston's folkier style. But the band rocks from a garage style to a mid-tempo punk style with sharp post-punk pop moves in Burma-Du manner. They also have a controlled grinding style that reminds me of Mass's Proletariat from many decades ago. There recordings are as interesting, but they have the skills and style that work well on stage as well. I hope they keep this together as they are a full formed band with a sound that can work anytime, anywhere.
Joanna Gruesome - I finally get to catch this Cardiff band who made a highly enjoyable record a while back. Now here is the snotty punk vocals that are closer to Ari Up meets Poly Styrene. The twin guitar band cooks up a massive storm behind it all with highly energized, yet intricate riffs that remind me of New Model Army and some of the more thoughtful punk bands. The songs are always interesting and a few would be great power pop songs, although these are played as if they are completely out of control. But these sharp musicians know exactly what they are doing by giving all the energy and drive for the people that want to cut loose, while giving those in the back who want to lose themselves in quality music plenty to digest, as well. The crowd has nearly filled the room and are completely digging this band. I need to leave before the other co-headliner, but it has been a fine night of assertive and personal music tonight.

Quote of the Night:  And yet another from the musician on musician insult collection...

6. Boy George on Madonna
 “A vile, hideous human being with no redeeming qualities.”

Friday, August 29, 2014


Lots of cool things happening around here, so here are some videos and audios of bands coming to town which I will be seeing or wishing I was there (as they never quite spread out enough)...

Cymbals Eat Guitars open for my old bud, Bob Mould at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, September 6th. It's an early show, so you can do much more on your Saturday night.

When planning your education, do you opt for Money or go for Literature? You have your choice on Sunday, September 7th when Money hits the DC9 and Literature heads to GWU.

Flashlights and Paws make for a great combo at the DC9 on Monday September 8th.

S. Carey comes to the Rock'n'Roll Hotel on Tuesday, September 9th. That's brother Stephen, not sister Shannon who plays in our excellent local band, Luray.

Mutual Benefit makes a swift DC return to the Rock'n'Roll Hotel on Thursday, September 11th.

Jann Klose arrives up close and personal with his excellent songs to Ebeneezer's Coffee House on Friday, September 12th.

Ty Seagall is hyped up quite a bit, but is worth every bit of it as he has both the inspiration and perspiration to offer reels of great music in his many projects. Catch him at the 9:30 Club on Monday, September 15th.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Frog Eyes - PS I Love You -- DC9 - Aug 25 2014

PS I Love You - It's Canada night at the DC9 with an east west connection. This Ontarian duo gets us started with a riveting 40+ minute set. Unlike many guitar-drums duo, there is no time spent wondering about what they might sound like if they had a bass player or keyboards or both. Instead, the drums lay it down and the guitarist/vocalist creates enough tuneful noise for three people. He does this by controlling bass sounds with his feet and having a strong guitar style that is full of thick noise and plenty of colorful fills and runs. It's like Dinosaur Jr. with less soloing or Husker Du and Christmas with that busy hard rocking attack at pop songs where a catchy hook is not lost amongst the noise. Vocally, he is similar to Pere Ubu's David Thomas with a strong but quirky voice that adds loads of personality to the songs. At one point he switched guitars which had a bass string on top  which he played with his right hand on the fretboard, while his right hand cut the intricate guitar parts below. Great work and no one (including a tough sale like me) should feel the need for any more band members needed. This music was thick and a lot of fun and the crowd went from interest to full born enthusiasm by set's end.
Frog Eyes - And from the far western realms of Canada comes this quirky quartet with guitar/vocals, keyboards, bass, and drums. The music is light, eclectic, with plenty of space for keyboard raindrops and guitars to rev up or scale down. The singer is very Bowiesque with a good range and intensity. In fact, as I wrote that note I was rather shocked that I don't see nearly as many Bowie styled singers as I did in the post punk years. That's actually a shame because we need more stylists that at least try to work this territory. And it was worked well tonight as these fascinating songs were quite lively and unique. This band is really hard to describe, but perhaps they are a slightly brighter Fall styled band? That's safe as the Fall were actually about nineteen different bands over the years. His stage patter was bizarre and disarming, but ultimately quite fun. He was so nutty and semi-sequitor at times that he made Robyn Hitchcock look like Walter Cronkite. The crowd was also digging this act and it was one of the more attentive and energized crowds I have seen this year. Thanks to everyone here from club to crowd to bands, this turned out to be a great evening.

Quote of the Night: More musician on musician insults here (great quotes from Frog Eyes tonight, but impossible to make sense of in a written column. You had to be there)....

7. Elton John on Madonna
“Anyone who lip-synchs in public on stage when you pay £75 to see them should be shot.”

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bear in Heaven - Young Magic - Weeknight -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - Aug 22 2014

Weeknight - Icy goth tones fill the club for the entirety of this 38 minute set. They had guitar and keyboards and constant male/female harmonies at work with their electronics in the background. The harmonies were a strong reminder of the Raveonettes and were the best part of it all. One cut reminded me quite a bit of a Dementia Precox song of my youth and this type of sound has certainly been around for quite some time. When they added some western twang to the urban feeling, I enjoyed the contrast. Otherwise it was a bit too steady and unchanging for me, taken as a whole. Still, there was some pleasant noise being shaped into songs going on here.

Young Magic - Even dreamier goth tones with dashes of psychedelia are present in this set. Live drums was a plus as the two in front worked a mix of keys, electronics, and some guitar. The vocals are female and take charge atop the electro pop moves and darker moments. Again, quite steady and decent enough, although the throbbing bass undercurrent was more annoying than pleasant for me. The band kept the spirit alive tonight, although with this style, it is rather subdued.

Bear in Heaven - This trio has more of a traditional approach with bass, guitar, and drums, although there are some electronics worked in from what I hear. Right away, the nimble bass work drives home a lovely song which is incredibly catchy, but flowing with depths of emotion that is quite moving. The second cut immediately shows more variation than I have heard all night as they go a more drifting psychedelic direction as if they were the grandchildren of Pink Floyd. They had a profound sense of slowly building intensities to exciting crescendos. This is a mature sound and the band has a great approach both to writing their songs and developing arrangements to make them something memorable. This is a class act and I hope they do well.

Quote of the Night - From the opening band plus a comment from the soundman working next to where I was...

Band: "Thank you all so much for coming out early tonight."
Sound: "Actually, it's late."

I chuckled as this was the third night in a row of the shows I've attended where bands have arrived late and either gotten no soundcheck or rushed soundchecks with the doors being delayed. There were some glitches at some of the shows, but the sound experts and the bands all worked together to correct things. Still, the bands can do a little better to make for a better show by managing their travel time better. It's tough, but hopefully this won't be a trend.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Spider Bags - Harness Flux -- DC9 - Aug 21 2014

Harness Flux - One guy gets up with guitar, microphone, and magical effects box and cuts loose. Loose is the key word, but in that positive way where the music is expansive and atmospheric, yet fully rocking in a spacey psychedelic style. I am hearing links to wild outsiders like Michael Yonkers, S.T. Mikael and even a bit of Bevis Frond. Although ultimately by the end of the set it sounded more like Spaceman 1. Although the garage psyche-rock sound is prominent, there are a lot of interesting twists and turns in this 36 minute set. And in my post-set research, I learn that I (and many more folks around here) have seen John M (Harness Flux) in the Cheniers, as well as some other bands. So he has proven long ago, he knows how to work a guitar and he did it again in this solo set tonight.
Spider Bags - This hot trio has expanded into a quartet to get that extra guitar heft in their live set. Fortunately, the new guitarist was ready for the pace of this intense act and didn't miss a beat. Not only do these guys rock hard and fast, but like the Ramones, they just bang out clusters of fierce little songs barely coming up for air or in need of tuning. But you don't want to just head bob yourself into the unrelenting rhythm, as there is a lot of detail to listen to in these songs. They take sort of a Lazy Cowgirls style, but even get more complex with moves that make me think of the Hellacopters, Weirdos, and even some guitar solos that would work on a great Radio Birdman cut. There are power pop hooks and they even twist into slower, rootsier songs toward the end, although they twist them in creative new directions. This band may have been born out of the garage, but the music is quite worldly with lots of exciting well written songs that will connect with large audiences. Get on board as I don't see how these guys can fail to connect to mass quantities of smart jaded rockers as well as the enthusiastic youth.

Quote of the Night - Back to the list of musician on musician insults. The last quote was Robert Smith bashing Morrisey. Now Morrisey takes aim...

8. Morrissey on Bob Geldof
 “Bob Geldof is a nauseating character. Band Aid was the most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.”

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jacco Gardner - Smoke Green -- DC9 - Aug 20 2014

Smoke Green - Second time around for me seeing this local psychedelic rock quartet. Their psyche jams successfully creates wide spaces within the volume of rock music coming forth. This music breathes. They lock in and jam hard and occasionally a song works its way through. They would fit nicely on a bill with Wooden Shjips and Kohoutek (the latter doing a DC show next week). The guitar work is fine and the rhythm section pounds away and adds some interesting funk textures at times. This is flexible psychedelic music that is easy to get into with plenty going on to make for strong sets that hold your interest. Always a pleasure.
Jacco Gardner - Speaking of pleasure, few bands make me feel as good as Nederland's Jacco Gardner (that's the country, not the town near Boulder, CO). These guys define popsike in the same manner that Temples do, and I hope they start getting some of that success headed their way, as their music is every bit as great. They have toured the US pretty hard thus far and it is evident with a fine core of fans filling at least half of the club tonight. Their sound is similar to that of a psyche folker like Mark Fry working with a sharp band like the Zombies. The harmonies are gorgeous and the relaxed easy going feeling in the songs has a pleasant narcotic effect. The little crazy jam at the end was the icing on this delicious cake. This is my third time for this band and I will be happy to see them every time they come through. Now if they take some time to get that next album ready, all the better.

Quick Obit of note -- The Dayton music scene lost another important person, and it is all the worse that he was one of the nicest guys I ever worked with. Chris 'Troy' Green died recently from liver cancer at way too young an age (mine). I met him and worked with him as the bassist of the highly underrated band, Dementia Precox.  He is the second member of that band to die, which still does not sit right with me. But of course I will remember all the good times we had and what a pleasure it was having him around. And I have the music. He is missed by all who knew him.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Miniature Tigers - The Griswolds - Great Good Fine Okay -- U Street Music Hall - Aug 14 2014

Great Good Fine Okay - We start the night with a multiple choice question. And after listening to a full set of this Brooklyn quartet, I choose 'D' - Okay. They play an overly bright soulful pop with plenty of electronic pulsations in the beat. It's heavy with keyboards, with bass and drums banging away too, although the electric guitar made a welcome appearance later in the set. They were competent enough, but there was not enough there for me to connect with as they did not really hit any of my areas of interest. I am not sure they transcended the levels of their chosen approach either, but I think the potential is there. I do have one nagging question... can three falsetto voices harmonize? Tune into this band and let me know your answer.

The Griswolds - This band comes all the way from Sydney, Australia, which reminds me that I just heard that Radio Birdman is back doing some Australian shows. While I knew there was no way the Griswolds would connect with me the same way Birdman did, I at least found a decent band here. There still is a little too slick of a pop sound for my liking, but the hooks were supplemented by youthful energy with good guitar work mixing with keyboards which burst forward impressively. These guys are really young as the drummer just turned 21, and they seem to be working pretty hard to make a name for themselves. I think they won over some of the crowd and they had several of their own fans there a well. While I may not return for their next DC show, I suspect they may be headlining and doing just fine without me.
Miniature Tigers - And finally a band hits the stage that takes the components and momentum of the first two bands and puts it together in a satisfying combination. The keyboard and vocal pop moves are here, but there is even more heft in the sound and some real jangle in the guitar work. The pop hooks are warm and inviting and the fat bass playing stands out in a positive way. I also like the vocal harmonies as there is a bit more subtlety and variation here than previously. It is a slick sound, but with enough warmth to make a broad appeal for many music fans. And it was a good crowd tonight that took up more than half the space, although they all pushed forward to really enjoy the bands. Summer shows do bring out the youth with a healthy influx of energy to a show. Miniature Tigers was up to the task of delivering them the goods.

Quote of the Night: With the Premier League ready to get under way, here's a line from Football365's Mediawatch column where they point out the rather odd things that the mainstream British Press comes up with...

Biblical Proportions
Writes Steven Howard in The Sun: 'FOR 13 long years Chelsea and Frank Lampard have been inseparable. Like Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cain and Abel, Marks and Spencer, one didn't operate without the other.'

Except when one killed the other.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dana Buoy - Sun Cycle -- DC9 - Aug 12 2014

Sun Cycle - What I thought was going to be a nice little set of neo-psychedelic jams, slowly evolved into a more profound set of ethereal music. This local trio has some serious skills behind the jams, as well as some song structure that varies things up a bit over their 42 minute set. They remind me a lot of Motorpsycho in that regard, something that is not at all easy to do. The drum beats are interesting and have some jazziness and swing mixed into the rock forms. She can also sing while keeping a good beat, which is also impressive. The guitarist also sings while creating wave after wave of washed out psychedelic noise. The basslines occasionally stand out in magical ways, as it is fascinating to see how each instrument can subtly lead within the structure, focusing the listener's attention without stepping forward to do an obvious solo. This is a fairly new band that should be able to make a big name for themselves in our scene.
Dana Buoy - Although Dana Janssen may be primarily known as the drummer for Akron/Family, any fan will know that he has plenty of instrumental skills on guitar and more along with fine vocals that work their way into the great A/F music. Tonight, he focuses on guitar and vocals with a tight band behind him featuring a drummer and a bass player who also switches to keyboards. He has plenty of quirky rock songs with a touch of pop and loads of personality, that is of no surprise to me. One way he makes these songs so fun is the way he wraps his voice around the melody using a side range, while maintaining warmth. The guitar work also has some oddball moves that sound natural and almost expected. His band is solid and the set is crafted well to get heavier as it goes on as these guys can hit some thick high points along the way. Yet there are always twists and turns to keep things fresh and invigorating. His band mates all live in different parts of the country, so there is room for additional work in between Akron/Family projects. It is a pleasure that this project has yielded such positive results.

Quote of the Night - After a strong ovation from a heavy cut, the bass player chipped in... "They like to rock, Dana, they like to rock."

Monday, August 11, 2014

Twin Peaks - The Lemons - The Sea Life -- DC9 - Aug 10 2014

The Sea Life - A local twin-guitar quartet hits the stage to get things rolling tonight in a highly crowded DC9 with a young excitable bunch (and four of us that add nearly two and half centuries to the room). The band quickly emits frothy indie pop that the crowd can enjoy digesting. The one aspect that works for me is the one noodling guitar contrasting with the fuzzier one. It is a nice dynamic and the rhythmic section keeps things brisk and busy to fill out a likable and personal sound. There is briefly a touch of whimsy like the Akron/Family did so well and if they explored this further, they may be able to vary things more and add even more dynamics to their set. But this was quite fine as it was and the Sea Life got the night off to a hot start.

The Lemons - From Chicago this collective has to be the silliest band I have seen in decades. And that is a badge they would proudly wear as that pretty much is their point. Their child-like sense of fun is something you will not see too often at a rock club. This band makes the Dickies look like Wire or Jonathan Richman look like Morrisey. Their sound would go down well in between a Frankie and Annette beach movie marathon, although those films may be too highbrow. The jangly pop rock here is a pleasure to listen to and the band can certainly play it well enough. It is hard not to have a blast with this as they play a really short song "The Ice Cream Shop" and immediately say, "let's play it again!" and do so at least twice more. You may want to be careful not to eat too much ice cream with this band and get one of those freezer headaches, but if you relax and take in the sweet creamy flavors, the Lemons will be a wonderful treat for you.
Twin Peaks - Also from Chicago comes a much tougher quartet, although they have a lot of same sense of fun as the previous bands displayed tonight. The toughness is in the music starting with the drummer who pushes hard to keep the two guitars and bass alert to staying with the pace and volume. This is crafty rock music with a teaspoon of pop and a tablespoon of punk and lots of creative guitar solos and jangly chords. The songs are good with three different lead vocalists adding subtle shades to the powerful music. And indeed they were so hot, they were smoking... or at least their bass amp was and they had to switch a cabinet which slowed them down a tad, but not much. I sensed a casual Heartbreakers or a pop/punk Dead Boys vibe within the sound, but they had the youth and energy (oh, and lack of serious drug habits) to keep it all fresh and relevant to 2014. With Ice Age taking a bizarre left turn on their latest video, I may have a new favorite band that can take me back to the very early punk clubs of my memory, back when you had pop-rock-punk bands that were still finding the genre (or moving beyond). Good stuff and it went over well with a happy crowd tonight at the DC9.

Quote of the Night: We continue on with our musician on musician slams list...

9. Robert Smith on Morrissey
 “If Morrissey says not to eat meat, then I’ll eat meat — that’s how much I hate Morrissey.”

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Me and Karen - Black Hills - Honext Haloway - Chomp Chomp -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - Aug 8 2014

Chomp Chomp - It is a guy and his laptop... First the positives: he did have a house light show going; the first cut had a really fun goofball sense of sugary pop to it that did invoke a smile; and the music was relatively competent all set. Still, it is watching a guy bob his head and shake his body to his laptop. I noted that a two handfuls of people were up bopping around a bit, but dozens more were clustered about in their own conversations, treating it as background music. While I rail about this if a folk (or even rock) act is going on, it is more understandable with music by computer. OK, enough of the ongoing editorial, it was fine for what it was, which was an effective warm-up in the early hours of a big night.

Honest Haloway - We continue with a local trio in this night of local acts. The guitarist switches to keyboards some while working electronics and synth with guitars that are treated heavily so that it is all smooth and consistent with their overall sound. That sound reminds me of the thicker side of New Order with decent pulsating pop moves and even better vocals here. Good rhythms, decent melodies, this is a likable band that I would be happy to see on a variety of bills. The crowd had built into a decent Friday night mass, raring to go, and Honest Haloway got them involved and excited. Always a pleasure when you get the vibe deep into a bill.

Black Hills - I don't have any record of seeing this band, but I have heard of them so it is high time to check out what these four guys can do. They have dual keyboards with guitar and drums. The ending impression I had with this band was how versatile they were with this set up. They pushed forward a unique focus on different instruments and sounds in the many varieties of songs they had. The vocals were smooth and classy and held it all together within their personality. At times it was rather light dream pop, while other times the guitar and drums galloped along pushing it into heavier rock territory. There were some songs that were utterly majestic in the same way a Dead Can Dance song can be transcendent. They don't quite hit that level of heaven (few do), but at least a couple songs had me saying 'wow'. More of that, please as I rather like soaring beyond the confines of the earth. Even the lesser cuts showed a class band at work, so this is a reminder of how much work I have to do to keep up with the local scene--and proof to everyone to catch these local showcases in between seeing your favorite touring bands.
Me and Karen - This is only the third show from this new duo, but their first as a trio as they have recruited a live drummer. The 'Me' is the guitarist from the band Oh So Peligroso, so it is no surprise to hear that it is his old drummer providing the fresh and invigorating beats that only (good) live drummers can give. There are plenty of electronics at work although often two guitars are employed, which is great for those of us that like a heavier sound. In fact, it got so heavy that there times I was reminded more of a blistering progressive band like Goblin more than that of an electronic pop rock band that may be their more convenient label. They have excellent vocals that help carve a distinct shape to their songs and mix up a lot of sounds to make it all come together. The crowd was still enjoying the music and were quite forgiving of the technical mishaps that slowed a few songs down. I am very forgiving as with just two of them in front of the drums, they were working hard to play a lot of instruments live while working the backing electronics. This was a fun set, quite raw with a band in its infancy, but tonight proved the materials are there them to succeed.

Quote of the Night: And we are down to our last ten in our continuing series of the nastiest musician on musician insults, courtesy of Tom Hawking...

10. Ian Brown on Bono
“He’s such a fake, isn’t he? When he did Live Aid, which made them a worldwide group … he looked out and [saw] that black girl in the middle of all them people, and she’s from Hackney or something, and he was like, ‘Here’s a great shot for me around the world to show I’m Mr Africa.’ It’s like colonialist times with a big white hat.”

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Rose Buds - Jesse Marchant -- DC9 - Aug 6 2014

Jesse Marchant - I was expecting a fine singer songwriter set based on his upcoming album, and Mr. Marchant indeed delivered all of that tonight. It was a tad ragged early, but smoothed out well enough to the point you get relax and absorb yourself in his songs. I think one voice, one guitar generally works better on record but due to a highly attentive crowd and some subtle variant sounds that Marchant employed, the live set worked well. He switched routinely from electric guitar to acoustic, from finger picking to plectrum, and added a bit of kick drum and harmonica for a few of the songs. There were even some rock moments along with some cuts more psyche folk in direction. Jesse Marchant is a strong presence in the folk-rock crossover scene.
The Rose Buds - This North Carolina duo returns for the tenth time (they may have been rounding) to a very full DC9 tonight. The male female duo who handle lead vocals, guitar and keyboards are joined by a rhythm section and second guitar who create a variety of textures and tones for these fine pop rock songs to work their magic. They hint at shoegaze, but also can slow it down to intimate singer songwriter folk rock as well. I though the brisk throbbing rockers were the most fascinating as they reminded me quite a bit of the Feelies. They also have a Walkabouts feeling with a little less roots. The male vocals dominated and his voice with its warm range that hovers between Colin Meloy and Bob Theil takes the songs to an even higher level. Strong set tonight, small wonder they brought out so many people on a Wednesday night.

Quote of the Night - And one more from the list of musician on musician insults (and in honor of their forthcoming DC appearance)...

11. Richey Edwards on Slowdive
“We hate Slowdive more than we hate Hitler.”

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Boris - The Atlas Moth - Sub Rosa -- 9:30 Club - Aug 2 2014

Sub Rosa - This band looks like they have potential. There are three women on guitar, two violins, with all on vocals. Add a rhythm section and the sound potential looks fascinating. At the end of 29 minutes, the potential is still there, but not enough happened in between. It was doom laden the whole way with quiet chanting bits leading to louder bits with just the three rock instruments for a bit, then all five grinding away. The violins did add some great sound to the drone, but it just was not enough. There were enough people here that enjoy this premise and don't ask for anything more. I did enjoy the atmosphere for a time, but I can never fully get into bands that work for a sound, but have so little within.

The Atlas Moth - This Chicago quintet was just here at the DC9 in March, but seem quite happy to return on this tour and spread their music to an even bigger crowd tonight. They were a little slippery to get into early in the set, but by the end they finished with an intriguing blend of sounds that ranged from death metal to Kattatonia like prog-metal to droning songs and even something akin to experimental music working its way in. There were two or three guitars going most of the time with one guitarist switching to synthesizer and keyboards a few times, which really added some interesting twists. There were two or three songs which clearly displayed careful thought in the writing and arranging and showed off the bands skill at shaping atmosphere into a focused structure that was highly personal and inviting. This was a pleasure.
Boris - I have lost count of the times I have seen this fantastic Japanese trio. I did not take any notes as I just let their 80-minute set work its magic. Some of it is familiar with much of their wonderful new album on display as well. They ran the gamut from drone to fast metal, to psyche metal, with even a lighter pop song. I find it interesting, but not at all surprising that I see so many area musicians at a Boris show when they come to DC. They remain an absolutely brilliant live band that I will continue to make the effort to see every time they are nearby.

Quote of the Night - Another 'classic musician on musician insult' from Tom Hawking's list...

12. Mark “E” Everett on The Beatles
“John Lennon sings about peace because he’s a woman-beater. Hippies are so full of shit.”

Friday, August 1, 2014

Golden Looks - Teen Mom -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - Jul 31 2014

Teen Mom - It is been a while since I've seen this local trio. They were always a little slippery for me to grab onto, although their sets always impressed. Tonight, some of those same challenges were there. I thought they started a little slow, especially with a laid back style between songs that made Jimmy Buffet look like a punk rocker. But then as the music flowed, their unique take on power pop music took over and created some real magic. They have some absolutely brilliant songs with at least one that could have been a radio hit if the era was right. Although I like the pacier cuts, they pull back well and offer some interesting variations, which require a bit more focus than most band's songs need. They had a nice long 47 minute set tonight that was well received and allowed a full showing of their song varieties. So this is still a band that perplexes me, but I am always happy to listen to, because the successful songs are so much better than most of what I hear.
Golden Looks - Fresh off of their album release, Golden Looks hits the stage to a small, but very enthusiastic crowd that was here for the music. They are fairly new around here, but not really as they come from bands, some of which, I have seen long ago. Also a trio, I can't tell whether they are playing with two guitars or if one if them is a six-string bass. The sound is fine with always enough bass, and they do switch instruments around with traditional basses. The drummer is doing double duty tonight, and this is his first show with this band. He is a real powerhouse, so he can probably drum for about anybody in town and help them sound good. The axe players are up to the task as they crank out some fine crisp, pacey, chirping pop-punk tunes. They both sing and have a female and male voice to work with. They harmonize a bit and probably should explore that further as they continue to write songs. They have a fresh, fun set of personalities, so it is hard not to enjoy their set, as the audience did.

Quote of the Night: Yet another 'classic' musician on musician insult. We're getting deep in the list, but still another dozen to come...

13. Rick James on Prince
“A little short ego-ed fucker who I had a feeling didn’t like people of his own race and wanted to be white and taller.”