Friday, February 20, 2009

Fujiya and Miyagi/School of Seven Bells - 9:30 Club - Feb 19 2009

School of Seven Bells came out as two women on guitar and keyboards surround a male guitarist. Drum machines in use with both of the women singing. Early on, I was a bit worried that although I liked the first song, the easy listening shoe-gaze lush melodies would get tiresome. The guitars didn't do anything fancy as a unit, the keyboards were for atmosphere, this may indeed get old. But, the vocals were stellar (not unlike a less dynamic Chimera ( 1970 UK version--and that's today's requisite obscure reference no one has heard of) and there were enough good songs amidst the more easy listening songs to make for a nice set. So I was pleasantly surprised.

Fujiya and Miyagi - I had heard krautrock mentioned in the description of this band which intrigued me enough to go to this show. The show started with keys/guitar/bass with all three singing. Late in the second song, the drummer jumped in giving a needed humanity to the percussion. I admit a bias against drum machine only bands in all but a few instances (Big Black being one). I wasn't hearing the krautrock which wasn't too surprising as that term is one of the more difficult descriptors out there as it covers a wide range of Germanic 70s progressive. I heard more of a English electronica pop not unlike Midge Ure lead Ultravox (although I haven't heard that in 25 years, preferring insted the John Foxx lead Ultravox). But as the set went on, the electronic grooves got a bit more intense at times with some nice guitar and key moves coming off the steady rhythm section. For the second time tonight, I was pleasantly surprised that I could lock in with the band as opposed to tuning out the sameness.

One of my many regrets was not accepting post punk dance music (particularly the Manchester Factory scene post Joy Division) as much as I should have. I felt that would have given me a bit better diversification as a young person. But it's never too late, I suppose.

Rant of the Evening: There was a slow building crowd tonight and since there was space, I quickly left my viewing area near the soundboard in the back as three people decided to have a non-stop conversation in front of me talking over the music. I went off the side stage right in front and continued to be annoyed by the 9:30 Club staff talking over in the music with one guy having a nice nasal high pitched voice which easily cut through the music. Now as much as I hate the former, I realize I should accept some of that-especially in the back. But I won't accept the people receiving a portion of my money from cutting into my enjoyment at my expense.

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