Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Fresh & Onlys - Crocodiles - Young Prisms -- Red Palace - Apr 25 2011

Young Prisms - From San Francisco, comes this shimmering four-piece with drums, bass, guitar and female vocalist. Starting with my overused adjective in my first sentence, we quickly continue down a path of shoegaze psyche-rock. The rhythm section is pretty basic and the guitarist has plenty of room to establish the sound. The vocals are used as an airy instrumental accompaniment. Good atmosphere created by this band, but it was bit too "same old..." for me. The 35-40 people that got here early were respectful and the band did a decent enough job for the opening slot.

Crocodiles - Five pieces here with keyboards and a male singer who added rhythm guitar on a few songs. The drums and organ really kick it up a notch as the set gets going. The singer seems to have his Bryan Ferry/Richard Butler moves down and by half-way through the second song, when the soundman got everything gelling, I could hear that his vocals were quite good. They had a neo-psyche thing going like the Teardrop Explodes, Bunnymen sort of sound, but they could really rock it out beyond that at times--particularly with the second guitar. The lead guitarist had an interesting style and was pretty skillful in coming up with things that just seemed a bit more personal to me than most guitarists are capable of doing. There were loads of pop hooks in the lead and backing vocals and everything really came together in a highly energized set that the burgeoning crowd really got off on. The dancing up front got really intense and they were given extra cheering even as they were breaking down their gear. The nearly full room had a great time. This San Diego band is off to the Austin's Psychefest (as are the all bands tonight) and then on to even bigger things, most likely.
Kristin Klein photo in My Photos by
The Fresh & Onlys - These guys have to have a bit of confidence and ability to follow the Crocodiles tonight and throughout their tour together. Also from San Francisco, the band lines up with a rhythm section and a couple of guitars with the singer playing rhythm guitar. They remind me a bit of Tame Impala with a real dreamy pop-rock psyche sound. The lead guitar runs are quite creative and often invoke that mythical western landscape sound found in Ennio Morricone soundtracks and the Sadies among others. When you can pull that altogether and deliver catchy songs with solid vocal work, you have a winning formula that will indeed be able to follow the Crocodiles. They were also able to  push the rock quotient up when they wanted and had a good steady growth to their set. Very smart work here. They clearly have it together and were a pleasure to see tonight. The left coast is alive and well with some nice second generation bands from the Paisley Underground that in many ways, are doing it better than that generation did.

Quote of the Night: Banter between the axemen of Young Prisms...
"It is weird that hockey is still going on and it's so hot."
"No, because hockey's indoors."


Chris said...

Bummed I missed the F&Os - maybe next time. I didn't get around to listening to them until Sunday, and didn't get it together to get downtown in time Monday. The schlep into town is yet another downside of living in the 'burbs.

If you get a chance sometime, I and probably other people would be interested in a column on where you hear new music (please don't just say "the internet..."). On the rare occasions that I drive my car, I usually listen to ancient cassette tapes - I have an old car w/o a CD player, WAMU has no music, WPFW has no rock, and the occasional good song on DC101 is 20 years old and the band is either playing areanas, or is dead. I'd love to know where I might have heard the F&Os beforehand. I try to make it out if I can expect to almost certainly enjoy a band, but it's hard to hear much of anything new. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

David Hintz said...

Good idea. I will tackle this one shortly. It is something I have discussed and debated with friends for decades. I will say that I almost missed this one myself. I wanted to see the Entrance Band at the Kills show on Sunday, but it sold out on me, so that left me looking for a Sunday or Monday show (since two days off is a rarity for me anymore). I searched the local club listings, vetoed something on Sunday and then just listned to the myspace songs of F&O for about three minutes and decided to give them a chance, if I felt awake and healthy enough for it. I am glad I did, obviously. But there is a whole system of how to find music and it has certainly changed. I'll lay it all out sometime.

Chris said...


I was thinking that these days, what one happens to hear is hit and miss, but I guess it is always that way. In my younger days, I listened to WHFS, which was great, but I pretty much missed punk because I didn't listen to WGTB. So maybe it is no different today, just that the random sources are different.

We moved to Wheaton in '90, so getting to the 930 was suddenly difficult, and I hardly saw any live music from 1990 to 2009. Now I seem to be in permanent catch-up mode. Dang.