Tuesday, March 18, 2008

World's Greatest Dad @ Knitting Factory, March 15th, 2008

My friend Dani came down from North Hampton last weekend with her band World's Greatest Dad. They play what I like to call "Renaissance Psych," a mixture of the psychedelic sounds of the 60's with Renaissance music of the 16th century. This was their first show. It featured two acoustic guitars, a violin, a flute, a clarinet, a sweet sounding omnichord, and a bold front-man. So fun! I tell ya, all the best new musical trends originate in Canada, make a pit-stop in North Hampton for a year, and eventually reach the Big Apple. We're at least two years behind. But hopefully by 2010 there should be a huge Renaissance revival in the city, with everyone painting frescoes, wearing pointy shoes, and playing the mandolin. Works for me!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Frog Eyes @ Mercury Lounge, March 12, 2008

I wasn't even planning on going to this show. But I happened to be walking by the Merc 20 minutes before the Frog Eyes set and I couldn't resist... I'm glad I went! Frog Eyes is another talented Canadian Indie-Rock band with the ability to capture the anxieties of modern life in a unique and aurally pleasing way. You can definitely hear the Spencer Krug/Sunset Rubdown influence in the sound (or is it the other way around with Spence ripping his sound from Frog Eyes?). Either way both bands have a similar sound with Sunset being a little more controlled and emotional, and Frog Eyes being a little more wild and stream of consciousness. Front man Carey Mercer can really rip on the guitar and has a pleasing, whimsical voice and a relaxed stage persona, telling a bunch of jokes in between songs. They weren't hilarious jokes, but worthy of a sarcastic "Ha Ha." (right Keith?) Of course that's not why people came to the show. It's the music stupid!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Phosphorescent w/ The Acorn, Bowerbirds @ Mercury Lounge, February 29th, 2008

Phosphorescent has a lot of heart. They're also dead sexy, in that lonesome-cowboy-just-hold-me-before-i-have-to-hit-the-trail nobody-can-understand-my-pain sort of way. Lead singer, Matthew Houck, besides being the principle source of the sexiness, also has one of the smoothest voices out there, kind of like a softer, sadder Band of Horses. Their piano player, also quite good, plays some strenuous double octave lines with both hands, wow! I couldn't really hear the lead-guitarist with the sweet mustache, cuz he was on the other side of the stage, but I think he was good? my only complaint would be the drummer, who wasn't always playing the fills exactly how i wanted to hear them, but overall it didn't subtract too much from the performance. I thought that "Wolves" would be my favorite song live (cuz it's my fav on record), but surprisingly "My Dove, My Lamb" and "A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise" came out really nice last night. If you can, go check 'em out...

Sometimes it's nice to see a really forlorn and heart-broken lead vocalist. It reminds you that not all music is being made just for some sort of vacuous goal of fame and fortune. Openers, The Acorn play sad acoustic indie-folk, with nice vocal harmonies and multi-layered classical and acoustic guitar parts. The lead vocalist was a little too hot in the monitors for me, so at times I would be turned off by his vocal part, but the harmonies provided by the bass player, who sang almost every word, were quite nice and kept me from being turned off prematurely. Speaking of maturity, they seemed a bit young, and could use a little more time to marinate in ye ole rock-and-roll oven, but they are definitely heading in the right direction. A little more experimentation, and maybe even an overdrive or delay pedal somewhere in the mix, might give what they lack...

Closers, Bowerbirds, were pretty good, doing that girl/boy everything is lovey-dovey harmony stuff. Sometimes it felt a little sparse though, and their songs could use another instrument. Just my opinion dudes.