Monday, September 21, 2009

The Dynamites feat. Charles Walker @ Pianos, September 18th, 2009

I had originally come out to support Ezra's band Diehard, who have a new bassist, and sound better than ever. But I'd rather talk about the headlining act, The Dynamites feat. Charles Walker, who, not knowing a thing about them, really stole the night. Alright, seriously, calling yourself "The Dynamites" is kind of an ego-trip. But then I saw them, and now I get it. They're just a really tight funk/soul band headed by the incredibly charismatic lead vocalist, Charles Walker. He's like a mix of James Brown and Marvin Gaye, so, umm, amazing. His stage presence just pulls you in and doesn't let you go. Totally made the show worth while. And the band was like uber-tight. My video doesn't even do it justice.

Mini Mansions @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, September 15th, 2009

Mini Mansions are an energetic L.A. pop rock band that sound like 70s era Bowie, with Beach Boys harmonies. A really tight 3-piece is always a pleasure to see live, and Mini Mansions really "brought it" at this show. Michael Shuman, the drummer, who also happens to be the lead singer, had a really simple drum set up of just a floor tom, snare, crash-ride, and tamborine, but still sounded like he was playing a full kit. Pretty impressive. He also added guitars on some cuts. Tyler Parkford supported with piano and background harmonies, and bassist Zach Dawes really rocked out, especially during the distorted parts of "Majik Marker." Pretty cool!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jana Hunter @ Market Hotel, September 2nd, 2009

I didn't have anything to do, and Shani suggested seeing the show at Market Hotel, so I said why not. The opening bands were pretty awful, except for Twisty Cat, which was a 3-piece experimental-group consisting of a baritone sax and a bass clarinet through some fuzzy effects pedals, and a percussionist who attached a touch-sensor to his ride, so that every time he hit the cymbal, a stage light would flash at various intensities. Cool! But kind of gimmicky... Jana Hunter is definitely more my speed. She has a lovely relaxed psych sound that instantly put me in a warm fuzzy mood. Her band plays well together, with a common vision for the music. I think I liked the live show, which comes off as more abstract and alt, better than their latest album There's No Home, which comes off as softer and sweeter. Would see them again!