Friday, November 2, 2007

11/1/07 - White Rabbits, Red Monroe, Record Hop, Burning Hotels

Went to the Cavern on a thursday night - never seen lowest greenville that dead, but there was actually a decent crowd at the cavern.

First up was the Burning Hotels from Ft Worth - 4-man, 2 guitars (mostly). guitar work sometimes reminded me of U2, songs sometimes reminded me of Radiant. all 3 guitarists sang at some point, sometimes all together (love that), great interplay between vocalists, nice harmonies. noticed the drummer workin overtime back there, trickin it up, great job (i don't normally notice the drummer). closed w/ cover. some really nice songs. would definitely see again.

Next up was Record Hop from denton (who i'd never seen before, despite all my trips over there), and holy shit were they good - fuckin incredible, on a totally different level. 4-man (no keys) - just dirty, grungy, bluesy, raw, the kind of stuff that just grips you by the balls, pulls you in, and doesn't let go. the word that kept coming to mind - visceral. this is not the kind of stuff i usually listen to, but damn, was i sold on these guys (and gal). speakin of that, i usually don't care for the female lead vocalist (in a rock band), but ashlee absolutely destroyed my bias on that front. fantastic set - wanted it to go on all night. definitely look forward to catching them again.

Third was Red Monroe, the band that was the main reason i had gone to the show ( i had yet to catch them since their second cd release). their first cd is easily one of my favorites out of all the cd's from local bands that i've accumulated over the last year, so i was looking forward to hearing the new stuff. i have to say, tho, that the new songs just didn't grab me like the old ones. the new songs share the same jangly guitars and whine-shout vocals, but they just seemed to be missing the hook or groove that i came to love from the first cd. it's probably because i'm much more familiar with the old songs, but whenever they played a song from the first cd, it just seemed like it was infinitely better. for some reason, the same vocal stylings that i dug on the first cd grated on my nerves on all the new songs. i don't understand that, but that's what i felt. still plan on gettin the new cd.

headlining was White Rabbits from NYC, who showed (in my opinion) why they deserve the hype (they've been on letterman). these guys are highly skilled songwriters and musicians. 6-man band, usually two drummers (and sometimes a third), giving almost an animal collective feel at some points. really cool songs.

spotted ringo starr in the crowd, i could swear. lotsa sister pants and pointy black shoes, too. seemed like everyone there was either in a band, or a friend of the band.

for the first time in a long time, made it thru the night without "using" the bathroom. yay, me.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

10/27/07 - Hendrick, Comrade, Swirve

met up with joe the boy-toy (not mine, you asses) at club dada. it's always nice to have a fellow music appreciator come out. didn't see amanda, must've gotten there too late.

first up was Swirve, a somewhat experimental instrumental/spoken-word trio from Dallas. Totally dug these guys. one dude on trumpet, a drummer, and a chick who yelled things and cackled into the mic every once in while. lots of filters, effects, loops, etc. Most songs had a totally cool groove - i defy you to keep your body still whilst listening to their stuff. definitely heard some laurie anderson influence in some of the songs, but talked to chris afterwards and he had never heard of her (!!!). geez, i figured every "avant-garde" arteest would know laurie. chris was kind enough to give me their cd - listening to it right now. really cool stuff. love it. he also told me they play the first wednesday night of the month at the absinthe lounge for their open-mic poetry night. hmmm, mebbe i'll expand my artistic horizons... anyhow, check out Swirve if you can. i will definitely be watching their page for new shows.

next up was Comrade, who i've seen before. 6-man band, i'm pretty sure - up to three keyboard players at once (!). some really nice pop, but i just kept waiting for them to start rockin out, and they never really did. most songs flowed along nicely, but when they'd get to the spot where you expect them to just start wailing away, they'd just keep on at the same level. don't get me wrong, they were some nice songs, but at a live show, you generally want some high-energy rockin at some point (well, at least i do).

last was Hendrick, who i've also seen before. also a 6-man, with 3 guitarists (nice!). the first time i saw them, their set was marred by way too many covers - a stevie wonder, a radiohead, and one sappy 80's-era love song. since then, apparently, they've written quite a bit, since i didn't notice one cover the whole set. thank gawd. first half of set was really great, high-energy guitar-led pop. great voice on lead - nice range, including falsetto (my thom yorke bias). have to say, second half wasn't quite as good. as soon as lead switched from guitar to keys, the momentum slowed quite a bit. still, some nice songs, and i think i remember that the last song or two picked it up again (when he switched back). overall, a pretty nice set, and i wouldn't hesitate to trek out to see them again.

then, we were unexpectedly treated to a special guest appearance by Sarah Jaffe, nicely complemented by the lead from comrade and a drummer. she played i think four or five songs, til the sound man said hey that's enough, we got a long day tomorrow (it was past two by then). loved her voice, and "two intangibles" gave me chills. wouldn't mind catching a full set sometime, especially when i'm not about to fall asleep on my feet.

pretty decent crowd there - i think hendrick has a pretty good following. went to cafe brazil afterwards to chill out and grab a bite. nice end to the night.