Monday, December 10, 2007

12/9/07 - Tartufi, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, Handclaps and Harmonies

had to go to haileys to see tartufi again - bands that good just cant be missed, no matter how hard it is to get up and go to work the next mornin.

and hey! knuckles came out, after learning aboot the joys of hard licker and sody-water. heh heh, after a few of those, you'll be up for anything.

first up was handclaps and harmonies, a 5-man band with a sound reminiscent of the beatles and the beach boys. after hearing their myspace page, i was worried i was gonna hear a bunch of sappy, happy silly songs, but these guys were much better than that. yes, there was a bit of sappiness (turn your frown upside down), but the 50/60's-inspired happy pop songs were very well written and executed. nice job with 3-part harmonies, too. love that. have to say, tho - the all-white pants have gotta go (or at least a few of them need to move up a size, IF you know what i mean. heh heh, just kiddin guys).

amanda showed up (tartufi are good friends of hers). knuckles asked me if i'd been caught cheating (goin somewhere besides dada, he meant), but i said hey, if she's here too, it's not cheating, right? then knuckles said somethin about the rules involving threesomes, how you have to pretend you're not enjoying it or something. at least that's been his experience with that sort of thing.

got to talk to brian from tartufi for a bit - he remembered me from the show the night before. super nice dude. i'll be able to say i knew him when...

next up was matthew and the arrogant sea, and i'll tell ya - these boys have something. second time i've seen them, and i liked it even better than the first time. sort of a spacey folk feel, sorta like animal collective, but much more melodic and beautiful. i'd maybe even compare it more to panda bear's stuff, but maybe thats just cuz of the filtered/echoed vocal effects that they both use. incredible set of pipes on lead - dude can belt it out. some hauntingly beautiful stuff, i thot. definitely nearing the top of my list of local faves.

Last was tartufi, who once again were phenomenal (see yesterday's post for my first review). they did an extended set (shweet!), so we got to hear both some newer and some older material (the new stuff was "for amanda", and the older stuff was "for our new friend steve, who came out two nights in a row". ha! how cool is that?). absolutely loved the way lynne would sing a line or two, loop it, sing over that and loop it, then sing over that to create a 3-part harmony. truly beautiful. sometimes when i heard her sing, it would remind me so much of Le Mystere De Voix Bulgare - how's that for an obscure reference? and man, can she play the geetar (and bass). fantastic, hard-drivin stuff. even got the thumbs-up from knuckles, a heavy metal-head.
once again, a truly fantastic performance - definitely made me glad i made the trip.

during their set, a clearly plastered chick started foolin around on the steps up to the stage, and amanda showed she could have a second career as a bouncer. now THAT was funny.

unbelievably, the joint was nearly empty. i dont pretend to understand.


well shee-ut, somehow i screwed up the comments settings and turned them off, but you'll be happy to know i fixed it, so you can now comment away (for real).

Sunday, December 9, 2007

12/8/07 - Drams, Happy Bullets, Shibboleth, Tartufi, JD Whittenburg

been a while since i wrote one of these completely sober, so, fair warning

went to club dada (geez, four weeks in a row now) for boca tinta's b-day bash.

when i hold out my ID to beard, he says, i dont need that, i know who you are. heh heh. cool. then he tells me his sure-thing picks for some bowl games, reelin off a list of teams (including my aggies, i should mention). i'm thinkin, hey thanks for the tip, man, but i am in no shape to remember anything right now.

couldnt get there til 8, so i missed dave little (comedian). first band i saw was JD Whittenburg, who i'd seen before at haileys. definitely enjoyed this set more than the haileys one, couldnt really tell you why. seemed like jd's voice was a bit stronger this time, less reedy. sound system was definitely better, i know that (tho i had to harass the sound guy to turn up the #2 mic - yea, im workin on it, he says. workin on it??? isnt it just a damn knob? ah well, he eventually fixed it). they played a set full of really nice piano pop songs with just a tinge of alt-country. have to say, just like at the haileys show, the thing that did it for me was the backing vocals. i have a thing for harmonies, and this band does it so well - probably the best i've heard in the past year. (yes, it's amanda, but no, i'm not brown-nosing - look at my blog entry for the haileys show - i said the same thing, and that was back before i knew her). i think the advantage JDW has is that amanda is a full-time vocalist (ok, with part-time tambourine duties), and that allows her to concentrate all her efforts on it, and she is very, very good at it. she adds so much more than just a few harmonized notes on top of the lead, the notes she sings have a life of their own. beautiful voice, too. i know i would definitely not enjoy JDW as much without those beautiful harmonies. anyways, it was a very enjoyable start to the evening.

next up was Tartufi, from san francisco, and omigod, this was an absolutely transcendant experience. all apologies to my favorite local bands - still love you guys, but this had to have been the best set i have seen since i started goin to shows a year ago. amanda told me they would blow my mind, and she could not have been more right. this is a case where the unbelievable music coming off the stage completely resonated with me. i cant explain why, i have a hard time even describing what i was hearing. one guy on percussion (and bullhorn, ha!), and one gal on guitars, vocals, plus effects, loopers, etc. she'd play a riff on one guitar, loop it, then switch out to a bass or some other guitar, play that for a bit, do some vocals and loop it, etc. etc., until they'd built up a beautiful multi-layered sonic landscape. definite GYBE and Animal Collective influences, but more melodic and listener-friendly (which is not an insult, in my book). just some really remarkable music, howzat for descriptive? i was absolutely transfixed. met the band after, babbled incoherently at them, and bot the cd. if you ever have a chance to catch these guys, do not miss it (i'm even considering driving out to haileys tonight to catch their (midnight!) set, as insane as that is, on a work night). truly incredible.

at some point, mis compadres showed up. no random-chick tonsil-hockey tonight, tho, but not for lack of tryin on their part.

next up was shibboleth, who i've seen before. they did a nice set of catchy, bluesy, head-bobbin instrumental tunes.

then was the happy bullets, who i've seen twice before. really enjoyed this set. liked the way they continually switched up the lead vocal role, kept things fresh. absolutely loved the trumpet and trombone combo (plus the trumpet player was hot (it's a chick, you asses)). a great set of well-written, smart, plucky, infectious indie-pop songs. i think "vice and virtue ministry" has to be one of my favorite songs right now - go check it out on their myspace page. made the mistake of lettin amanda know i loved that song, so when it came on, she yanked me off my chair and brought me up front to dance. a total riot, but omi-effin-god, i'm one of those people that should never dance in public. thank gawd i was pretty plowed, and thank gawd my buddies didnt have a phone with video, or i'd have to move out of state.

last was the drams. very tight group - you can tell these guys have some talent, and they've been at it for a while. 6 guys on-stage, including slide guitar. shades of Sorta, the eagles. dont know if they always have the slide guitar, but they definitely veered into alt-country territory tonight (not that there's anything wrong with that). seemed to be a decent crowd there for them, based on the number of people singing along.

very very tired at that point, so skipped zini's, much to my alternate-universe girlfriend's disappointment, i'm sure.

all in all, another exceptional night at dada.