went down to the cavern for one of those mid-week SXSW-y shows - just couldn't pass up the chance to see some (hopefully) great out-of-town acts on their way south...
first up was Aaron Robinson, from Nashville. Unfortunately, he was without his band for this show. just him and his geetar. pretty standard singer/songwriter stuff. nice voice, no vibrato tho (strangely enough). had to laugh when he broke out a tom petty cover (won't back down). can't seem to get away from that mother.
next up was XYZ Affair, from Brooklyn. totally loved this band. 4-man band with an awesome set of super-catchy power-pop tunes. heard weezer, happy bullets. loved all the vocals - nice falsetto on the lead, lots of oohs and aahs from the backups. many times, all four of 'em would sing in multi-layered harmony (always dig that). lead was an absolutely fantastic guitar player, which was finally featured on (of all things) a sinead o'connor cover (nothing compares to you). that dude can play some geetar - he should feature that more often. a fantastic performance from a super-talented group. easily the highlight of the evening.
Ezra Furman and the Harpoons from boston were next. 4-man band - no keys, lead on acoustic. very, very good. distinctive yet pleasant voice on lead. heard some ramones, some of the catchier neil young songs, but the most predominant vibe was the violent femmes. nice set of infectious folk-rock songs. very talented group.
last on the bill was dreamend, from chicago. these dudes had "music-school band" written all over 'em. 5 people in the band, including a chick on cello, and one dude on full-time BELLS (i shit you not). bass player and drummer reversed roles - bass player was seated, hunched over his bass, and the drummer was standing whilst pounding on his drums in that oh-so-experimental kind of way. lead vocals not so hot. some dreamy, psychedelic, melancholy spacey rock, kind of like mogwai or EITS, but with bland vocals. just didn't dig it.
the cavern was absolutely empty - not too suprising, i guess, given it was wednesday night and all the bands were out-of-towners.
not a bad show - two out of four ain't nothin to sneeze at (yes, i've seen much worse).