Friday, June 27, 2008

6/26/08 - What Made Milwaukee Famous, Three Fantastic, AM Ramblers

left my buddies knuckles, the piledriver, and mr. amsterdam to their nefarious plans (including the assault of municipal property) and headed down to the effin cavern to catch a midweek show.

first up were the AM Ramblers, who I saw a couple months ago at Hailey's. Once again, if bluegrass is your thing, you can't do much better than these guys. Great 4-part harmonies. Very talented musicians.
Next up was Three Fantastic, from Houston. 4-man band - 3 guitars plus drums. saw these guys over a year ago at the Liquid Lounge, and was floored by 'em. i described the frontman as a jim morrison impersonator - howling voice, high-energy, total showman. this time - not as much. the lead seems to have calmed down somewhat over the last year or so, or the songwriting has changed quite a bit (or i'm just not remembering it very well). these guys can rock, no doubt - amazing playing from both guitar players. the vocal parts seemed almost uh, how can i describe it - loungish? i'm not sayin they were bad (in fact, i dug his voice), but you end up with an unusual combination of melt-your-face guitar playin and lounge singing. it was definitely unique and interesting, i'll say that. definitely worth checking out, if you get the chance.
What Made Milwaukee Famous headlined. was really looking forward to their set, as i really liked what i heard on their cd. only a 4-man band last night (apparently the lead guitarist was sick) - guitar, keys, bass, drum. fairly large group of loyal fans singin along with all the songs (and by fairly large i mean like 7 or 8). definitely a very high concentration of Rhythmically Impaired Dancers (gawd bless 'em). some songs definitely had a happy weezer-ish pop vibe, others were more anthemic and coldplay-ish, but with more masculine vocals (great voice on that dude, btw). lead was very funny, very engaging. i definitely enjoyed the anthemic songs more - the others i could take or leave. overall, 'twas a nice set.

Monday, June 23, 2008

6/21/08 - Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, Beauxregard, Frankie 45, Pet Hospital

gonna keep this one short and sweet - i'm in one of those 'why the hell do i bother' moods. again, sorry for the crappy pics and video.

went to Sons of Hermann Hall for the Art Con SEED Event on saturday night. huge crowd (most undoubtedly there for the art auction, not the music). first up was Pet Hospital, who i've seen multiple times. very laid-back set - seemed like 80% of it was just Steven by himself, channeling Thom Yorke (while the rest of the band chatted amongst themselves on stage). not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that, it's just different from the room-filling rockin sound i'm used to from those boys. maybe they were throttling back because of the audience/environment.
Spector 45 was supposed to play next, but only Frankie 45 played due to some sort of mix-up or scheduling problem. it was nice (dude's got some talent), but i was definitely in the mood to get my ass kicked by the full band. next time, eh? (dear gawd, that pic is awful. sorry, frankie.) Beauxregard was up next. 'twas the same fun-filled retro new-wave pop i saw last time. good stuff.
last up was Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, one of my favorite local bands (see write-up here). they were outstanding as usual, although the set lacked the magic of that night at Dan's, which is totally my fault for letting the environment get to me - the lights were up, people were milling about and hobnobbing, etc. Made it hard for me to lose myself in the music. despite all that, i still enjoyed the set. those guys rule.