Sunday, July 13, 2008

7/12/08 - Calhoun, Smile Smile

went to the barley house on saturday night to catch the greatness of one of my absolute favorite local bands - Calhoun.

finally had some company - batman and wifey, the Les Savy Fan, and Joe the Boy Toy all showed up, although half-way thru Smile Smile's set, the LSF just had to leave to go join his gun-show-flaunting, oh-so-ironic-t-shirt-wearing, faux-hawk-sporting buddies down on lower greenville to "mix and mingle", as he put it. i'm sure he was a good boy.

big crowd at the barley house. many frat-boy douches, yes, but that was more than made up for by all of the amazing sun-dress-wearing sorority gals. oh my. also had the pleasure of watching Manya of blue petal dance her drunken ass off. veerry entertaining.

amazing sound system, too, btw. definitely been upgraded since the last time i was there.

up first was Smile Smile, who I've seen 3-4 times, and who seem to be blowing up right now. 3-man band: Ryan on guitar, Jencey on keys, and drummer (sorry, dude). it's always very nice - some songs happy, some sad, some country-tinged, some pure pop. Ryan's voice can get a tad reedy sometimes, but thankfully it gets smoothed over by Jencey's beautiful harmonies. anyways, they played a nice (if a bit long) set.

next up was Calhoun, and i cannot say enough good things about these guys. there's no doubt that they'll be huge one day, and i'll be proud to say 'i knew them when'. my gawd, if these guys can't make it big, i don't know who can. every song, a pure joy to behold. i was just blown away (happens every time i hear them). at one point, they were joined by Jencey doin some beautiful harmonies - talk about a dream team. they definitely are the masters of the start-out-quiet-and-pretty, then-kick-into-anthemic, wall-of-sound, kick-your-ass rock. one thing i really noticed last night - tim can fucking wail on that guitar. they did all the old songs i love, plus a bunch of new stuff too, which was fantastic. their new album comes out September 9. can't wait.

7/11/08 - Golden Bear, ???

dear gawd i swear i have half a mind never to see the inside of the fuckin Cavern ever again. seems like every time i go, it sucks, for one reason or another. Friday night was no exception.

first up was fuckifiknow, 3-man band: guitar, bass, drums. it was supposed to be It's Unamerican to Be Sad, but since the lead said not one. fucking. word to the audience, i really have no idea who the hell they were. no kidding, not ONE WORD. anyways, i didn't like em. very guitar-heavy pop, lead had waaaay too many guitars, vocals seemed to be an afterthought to the guitar playin (which was pretty good, i'll admit). i was completely uninterested in what they were doin. definitely proves the value of an engaging frontman, or at least one who SPEAKS.
next up was the longest fucking sound check in history.

then came Golden Bear, from Austin. 5-man band: 2 guitars, keys, bass, drums. lead vocalist very energetic, jumpin around, maybe a bit too much, as his vocals bit the big one. backup singers seemed to have better voices, IMO. some decent guitar-led power-pop. no real grooves or hooks to be found, tho. didn't really pull me in. third band (Viva L'American Death Ray Music) was a no show. fuckers.