Friday, February 26, 2010

2/21/10 - We Were Promised Jetpacks, Bad Veins, Burning Hotels Hailey's

The Burning Hotels opened. If it wasn't for their sheer greatness, I'd definitely be in danger of reaching Burning Hotels burn-out status, having now seen them 3 times in as many months. But they are great, so I enjoyed the set, as usual.
Bad Veins (Cincinnati) was up next, and I absolutely loved 'em. Two dudes on stage - guitar and drums, plus a good ol'-fashioned reel to reel, providing everything else. Dark, lush, fuzzy indie pop. Awesome. The Les Savy Fan's verdict: "they're like the Killers, if the Killers weren't douchebags". So there you go.
We Were Promised Jetpacks (Glasgow) headlined. No exaggeration - this was one of the best sets I've ever seen. Label-mates with another favorite band of mine - Frightened Rabbit - they explore the same anthemic territory, but add a more powerful, beefier edge. My gawd, that dude can belt it out and make you believe, ya know what I mean? Just a totally enveloping, emotionally draining yet satisfying experience (at least, for me). Did not want the set to end. Truly phenomenal.

2/20/10 - Paul Banks, The Young Republic, Lindsay Rae Spurlock the Cavern.

Lindsay Rae Spurlock (Austin) opened. Loved her. Quirky, catchy piano pop, great voice, plus she's a hot. Great stuff.
The Young Republic (Tennessee) was up next. To my ear, it was completely ordinary bluegrass. Not that they weren't good at it - they were - but there was absolutely nothing distinguishable about it. My opinion only.

Postscript: I have been informed by an oh-so-courteous member of TYR that bluegrass is, in fact, NOT one of the genres they play. So screw me. Disregard my comments entirely - I obviously don't know enough about that side of the fence, or I just wasn't paying enough attention. They also sent me their new album, Balletesque, so I could listen to them in better surroundings, which I thought was super-cool of them.
Paul Banks and the Carousels headlined. Paul's first album (self-titled) is still one of my absolute favorites, and I always try to catch him when he comes to town. Loved him, as usual.

2/13/10 - The Heligoats, American Strange, Grassfight, Another Year Colder, John Lefler The Lounge. Gonna try and keep this one short - got some catching up to do.

'Twas very depressing to see The Bone and my beloved Club Dada shuttered, but it was encouraging to see all the new restaurants and bars that have opened recently in Deep Ellum. Also took a trip to Kettle Art between sets, and was happy to see it packed. Anyways, back to the show...

John Lefler, of Dashboard Confessional fame, was up first. Solo w/ acoustic guitar/keys. Decent, but nothing overly compelling. Another Year Colder was up next. Ugh. Totally generic alt rock. Headed for the door when they covered Roxanne about 3-4 songs in. Kill me.
Grassfight was next. Loved it. Dark, anthemic, beautiful. Right up my alley. Highly recommended.
American Strange was next. Nope - not for me. Really don't care for the over-vibrato'd vocals the lead was throwin' out.
The Heligoats (Washington) headlined. Pure. Effing. Genius. Quirky, catchy, smart, funny. Loved it. Kept hearing early solo Paul Simon, but also heard some Johnny Cash-type arrangements (not the voice, tho I loved his voice). Lead entertained between songs with some very interesting stories, including one about his "nervous tic" that involves sliding around inside AC ducts covered in vegetable oil in order to eavesdrop on party conversations. (OK, so you had to be there). Anyways, really enjoyed the set. Fantastic stuff.
short rant: k, look - to the moron who's running the show - when you've got 5 bands to get in before 2AM, you've got to start before 9:30, and you've got to watch the clock, goddammit. Don't let some spare band go on and on (I'll let you guess which one i mean), so the goddam headliner goes on after 1:30, and has their fucking set cut short cuz you gotta shut down at 2. My gawd, that pissed me off - The Heligoats come all the way from Washington only to have their genius set cut short cuz some stupid-ass can't fucking tell time and do some simple math. unbelievable.