by Jeff Milo
This is Blowout. There's a lot of bands around here, man. We only have so many hours in the day to scour the various bandcamp sites and take in every new song from every new project that props up every other season or so.
Last night brought you a swirl of classy bluegrass and indie-Americana with a bit of a swing to it (Ryan Dillaha & The Miracle Men), along with a ganglier bunch of surf-rock leaning psychedelic types ever-honing their predominance in the realm of "quirk-pop" (Oscillating Fan Club). Dutch Pink would expand upon the The Miracle Men's manipulations of folk-aesthetics by bringing in pianobar blues and plenty of soulful lead vocals, but that made for a dynamic blend of genres since they followed up the energetic, bass-heavy Ro Spit, a hip-hop project that brought a bit more bite and edge to the party-starting anthem aesthetic, (and the dude just debuted a new video if you'd like to check it out).
Down in the lounge, we had Electric Corpse, a guitar/drum duo that made post-punk sound dark and shoegaze sound light, with delicate distortion and muted melodies from a subtly quavering voice that could cut through to the top over those driving beats and buzzy guitar.
George Morris is a rock star. I mean that in the best way, though, really. You can't not admire the way a performer can command a room... in terms of a keen awareness for showmanship qualities. He (and the Gypsy Chorus) can turn up the dial on presentation to about an 8 or a 9, never going over the top to 10 or 11... It helped that the Lounge packed in for him.
That's the thing, here, though - is that just cruising bandcamps wouldn't do his songs justice. The pop sensibility, the instantly catchy melodies, the cool piano under those vigorous guitars, you'd pick up on that - but you have to see this band, the whole Gypsy Chorus, in the live element - and that will likely go for just about every band on this list. How else would you have gotten a true sense for what Ponyshow was like without seeing them live, last night? They just started, really, despite the fact that many "on the scene" have "known" the players involved with the project for a while, now, you won't get the true sense of it until you're there, with your ears opened to them.
So that's my frustratingly coy prognosis for you - you won't know until you go. You haven't gotten to see this band yet? Great. Here they are. You think you know what they're about because a blogger like me or someone else on this site put together a few trigger words and hollow genre labels to give you "the gist" of them? What does "shoegaze" mean? You should go stand next to the amp and have some feedback prickle itself into your ears, glorious and grating all at once. Understanding comes with encountering... (Whoa, did I just get all Siddhartha on you?)
No, honestly. There's a lot of bands in this town... Hard to keep track of all of them. You can pare yourself down and at least take in ONE band tonight. That'd be good. Someone you haven't heard, or haven't even heard OF yet, and really get to know them... You might even throw a dart at this wall - Or you could just walk in blind. Just keep your ears open.
You want this "critic" to make a pick for you. You're out of luck. All of my "picks" are anything happening at 10:15 tonight, in all three cities. Call in the clones!