Sunday, August 24, 2008

hot soft spots on a hard rock planet.

This was quite a week for music. Eight bands at three events, and while I liked some more than others, none sucked. Which is always good.

Wednesday night, a friend who I hadn't seen in a long time was singing back-up on a few songs at the record release show for Goh Nakamura, so I figured I'd go check it out. A bonus was that Scrabbel were playing as well. I hadn't heard of them until I got the email announcement for the show. So I clicked through their website and was instantly hooked by their infectious pop. The show was as good as I'd hoped. Scrabbel were charming and Goh Nakamaurah was outstanding. His songs are soulful and (especially on the new album Ulysses) you can hear the Beatle influence loud and clear.

Thursday my band hosted (but did not play this time) our monthly Vive le Rock night of indie music at Mr. Smiths. Our guests this month were The French Semester (from LA), Man Versus and The Lag.

The French Semester, friends of our drummer Carter, were outstanding. Crisp, tight, and energetic. The latest record, Open Letter to the Disappeared, is a solid collection of lo-fi, laconic pop that reminded me of their fellow LA bands Irving and (Irving spin-off) Sea Wolf (now with a song in a car commercial!). The theme of the night (for me) was cool instruments, and bassist Gil Disloquez's Hofner bass (strung for his left-handed playing...just like Paul!) made me want one of my own. And for only $349 at Musician's Friend, that just might happen.

Man Versus, who are based down in San Jose, brought out a good crowd and delivered with an excellent set. The most obvious comparison is Mates of State, thanks to the piano-heavy arrangements. MV's sound is more expansive, however. Next to the music, the coolest thing (following my theme for the show) had to be guitarist Jennifer Roye's bad-ass flying-V Gibson (like Gil's bass, strung to be played left handed) which she played through a Marshall head and cabinet. I mention this because you'd think, seeing that gear, that she'd be a total shredding rocker. Turns out a relative is, which is where she got the gear. And while she didn't fire up any 80's hair-metal riffs, her playing was excellent.

Sunday afternoon was the inaugural Rock Make Festival deep in the heart of the Mission. A gaggle of bands were scheduled. I managed to catch French Miami, Rademacher and Man/Miracle. Besides the music, a bunch of area independent artists, jewlery and clothing designers had tables full of good stuff.

You'd think this would be enough to sate me, but in addition to our own rehearsals, there's upcoming shows by Calexico, Spoon, and My Bloody Valentine among others. And this without going to the Outside Lands and Treasure Island Music Festivals.

And of course, the September installment of Vive le Rock, featuring us, The Sleepover Disaster, and short films by Waylon Bacon. September 18 at Mr. Smiths.

No comments: