Sunday, February 24, 2008

A lot of balls

As I walked into Zaphod's last night, Eastborough was already partly into their set. Frontwoman Stefani Guzman already has a slew of CDs to her credit; her latest outfit includes Alumette Nina and Aedan Helmer (a coworker of mine, as it happens) on guitar, Paul Mahar on bass and Justin Purvis on drums. This was my first time seeing them live, and I was immediately struck by how well-suited they were to share a stage with The Polytones. Both bands are born out of similar streams of melodic pop, indie rock and punk. I think they might also appeal to fans of Rebekah Higgs or Tegan and Sara (though Eastborough has a folkier edge).
Shanker and Romps provided the sweet layer to the evening's musical Oreo cookie with their garage-influenced crunchy pop and songs about biking, wiggling, sock-repairing, kissing and just being too darn cute for words. They sounded particularly good through The Zaphod's sound system (actually, the sound was on form for all the bands this particular evening, to my ears).
The Polytones finished the night off with a very energetic set, with Lesia Manchulenko even bouncier than usual. As is their wont, the band decorated the stage with a seasonal theme - sparkly silver balls, white Christmas lights and a few bundles of those willow like plants with the flat shiny white leaves whose name I can never remember. Their next show is April Fool's at Mavericks, so you can probably expect harlequin masks and whoopee cushions next time.

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