Sunday, May 24, 2009

Got rhythm

Another night, another doubleheader ... thankfully this one didn't last as long as the previous evening's. First, off once again to Babylon to see Think About Life, Tuneyards and Videotape.

Videotape played another fine set of Velvets Underground goes krautrock. When I saw them at Zaphod's, Adam was using a Strat - now he's gone the electronics route, but it's much the same as before, with his deadpan vocals over Nathan Gara's motorik drums and Ryan Patterson's guitar shards.

Videotape, Babylon, May 23, 2009

For some darn reason, I thought tUnE-yArDs (I'll be damned if I ever spell it like that again) was going to be Duchess Says ... then I thought she was the frontwoman of Duchess Says doing a solo thing ... then my brain restarted and realized it didn't know what the heck it was talking about (an all-too-familiar feeling, I might add). In fact Merrill Garbus is one woman with loops, drums and ukulele, and much of her music has an African feel about it. She only had five albums with her and I'm guessing they all went pretty quickly, as she put on an impressive show.

Tune-yards, Babylon, May 23, 2009

I've heard from several quarters what an amazing show Think About Life put on; I figured I'd get a chance to see them in some basement (possibly 59 Argyle's), but the chance never came to pass. I'm happy to report they're every bit as good as promised, putting on a wickedly fun show of dance-pop. They don't fill up Babylon quite as well as a basement, but they had the crowd shaking their stuff with ease. On this occasion Matt, Martin and Graham were joined by Caila on bass and excellent backup vocals.

Think About Life, Babylon, May 23, 2009

After that energetic show I traipsed off to Irene's .. it was only about 11:15 p.m., way before my bedtime, and I figured I could catch a good chunk of the (Norman)Shanks-Garaga-Mississippi Grover bill at Irene's - and so I did. Unfortunately I missed Greg's set, but Garaga were just a couple of songs into their set when I walked in the door.

Their performance was undoubtedly the loudest and sharpest I've heard them - a really good set, featuring a cover of The Cynics.

Garaga, Irene's, May 23, 2009

Headliners (Norman)Shanks' name is apparently just pronounced Shanks ... I'm guessing some other band with a similar name and a longer provenance persuaded them to add the qualifier. They say they hail from the unaligned state of Mono, and work as butchers on a farm, or something like that. There's a definite meat products theme going on. As I headed down the stairs to the bathroom I heard the drummer telling someone "What we lack in talent we make up for in volume" - and they have the cabinets to prove it. Although all things considered they weren't crushingly loud, but perhaps that's just because I'm getting deafer with age. For some reason they made me thing of 80s dance-pop. I'm not sure if this was a hangover from Think About Life or because of the bassist's slightly melodramatic vocals and the lyrics about conquering donkeys. And yes, the bassist did make himself electrical tape eyebrows and sideburns. There was also a cover of Got My Mojo Workin' in there somewhere.

(Norman)Shanks, Irene's, May 23, 2009

That was a very full evening - and tonight I'm staying home, damn it!

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