Friday, August 31, 2007

Mass Shivers with Oxter at the Current Gallery

Last night, went to the Current Gallery downtown with some friends to see Mass Shivers from Chicago play. The bass player is the boyfriend of one of my friend's cousins.
The space was nice, terrible parking though. The openers were a local band, Oxter. They seemed to be a trio of jazz guys who wants to "get funky" and "rock out". Technically solid, but while it seemed like the musicians were having fun, we, the audience, were made to suffer a numerous variety of false stops, dissonant Hammond organ chords, uninspired horn solos, bad samples of dialogue, and a cover of The Offspring's "Come Out and Play" (a la Miles Davis' "Human Nature" by Michael Jackson).
Mass Shivers reminded me why I like a lot of bands from Chicago- hard drumming, interesting solos, and no nonsense rock. A shame the jam band crowd left after the openers finished as they missed how a good rock set should be. No smiling, just serious music.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stereo Total with The Octopus Project at Ottobar

I've been a fan of Stereo Total for about 10 years, since their album Monokini came out. I remember buying it on vinyl in NYC. Alas, for years, I lived in towns where the band never toured. After waiting so long to see them, I was not disappointed in their show.
Opening up was Austin, TX's Octopus Project. They have a lot of energy, but maybe because they are mainly playing instrumentals, I just don't get into them. Sometimes their music sounds like a harder version of John Carpenter theme music.
I wonder how popular they would be if they didn't have a hot theremin player- she's certainly not clara rockmore. I loved her stance as she played the theremin- reminded of a ballerina.
Stereo Total were great to see live. Françoise Cactus came off as being slightly scatterbrained on stage, but she was very endearing. She attributed her spaciness to jetlag. Brezel Göring looked liked an aging punk rocker.
However, when they played, they played great pop songs with a lot of energy and tongue in cheek. They had no pretense of trying to be cool- it was just pure simple fun music.

Monday, August 06, 2007

4 Hours at the Virgin Festival Day 2

Scored a free pass to the Virgin Festival at the Pimlico Racecourse, so I went for a few hours before the crowd and overpriced food was too much to bear (it wasn't that bad, but when Panic! at the Disco started their set, it was time to go).
I started in the "Dance Tent" and caught local artist Dan Deacon play. His music is an electronic mashup of synthesizer and ipod- it's okay. I just wish he were more trained in music because it has too much of an amateur-goofing off feel to it.
The computer DJ Girl Talk was next- I gotta admit, he was pretty damn fun to hear mashing up several songs at once, and the crowd went crazy for him.
I then went to see Regina Spektor perform at the South stage. She was alright- I liked a few of her songs, but not so much into the songs with too many vocal gymnastics.
I also caught some of Matisyahu. I wonder that if her were not an orthodox Jew, would he be as well known? I haven't really been into his songs so much.

The last act I saw was Spoon. They were pretty good. Former Spoon member Roman from local act Oranges Band joined them for some older songs.