Don’t Call it a Comeback…

12 11 2007

Wow… a mark of a vacation coming up soon is when the professors start piling on the work. School’s been insane, and I’m almost kind of glad then that October was basically a drought as far as good shows go. On the 30th we road tripped it out to St Louis University to attend their free Hallow-indie show at the Billiken Club featuring my all time favorite… Menomena!

Two great bands opened for them, the first was The Jumbling Towers, a local band that evokes the early (and good) days of Modest Mouse in their musical style, but with a vocal style like nothing I have come across before. The second act, Illinois, was also absolutely phenomenal… they’ve been touring forever it seems, as they came through Houston a few months back with The Hold Steady and are now just kicking off their tour with Menomena. Fans of Weeds (which every really should be) might recognize their song “Nosebleed” from the “Brick Dance” episode from Season 3. They’ve got a very eclectic folk-rock sound that the crowd really seemed to respond well to.

Menomena played a good set as well, although it was identical to the set they played in Houston in June – not that I have any complaints about it, but I’ll be excited to see them end their touring and get back in the studio sometime soon.

Next comes November, which brought about the appearance of probably the best mash-up artist around, Girl Talk. Greg Gillis, aka Girl Talk, is by far the best reviewed mash DJ, his accessibility coming from his use of both top-40 and more old school sound bytes.  Girl Talk shows are somewhat famous for their stage-breaking, nearly raver atmosphere, and last Thursday at Mojo’s was no exception. With a laptop covered in plastic for protection from sweat and silly-string, Girl Talk kicked out the jams for the manic crowd

By the time I emerged from the Girl Talk show, I think I had danced off 10 pounds and I was completely drenched head to toe in sweat, both my own and that of probably about 30 other people… it’s been a good 4 days since that show and I still am at a loss of words as for how to describe it. All I can say is: Best. Concert. Ever.

Downloads:

Asian Car” – Jumbling Towers

Nosebleed” – Illinois

Cough Coughing” – Menomena

Twenty Cell Revolt” – Menomena

Muscle n’ Flo” – Menomena

Hold Up” – Girl Talk

Bounce That” – Girl Talk

“‘Knife’ Remix (Grizzly Bear vs Clipse)” – Girl Talk





The Narrator, Via Audio, and White Rabbits at Mojo’s (September 11, 2007)

16 09 2007

“Knock Knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“September 11th”
“September 11th who?”
“I thought you said you’d never forget.”

After a weird day spent hoarding craft supplies and trying to find a place to get my car washed, basically just completely ignoring the news in spite of my journalism major, I worked up the courage to venture out into the night and go see White Rabbits perform at the local down and dirty venue, Mojo’s.

If I can’t ignore media all day and then go see an indie rock concert on September 11th, then the terrorists have won. It’s just the American way.

My musical counterpart Danny and I met up with some kids he knows through The Maneater, and then hung out outside after paying our super cool $2 minor surcharge… damn you, Missouri! Being the youngest people at a concert is soooo not the best.

We talked outside while The Narrator played… we could hear them well enough even though we were outside, and it’s not as if any of us felt compelled to go in to hear more. I can’t pin down exactly what it was that was so unsettling about the lead singer’s voice, but it sounded like a mix between Voxtrot’s Ramesh Srivastada and Brent Katz of The Harlem Shakes… only in the worst way possible. Ultimately, the need to be warm outweighed our dislike of the opening acts, and we went inside as some local hardcore band was setting up. The townies seemed to like them well enough, but I was not diggin on them.

Eventually, they ended their set, but not as soon as I would have liked. Then it was time for Via Audio to take the stage. Outside on the deck, we had been ragging on Via Audio for basically having one of the stupidest band names since Hoobastank, but by the end of the night I was eating my words. They were so impressive and so much fun, it is no wonder that everyone from Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie to Jim Eno of Spoon is jumping on the Via Audio bandwagon. They, like their tour-mates White Rabbits, are out of New York and are making quite a name for themselves. Comprised of primary vocalist/guitarist Jessica Martins, guitarist Tom Deis, drummer Danny Molat, and bassist David Lizmi, they have a whole lot of diversity in their song styles and are all about swapping instruments. Pretty much, they are the cutest… well, except for maybe Final Fantasy, but more on him later.

Jessica Martins of Via Audio.

Finally though it was time for White Rabbits to take the stage, precipitated by the introduction of a piano, two drum kits, a third stand-alone mini-kit, two guitars, and a bass to the tiny Mojo’s stage.

Greg Roberts of White Rabbits.

White Rabbits, if you don’t already know, is a band that was started way back when, right here in lowly little Columbia, Missouri when vocalist/guitarist Greg Roberts and vocalist/pianist Stephen Patterson were students at Mizzou. After graduation, the two moved to New York and soon expanded the band to include guitarist Alex Even (from Jeff City, Missouri), bassist Adam Russell, drummer Matt Clark, and drummer number two Jamie Levinson. The six-piece has rightfully received great reviews for their first album out on Say Hey Records, titled Fort Nightly, and has even had an appearance on Letterman earlier on in the summer, where they played “The Plot” – an infectious stomp that is probably the strongest cut from the album.

Most of their set was pulled from Fort Nightly, but they are already debuting some of their new material, including a new song called “Sea of Rum.”

Set List:
“Kid on My Shoulders”
“Tourist Trap”
“Sea of Rum” (new)
“Take a Walk Around the Table”
“Navy Wives”
“Dinner Party”
“March of the Camels”
“The Plot”
Encore – “I Used to Complain Now I Don’t” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm”

Next up for White Rabbits is a tour supporting Kaiser Chiefs… keep up the good work, boys!

Downloads:
Sea of Rum (Live Daytrotter Session)” – White Rabbits
The Plot” – White Rabbits
Modern Day Saint” – Via Audio