Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It List: Tuesday

NOTE: The show at 818 Hickory was combined with the 715 Panhandle show.

Wavves/Abe Vigoda/Fungi Girls/Fergus And Geronimo (715 Panhandle): Big show, little space, and one of the biggest in the entire HXHF schedule. Now let's talk about why that is exactly. What are ABC News and The New York Times trying to do, man? Embarrass this guy into an early grave? Or how about MTV News having a "Top albums of 2008" list that looked like it was lifted right off of Terminal Boredom?

Aren't you guys just so hyped about South By? I know I am. I'll let you in on a little secret: If you go into that weird, junkyard-antique area behind End Of An Ear when you're hanging out at one of their day-shows, you'll come upon a statue of a brass calf, inscribed with the words, "RSVP ONLY." You're only supposed to go in there if you're a publicist, booking agent, or blogger but just trust me. Knock three times and you enter a corridor which leads to a beautiful candlelit scene that features vegan catering, an endless supply of Tito's, and free wi-fi. Mix and mingle with the masons of indie rock as you partake in sacrificial rituals and decide who to crown as king this year. Last year it was obviously Nathan Williams. Poor guy. Who's it gonna be this time?

In all seriousness, along with a wild stroke of "right sound,/right place/right time" good fortune, Wavves is an extremely catchy project, even when buried behind the fidelity of a Panasonic KX-T1450. Much to the chagrin of the underground, people that like Lady Gaga are really into Wavves and everyone's just going to have to suck it up.

One promising development I've seen more and more over the past few years is the willful elusiveness of decades past, where artists release records sometimes with little or no information at all, as well as limiting their online presence. Some say it's a gimmick, and a gimmick it may be, but I'll take it in this super saturated era.

Abe Vigoda is another group that went from playing small shows to grander, though not necessarily more enjoyable events like opening for No Age at The Loft. However I think that their liberally reverbe-d "tropical punk" with its shifty prog rhythms is a little less inviting than Wavves, though still accessible.

As far as local groups that have achieved a lot in a small amount of time, Fergus and Geronimo seem to have barely played out at all, and yet they have records coming out on Woodsist, Tic Tac Totally, and most notably, a full-length debut on Troubleman Unlimited. Which will technically make Fergus & Geronimo label-mates with Farah. Wonder what some of the punk rockers I know will think of that. I've returned to the sincere pop with Motown-leaning instrumentation on this group's page multiple times, and I can't wait to hear the forthcoming records.

Oh, and you guys have heard of Fungi Girls, right?

Efterklang/Human Highway/The Magic/Peter Broderick (Hailey's):

Lover!/Yuppies/Thomas Function/Psychedelic Horseshit (Moved To 715 Panhandle) I have really liked what I've heard of the forceful style of punk performed by Yuppies. I enjoyed what I saw of Thomas Function when they played Panhandle last year, but unfortunately I was called out on the blog by some "just sayin'" kid for playing basketball on the infamous 715 backyard court during part of their set. Correction: Totally schooling some poor sap during part of their set, thank you very much.

Birds And Batteries/Telegraph Canyon/Laura Gibson/Death To Anders (Chat Room)

Fishboy/Amo Joy!/Caddy Wompus/Thomas Function (J&J's Pizza): I don't have much time to delve very deeply here, but Amo Joy makes Voot Cha Index sound like a grindcore band.

Marnie Stern/DD/MM/YYYY/Medications/Edie Sedgwick (The Lounge on Elm): I can't hate Marnie Stern. Maybe it's because everyone else seems to, I don't know. Such a huge fuss is raised, people claiming music being the most annoying sound since happy hardcore with most detractors not being able to decide if its her voice or hyper-shred guitar technique they hate so much. I could probably do with a little less guitar heroine-ics, but I think the music is layered and strange enough to inject some innovative revisionist history into her near-constant tapping and soloing method.


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