Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Random Notes

Mr. Shovel's Check One...Two, Indie 103.1 Monday showcase at the Viper Room is usually a highlight of the week, but he really outdid himself this week with a lineup that included two of my current favorite local bands, Everest and Film School.
, on such a roll right now, filled the venue to overflowing just before they began. I queried a few of the people standing right around me and most had never seen the band before but were told they had to see them by friends and acquaintances. Proof of the power of word-of-mouth. After Russell Pollard led the crowd in a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" for his guitarist, Joel Graves, they opened with "Trees" and had the audience in the palm of their hand from that point on. I'm almost always impressed at the sound quality at this venue, but Everest never sounded better than this. And this includes the great sound they had at the Hotel Cafe in May, 07 and at the Echo last January. "I See It in Your Eyes" may be my number one favorite rock song of the moment with that long, languid instrumental section that could just go on forever as far as I'm concerned. On their great new CD "Ghost Notes" that song is followed by "Standing By" which I was just as glad they didn't perform because that song is so moving it could wring tears from a brick, and I don't like to cry at the Viper Room.
A sterling set by a great band as they go off on a limited cross country tour and a few European dates. They're scheduled to play Spaceland during Afternoons' June residency on June 16th and they'll be even bigger by then so count on a crowd there, too. Afternoons is another fine up and coming band spawned out of that rock combine, Irving.
Film School played next to a crowd that barely dispersed between bands and delivered the most raucous set I've yet seen them play. I spoke with guitarist Dave Dupuis earlier in the night and he told me they'd just finished a marathon drive back from Denver and hadn't even been home yet. Back from a bit of touring they must have been tired but they still pulled out a solid show beginning with an exhausting performance of the mesmerizing "Compare" and sailed through songs culled mostly from one of last year's best CD's "Hideout". The sound was a little inconsistent but didn't seem to affect their playing whatsoever.
Also had a chance to talk a little with Andy Lynch, but, being new to the scene, I'm a little rusty of band geneologies, and I've known him only as a band member of The Poor Excuses, who I've been trying to see, but he also plays in Earlimart who are a particular favorite of mine. So I'll be seeing him again Saturday night when Earlimart play the Echoplex, where Andy tells me they'll be playing some of the new material from their eagerly anticipated new release "Hymn and Her".
The Viper Room always is a curious mix of Sunset Strip and Silver Lake on these Monday nights, but I enjoy it and it's good to spread this great music around. Thanks Mr. Shovel and Indie 103.1.

P.S. Mark Sovel informs me that Melissa Renee Hernandez handles the booking for these evenings and I want to give a big shout out to her. Good Job!


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