Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Death To Anders Begin Echo Residency

Death To Anders launched their September residency at The Echo with a great line up Monday night (September 8, 2008). A nice crowd of friends and bands were there to show support for one of L.A.'s hardest working bands. And the hard work is paying off with increasingly impressive performances as evidenced by this polished set.

First up, though, was The Henry Clay People, who, I was quite ashamed to admit to people, I had never had the chance to see yet. And they play all the time all over the place in L.A. so there is really no excuse, except that in the tidal wave of bands I'm trying to learn about, some get by me. Sorry. I really was sorry because they are great. They hyped up the audience with a first rate set of numbers including a bunch of covers, which, it was said, the band had barely rehearsed. WOW! They are a solid band of flat out rock and rollers, singing out, playing loud and delivering superb musicianship. It was fun and informal and set the tone for an evening that was much more party than concert.

Next up, Robert Francis, a local band who stunned everyone with a terrific set of literate, folkie-indie rock. Stongly sung, Robert Francis has a voice matched by his super guitar playing. I understand he plays a wide range of instruments. His sister joined on harmonies and they sound like they've been singing together for years. They're surrounded by a terrific band of players and I was surprised I'd not heard of them before. They played a nice full set, too.

Death To Anders were pretty stoked by the time they came on and they rewarded their faithful fans with a rocking set of old and new and newest songs. I loved that they started with older material I'm not really familiar with. The older material is just as quirky and angular as the new stuff and yet even their familiar material surprises you with it's odd trajectory. It makes the music sound both classic and futuristic at the same time. I never feel I can describe their music properly and maybe that's part of their achievement. Their musical knowledge seems so sure that there doesn't seem to be any musical influence they can't call upon.

Rob Danson and Nick Ceglio have such different voices that each takes the band in a different direction and yet when singing together it makes perfect sense and the disparate elements all congeal. A song can lull you into a gentle reverie and then suddenly spray out all over the place with vein-popping intensity in a mad cacophany of noise before bringing you back down. Their shows are a lot of fun. Also picked up their new Enigmatic Market EP download. Can't wait to hear that. And I'll be there next week.

I couldn't stay for Manhattan Murder Mystery, but it was late and I will see them next Tuesday, Sept 16, at Joe's "Let's Independent!" at Boardner's (go to Radio Free Silver Lake for details)

Now it's Tuesday and there's a bunch of new CD's "dropping" into stores (I get a charge out of the term "drop").
Like Carried To Dust by Calexico, and The Stand Ins by Okkervil River, and the new one by The Wedding Present, who I don't even know, but am seeing next week at the Troubadour when Earlimart opens for them on Sept. 19. Friends have assured me I will love them. We'll see.


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