Sunday, October 26, 2008

Echo Curio on a Friday Night

WOW! is the best way to describe my second trip to planet Echo Curio Friday night (October 25, 2008). You know how, sometimes on the way to a show, you just know it's going to be great? Well, Friday was just such a night. Once again, some of the finest local communitarians were present to support four more great bands at a venue that is destined to become one of my favorite haunts.

Granted, the place can get pretty hot during the sets, but the homey, living room/curiosity shop character of the space is too inviting to let temperature fluctuations affect the experience. And to see the bands just set up and play with no special lights or fanfare or hoopla of any kind make you feel like you're privy to a secret rehearsal.

Arriving after 9:30 the audience was sparse as Les Blanks began their set. An enjoyable blend of classic garage rock with post punk leanings, the three piece band displayed range and versatility with Joshua Caldwell and Boomcat sharing vocal duties. I really liked the song "Well Rehearsed Last Words".

The place filled up pretty quickly, as Joshua pounded away on the keyboard in a kind of honky-tonk style, singing out in a voice resembling a blues-soaked, kick-ass punk, Boomcat on bass and Brian Soika added drums making for a rollicking start to the festivities.

I was really looking forward to Fol Chen since I haven't seen them since July and they're one of my favorite live bands. They never fail to prove a point. They began their set normally enough, but the heat got to them and they began disrobing until the stage looked like some high school flashback of a 'shirts vs. skins' event.

Their performance was unaffected as they tore through some of their great songs and even threw in a cover of a Mariah Carey song (and it was good!). Showing off their incredible range, they go from noisy, screaming rants down to the most fragile 2 and 3-part harmonies, and usually within the same song.

Fol Chen can do no wrong and they have the adoring following to prove it. I know. I'm one of them. In fact Adam and Melissa were the first two people I ran into when I got there that night.

I don't know how to describe Seasons except that, even though I've seen them before, they completely took me by surprise Friday. Their music defies easy categorization, so let's just say it's an amalgam of all kinds of rock from post punk to classic folk-rock to blues to rock-a-billy and lots in between.

I wasn't prepared for the writing skill and the variety of instrumental arrangements. Some songs were guitar-based, others were piano-based, some even tambourine-heavy. Lead singer, Nic, has a wonderful adaptable voice for whatever the song calls for. He can growl or he can purr.

Picked up their 12-song compilation CD that was being handed out and spoke with Nic, briefly, to ask about the nine musicians on stage with them. He said they're normally a seven-member unit but had assist from friends like Matt from Manhattan Murder Mystery on this night.

The CD even further reveals their range; some of the songs are really quite beautiful and others prove irresistible for dancing. This band definitely goes on my list of locals never to be missed. Seasons are on the bill for Rademacher's Monday night residency this week (Oct. 27) at the Echo, along with The Hectors and One Trick Pony. Of course, Thailand also play that night at the Silverlake Lounge, so I'll either stay one place or be running up and down Silverlake Boulevard all night.

The crowd thinned out a bit when Meho Plaza took the stage to finish off the evening. They play this noisy, playful electronica anchored with flashes of pretty indie rock melodies poking through the electro punk morass. It was a great, crazy eye opening way to end the night.

Met up with some great people this night and, once again, Echo Curio has me under it's spell.
In fact, I'll be back there Thursday night (October 30) to see Avi Buffalo.


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