Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Let's Independent!" - October Edition

This month's "Let's Independent!" on Tuesday night (October 21) was one of the best attended Joe Shows in quite a while and I was very glad to see that. Light FM, Tigers Can Bite You and The French Semester have played lots of recent shows so they each brought a significant fan base that, together, formed a most congenial and band-friendly crowd.

The French Semester had just begun when I walked in. I've noticed a bit of buzz around this band recently, but have repeatedly failed to see their sets as they often go on first. So Tuesday, I was glad to give their very pretty indie-pop a chance, and I was impressed.

The four band members are from all over the planet and their World Music knowledge is evident in the clever, hook-laden melodies and nice, thoughtful, conversational lyrics. They list some really wonderful influences on their myspace page from The Hollies to Pavement and you hear in their mix of lyrical shoe-gaze.

I especially like their number titled "Winter Song". Beautiful. I'm glad they settled in Los Angeles.

By the time Tigers Can Bite You came on Boardner's was swarming. Out again, after seeing them last night, were Kevin Bronson (Buzzbands) , Elaine Layabout and the ever-present Hunter (Costeau). Nice to see Andrew Lynch of The Poor Excuses (He has a solo CD coming out!), Matt of Manhattan Murder Mystery and Ethan Skoczylas and Aaron La Fontaine of The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra. Happy to get the chance to tell Jordan Hudock how much I'm enjoying his Marvelous Toy EP, All Is Quiet.

Tigers Can Bite You sounded stronger than I remembered, but the crowd was kind of noisy and the sound mix didn't favor the lead singer, Dave. I picked up their CD and can tell from that what they could sound like. I want to give them another shot so I am able to render a fair opinion.

Le Switch finished the night and I was so impressed with their show at Safari Sam's last month I was happy to see them again. Again the tight, precise pop sensibility with the crooning vocals of Josiah Mazzaschi in the forefront. I love the instrumentals of this band and was sad the sound mix wasn't up to what I heard before. Josiah's vocals were slightly over amped, losing the lovely vocal harmonies he shares with the other singers in the band, but, still, it was an enjoyable set that had people hopping and bopping.

The whole place seemed like a big party and thanks to Radio Free Silver Lake. Joe Fielder was, as ever, the gracious host and I enjoy getting to know him better. I always learn a lot from him.

Earlier in the evening I was able to catch Nova on PBS to watch the incredible PBS/BBC documentary Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives about The Eels leader, Mark Everett's journey to understand his father, the gifted physicist Hugh Everett, who died when Mark was 18. It is informative, involving, educational and extraordinarily moving. I saw much of it the night I saw his concert at the El Rey on April 16, 2008 and have been waiting anxiously for this TV showing. Because of what Mark finds out on this journey, you understand so much more about his music... and on a much deeper level. I also picked up his autobiography, What the Grandchildren Should Know, and am finding it a brilliant read. My admiration for him grows.


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