Saturday, November 15, 2008

Good Vibes at Silverlake Lounge

Lots of nice folks at the Silverlake Lounge on Thursday night (November 13, 2008) in a good mix of local and Austin and San Francisco bands. You know the night's off to a good start when you step down off the bus and walk right into Rob Danson and step inside and a band called The Frontier Brothers starts up.

Hailing from Austin, Texas, they play kind of a loose brit-punk crossed with 50's rock and roll blend with a severely talented, deep-voiced lead singer in Marshall Galactic (Galactic...really?). It was impossible to resist. There were a lot of fans there, even though this was their first show in L.A. so I guess the word is out about how good they are. They reminded me of The Futureheads and Kaiser Chiefs.

It's a rollicking, piano driven, Saturday-night-at-the-bar kind of music that you don't have to hate yourself in the morning for having enjoyed. Listening to their CD the next day, I was struck at the quality of the music, and it's variety. Gotta love a song with a title like "How Do You Make Movies When You're Under the Sea". It was also the second time this week I got to see someone wailing the hell out of a piano. The way Brett Moses slams the keys reminded me of Harley Prechtel-Cortez massacring his keyboard in Red Cortez Tuesday night at the Echoplex.

Lots of stage presence and charisma from all three band members. Had a nice chat with Travis Newman, their drummer, afterwards and got to introduce myself to Marshall. Great to see how much they were appreciated locally, cause it's fun to see programs that bring in out of town talent.

Death To Anders was up next playing their normal, excellent set that showed off the range of their songwriting. A mix of material that featured Rob Danson and Nick Ceglio sharing vocal duties equally, really showed off the contrast they achieve separately and the complimentary harmony they find together. They just don't sound like anyone else, occupying a niche all their own. My brain always feels a little stretched out of shape when they're done with me. I'm always looking forward to what comes next.

Got in a nice talk with their bassist, Pete Dibiasio, who I've come to admire for his important contribution to Death To Anders' sound. This band is really made up of some fine people who've always been incredibly generous with their time with me. My thanks to them.

Before Thailand finished out the night, a band from San Francisco, Low Red Lands, performed a set of screamer-rock which sounded just like what a fan of that genre would enjoy, but it wasn't for me. All that angst can overwhelm a small place like the Silverlake Lounge.

Thailand served up a set of their great songs, again, featuring a full time drummer and a bass player. Wow, like I've said before, it only makes their music that much more impressive. Like Mouse (Classical Geek Theatre) has said, they stripped down their sound to basic elements (subtraction), but now they're employing addition with new musicians, which results in multiplication of their music into something grand.

Speaking to Marc Linquist earlier, we shared how moving election day had been, but now, what to do with political songs. Actually, when introducing their magnificent anti-war song, "Heartland Failure", Marc had expressed longing for a day when the song would become irrelevant.

Contrary to much opinion, political songs become valuable documents of a time that often need to be referred to when government oppression rears it's ugly head once again. During the early days of the Iraq war, I got comfort and strength from my old Jefferson Airplane Volunteers album. It helped in 1969 and it helped again in 2003. I never devalue political rock.

They played everyone's favorites from The Remote Controller Controls the Place EP and threw in a good deal of older, less-familiar material, which I was real happy to hear. It finished off a night of a lot of varied music in a week which has had more than it's share of remarkable shows.


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