I'm still in the process of clawing my way back to the land of the living after spending a week with the flu. Missed work, missed shows, missed blogging and I'm sick of it. I can finally begin to recall the show I saw last Sunday night (February 15, 2009) at the All Star Lanes in Eagle Rock.
It was Joe Fielder's fabulous "Under Covered" show with four bands playing five songs each, from five different current local indie rock bands. I had been really looking forward to this for a long time and it did not disappoint.
I have only been to the Eagle Rock All Star Lanes once before, when the stage was set up in the bowling alley, at the far end, and the periodic shattering of bowling pins punctuated every song. They've moved the music into the bar, where I've been told it used to be, and it's a much better arrangement. The room is cozy and intimate and the sound is good.
Apart from the music itself, the highlight for me was to see the song's authors, watching and reacting to hearing another band put their spin on the material. Hunter and Adam grinning their way through The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra song as done by Marvelous Toy, who opened the evening's program.
They also did songs by Divisadero and The Henry Clay People, but I especially enjoyed watching Fol Chen hear Fol Chen's "No Wedding Cake" as performed by Marvelous Toy. Jordan Huddock was in fine voice and he and his band made these songs sound like part of their own repertoire.
The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, with guest singer Angela Correa, came up next and showed why they're such a good band. Their versions of songs by Radars To the Sky, Divisadero and The Movies were tight and polished, and Hunter and Angela's vocals meshed beautifully. Rob and Nick were jumping around near me when they heard the Death to Anders song, and everyone sat up as they sang the beautiful Avi Buffalo song "Where's Your Dirty Mind?"
It was great to hear Radars To the Sky play such a varied set, as they picked song from bands as diverse as Rademacher, The Little Ones and Death to Anders. Andrew, Kate and gang did an especially great job on the Thailand number and Death to Anders' drummer, John, filled in on one number so Radars' drummer could step up to a microphone.
Singer Randolph, of One Trick Pony seemed pretty overwhelmed hearing his song interpreted wonderfully by Death to Anders, as they performed the last set of the evening. They played a really eclectic variety of songs, including "Driver" by Sarah Negahdari and "Parking Lot" by Manhattan Murder Mystery, which nicely showed off Andrew Teardrop's songwriting skills. Death to Anders sounded just as solid as they always do and brought a serious interpretation to all their numbers.
This evening was the amazing conception of Joe Fielder, one that bore enormous rewards, and he is to be congratulated. In fact, no one could have come out of this evening without a new found respect and admiration for the quality songwriting going on all around us every day. It's kind of overwhelming.