Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cody The Band Is A Smash At Lot 1

For this month's Feed Your Head night at Lot 1, I asked Cody The Band to headline and together we assembled a bill that was surprisingly comprehensive and coherent. Cody Hudock brought in Andy Siara and Claire Mckeown as Socialistics, and I asked The Health Club and Fort King to bracket the evening. Since it was February 4th and summer is beginning in Southern California, the evenings are getting more balmy and people seem more willing to venture out of their caves. So the turn out was exceptional.

Fort King started the show off, and with only the accompaniment of Jeffrey L. Hogan on Double Bass, Ryan Fuller (aka: Fort King, both seen at right) weaved his forlorn ballads into a set that was as touching as it was lovely. He performed songs from his CD, Naked Shadows, along with some newer numbers I had never heard before that were pretty stunning. In the years I've been following his music, I've often compared it to European cafe music or French film scores in it's spare orchestrations and in the sweet melancholy of it's tone. I was especially heartened to hear he has been approached to place one of his songs in a cinematic project. Hogan's double bass added tremendous depth, both literally and emotionally, to the accomplished guitar of Mr. Fuller. With his steady vocals and sharp, sometimes troubling, lyrics, the two musicians filled Lot 1 with with gorgeous sounds.

Socialistics is the name of a side project of Andy (The Henry Clay People) Siara, who composes and performs song of his own which are short, concise and sharp in their irony and edge of sarcasm. His expressive use of talk/singing makes the set feel like a conversation but with Claire (Shadow Shadow Shade) Mckeown adding her soaring voice, the musicality of the project is clear. That woman can sing, and make it seem as effortless as breathing. They may seem like an odd stylistic mix, but they pull it off handily, putting the lie to your preconceptions of what constitutes indie music.

Then came Cody The Band. Now, I've seen them a few times and always been impressed, but this set was inspired. The shot above is at Pehrspace. Armed with a group of excellent songs, they lifted the whole room into a state of rapt attention as one song after another left you wanting more. Streaked with humor, the lyrics are accessible and universal in their appeal. This band really has their act together. Cody and Joanna Hudock share vocal duties as she takes a more central role in many of the songs, but Cody is still center stage (or on the floor in front, as was the case here) and his wonderful keyboard work is the heart and soul of their rollicking sound, along with his clear and solid singing. They also gave away an EP with many of the numbers we heard which just validates how solid these songs are to me.

The Health Club polished off the night with all the expert aplomb I had enjoyed so much at The Echo at one of Seasons shows. A perfect capper to a night of ever escalating excitement as each band topped the previous one, ratcheting up the energy level, The Health Club can really rock. This was serious. Even on the small confines of the Lot 1 Stage Gerard Fortich finds the room to dance around while singing and playing guitar, Katya Arce, off by herself, lost in the extraordinary thump of her bass, and their singing drummer, Gabriel Montez, rocked the place out hard.

I had a great time and thank ever one who came out. I want to especially thank Eileen Leslie and the gang at Lot 1 for making these shows so easy to do, and providing me with the great learning experience. The shows would never be the success they are without Sean Guerin who handles sound duties so professionally and Rebecca Balin who charms people in from the street.


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