Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Ditty Committee in Pittsburgh

In the early '00s, I struck up a friendship with a New York band called Fake Brain, after they brought their spastic sort of indie rock to town a few times. They really seemed to be on the same page - or at least on the same chapter - as the Mofones.

Like most struggling bands they broke up before they garnered the big time success they deserved, but two members of the band continued playing together and last night their new lineup, the Ditty Committee rolled into town and played Rock 'n Bowl at Arsenal Lanes. Gideon, their lead singer, got in touch with me a while ago about trying to set up a show here for a mini-tour they were putting together. Considering how I've had mixed feelings about shows, and worrying about whether or not we could get a good crowd on a weeknight, I opted to put them in touch with Paul, who books Rock 'n Bowl. This way I'd get to see the band (first priority) and if they didn't exactly get a receptive audience (always a question there), at least it'd be a fun venue and they could make some dough. Well, they did, and everyone seemed to be happy. Except maybe my right arm, which got a little sore from using a bowling ball that was a tad too heavy.

After Fake Brain's traditional rock lineup (guitar, bass, drums and homemade keyboard/noise thing), I was pleasantly surprised by the Ditty Commitee's instrumentation: bass, keyboard sampler thingy (make partially of parts of the aforementioned thing), Casio (masquerading as a couple different things) and electric drums. After awhile it was clear the lyrical wit of Fake Brain had found a new home with this band and they use the instruments really well to create something solid that doesn't rely on the novelty of the sounds. These guys have a lot of great tunes. A lot of short ones too.

A few friends of mine showed up, who I told about the show and who I thought would appreciate them. Turns out, one friend works with a guy who knows the Ditty Committee and who will be playing with them in Morgantown on Saturday. And my friend Katie and her boyfriend let me bowl with them. We were all so-so bowlers, which made us a good team.

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