Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Two Nights on Penn Avenue

Hospitality came back to the Brillobox last night. When they played there back in February their debut album on Merge hadn't been released yet. (It dropped at the end of that month.) Now that it's out they've been touring almost non-stop, and it showed from the opening seconds of their first song. Their sound was pure cohesion - all bright chords and catchy hooks. Tight guitars and bass, not a lot of sustain to the rhythm but that's okay because it created kind of a dancey feeling. The drumming was really propulsive too. The first few songs came in a quick flow without much break between them. That's something I can get behind.

While they headlined the show in February, last night the bill was topped by Here We Go Magic.  This was the first I'd ever heard them, and although I was in the back of the room chatting for most of their set, I still managed to pick up on the songs and dug them. They also had a poppish vibe going on but it seemed to add some Velvet Underground-via-kraut-rock drone to it. Their set and the individual songs were pretty long, but they never got dull.

This was the second time in a week I went to a show at Brillobox. Last Friday, I walked in as Carousel was playing their unironic take on '70s hard rock, complete with harmonized guitar melodies. Holy freakin' crap were they loud. That room is small as it is, so there's really no reason to mike all those guitar and drums. But they were, and during one song, Dave Wheeler was singing so strongly (the guy can belt), that I started to get dizzy. Boca Chica played next, which was a real study in contrasts, as they are a female-fronted, country-inspired electric folk act, with pedal steel. You couldn't really hear the pedal steel guitar though.

I broke my bad habit of nodding off during a Harlan Twins set due to the lateness of the evening and the work of beverages. Meaning, those factors usually leave this ol' man sleepy at that time of night. Not so on Friday, so I caught the whole Harlans set. And it was good. Only one song sounded completely familiar to me. The rest were relatively new.

It would be soooooo nice to go back to sleep now. Can't understand why I can't get into my groove. I did go to bed late and didn't get as much sleep as I'd like, but I also did not get real juiced last night at the show. I'm trying to watch that.

No comments: