Monday, September 22, 2014

Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.

"Music takes place in time, but repetition beguilingly makes it knowable in the way of something outside of time. It enables us to “look” at a passage as a whole, even while it’s progressing moment by moment. But this changed perspective brought by repetition doesn’t feel like holding a score and looking at a passage’s notation as it progresses. Rather, it feels like a different way of inhabiting a passage — a different kind of orientation." - Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, director of the Music Cognition Lab at the University of Arkansas

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pure Bathing Culture and Tennis at Terminal West, September 20, 2014

Two bands, both quartets with nearly identical lineups; both fronted by female singers/keyboardists and backed by their male partners on guitar, with drum and bass to round out the sound.  What was interesting last night was how much better one band was at it than the other.    

The opener and evening's champion was Portland's Pure Bathing Culture.  We've seen this band before when they opened for Caveman at the Drunken Unicorn back in April 2013. 

We've also seen  Pure Bathing Culture's Sarah Versprille (below, far left) and Daniel Hindman (far right) before, performing with the band Vetiver at Smith's Olde Bar back on October 30,  2010.

When Vetiver performed at Bumbershoot in 2011, for some reason Versprille wasn't with them, but Hindman held down the lead guitar position. 

Pure Bathing Culture opened their set last night with two of my favorite of their songs, Ivory Coast and Pendulum, and then proceeded to impress and beguile the audience throughout the rest of their set.  

Sarah's voice sounded clear and great and was easily heard over the band, and Daniel provided a lot of tasty guitar passages.  The audience responded approvingly, and the band appeared visibly moved by the warm reception they received.

We've also seen headliners Tennis before, including once at The Earl back in March 2011 and later that year at Bumbershoot

Tennis at Bumbershoot 2012
Here's Tennis' Alaina Moore backstage at Bumbershoot, checking out Warpaint's mind-blowing set.

The Match 2011 show at The Earl was the first time Moore, originally from Atlanta, played her home town. One younger sister was in the audience at that show, although her other sisters were still too young then to attend a 21-and-over set at a nightclub. Moore took a couple opportunities that night to tease the sister present, saying it was the first time she's seen her with a beer (legally) in her hand.

Her family was in attendance last night, too, except, apparently for a brother, who wasn't mentioned back at The Earl (How many Moores are there?  Are there more Moores?).  In any event, the audience was clearly enamored of her and husband Patrick Riley, and they relied on the charm of her personality and the bubbly, feel-good nature of Tennis' songs to carry their set.

At the 2011 set at The Earl, Moore apologized at the end of the show to say there would be no encore, as they had already played literally every single song they knew.  They've released two albums since then, so they've clearly learned more songs.  Unfortunately, after a while, all of their songs started to sound the same, and the technical limitations of Moore's voice and Riley's guitar started to become apparent.  

There was nothing at all bad abut their sound, a sort of retro-50s pop with Phil Spector girl-group influences, and they didn't hit a wrong note all night.  However, compared to opener Pure Bathing Culture, who covered much the same territory but explored it much deeper and took it much further, Tennis sounded to this listener like they should have been the opener and Pure Bathing Culture the headliner, and not the other way around.

Tennis at least had enough material this year to provide an encore for their enthusiastic and adoring audience.

Everyone has their own tastes and their own preferences.  Fans of Tennis, and there were lots of them in attendance last night, obviously find Tennis' sound to their taste and preference.  My tastes and preference run more toward Pure Bathing Culture, and I'll just leave it at that.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Thee Silver Mount Zion Orchestra

"Genius 'round the world stands hand in hand, and one shock of recognition runs the whole circle  'round"  - Efrim Menuck

How did I miss these guys when they came through Athens earlier this year?

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Arctic Shark

"The Arctic Shark is living free in the coldest part of the Eastern Sea."
How did I miss this when they last came through Atlanta?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Polica on the Fisher Green Stage, Bumbershoot, 2014
Can't quite claim, "Dude, I was there" for the Polica performance below, as we weren't at the KEXP Bumberhoot Music Lounge this year (our final year at Bumbershoot), but we did catch their performance on the Fisher Green stage at Bumbershoot.

Prior to that, we caught Polica at the Drunken Unicorn back in March 2012.

Polica at The Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta, 3.20.2012