So where were you last night? Before you answer, take a moment and make sure you have a good alibi, because if you weren't one of the one-and-a-half dozen or so people at The Drunken Unicorn last night, you really missed a couple of terrific bands.
For starters, San Francisco's Family Crest opened.
Family Crest are a mini-orchestra, a septet featuring a cello, two horns, a flautist/keyboardist and the powerful vocals of Liam McCormick. They're my new Best-Band-You've-Never-Heard-Of, and really, really deserved a larger audience than the handful of people at the Unicorn, all of whom seemed to be having the time of their lives during Family Crest's joyous, dramatic set.
Almost nobody's heard of them in these parts, and the only reason I had is that I was lucky enough to arrive at the Marmoset Party during MFNW (RIP) 2013 early enough to catch their set, and like most of that audience that day, I was amazed, and like many others there, bought their CD, The Village.
Just about everybody was amazed last night as well, and many of us bought Family Crest's newest CD, Beneath The Brine last night, and as an added bonus, got to meet the band, some of the kindest, friendliest, most intelligent musicians I've had the pleasure of meeting.
Back at that Marmoset Party, I also caught a set by Daniel Blue, the lead singer/frontman for the band Motopony. Blue played acoustic guitar and sang some quiet sings, backed by a guest guitarist and three lovely young ladies.
I barely recognized him from Motopony. I saw Motopony at Bumbershoot in Seattle back in 2011, and was exhilarated by Blue's rock-star persona and swagger, and if I hadn't been told that the flannel-clad singer-songwriter at the Marmoset Party was the same person as the rocker at Bumbershoot, I never would have guessed.
It was the rock-star Daniel Blue that showed up at the Drunken Unicorn last night, and despite the pathetic turn out (I counted literally only 18 people in the club, while between Motopony and Family Crest, 13 people had graced the stage). In addition to Blue, Motopony has two great guitarists and a new album out, and last night they performed songs from the new album, which sound much more rocking live than they do on the album, as well as older favorites like King of Diamonds and Seer for the faithful few present.
The band took the turnout in stride, and rather than berate Atlanta for not coming out, praised those of us who did. Daniel even dedicated a couple of songs to individuals in the audience whom he had met prior to the show, and maintained a friendly rapport with those of us present.
Here's their new song, Buffalo Medicine, one of the standouts of last night's set.
It was both bands first time playing in Atlanta, and both should be passing through this way again soon, with Family Crest in particular having plans to come back in the spring of 2015. Do not miss these folks the next time they come through, you're only depriving yourself.