It was a lovely evening of New England bands, hand-picked by Deli Magazine New England‘s Associate Editor, Meghan Chiampa, and as diverse as the website’s eclectic musical focus. This was to celebrate The Deli officially making its welcome foray into the New England states. Now based in Boston, she started writing for them in Burlington Vermont. This excellent online magazine covers the indie music scenes in NYC, L.A., San Francisco, Chicago, Nashville, and elsewhere.
The festivities started with Vermont’s The Day’s Weight, who seemingly brought their own fan base with them, as the place was packed, though unfortunately it half cleared out after their set. I missed the beginning and came in, appropriately enough, for a very good cover of The Band’s “The Shape I’m In”. Well yes, appropriate for my mood that evening, but what I meant is appropriate because they very much have that same vibe – rootsy, country and hippie-flavored rock, very well done and I’m guessing you’ll know what’s coming next… yeah, I wasn’t really in the mood for it. My fault, and certainly not the band’s, as they were excellent.
The Day’s Weight centers around Patrick McDermott on lead guitar and Kyle Toomey on rhythm guitar and vocals, with Andrew Abboushi on bass and Jereme Vinette on drums. Nice vocal harmonies with a warm, comfy, jamming sound. If I heard correctly, they brought some friends on stage, Chris and Chuck McDermott (who actually, I’m thinking now, are probably relations of Patrick McDermott’s), and also introduced Jamie Bright on bass. Apologies if any of this is wrong. My hearing in rock clubs leaves a lot to be desired.
Otis Grove were up next, and these guys were really, really good. More suited to my mysterious mood swing that night, odd in a way because I don’t always get that seriously carried away by funky jazz fusion, but I definitely was. An added compliment to their musical prowess. There was Sam Gilman on a Hammond Organ (large, bulky, wicked cool and sounding fantastic), Tyler Drabick on guitar (with some pretty awesome playing), and Blake Goedde on equally mesmerizing drums and percussion. These guys have that special sort of chemistry that creates something far more than the sum of its parts. Very happy they’re local, as it means I’ll be able to see them again sometime.
Locally, they’re performing on January 21 at Regattabar, a venue I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned on this blog as they specialize in jazz, but I’ll make an exception in this case! They also have shows scheduled in New York and New England. Check them out if you can.
After a nice little plug for The Deli New England by its esteemed Associate Editor Meghan, Muy Cansado came on to perform a very enjoyable selection of tunes, quite Pixies-esque, though they’ve also been compared to such bands as Dinosaur Jr. and Lemonheads. They’ve got a rambunctious punk/pop sound, with nicely complementing vocals from guitarist Chris Mulvey and bassist Lisa Libera, and drummer Jon Ulman (the newest member of the band) adding to the infectious groove they had going.
They started things off with their friend Cory (didn’t catch his last name) on guitar, and ended with a very pretty slower duet with Lisa shedding her bass to concentrate on some lovely vocals to compliment Chris’s. I’ll be keeping an eye out for these guys as well. Their debut album (released summer 2008) is Stars & Garters. Contact the band on their MySpace or their official site for more info.
I suppose you could say that the final band to play, 28 Degrees Taurus, were the “headliners”, though judging from the high level of musicianship, it was really a night of four headliners. All different styles and moods, but equally compelling. 28 Degrees Taurus… loud wall of psychedelic space music. Unfortunately though, the emphasis was on “loud”, so virtually all of the prettiness and subtle nuances in their songs which I know is there (from listening to them on MySpace) was lost in the onslaught. Honestly, I don’t know why on earth some bands feel they need to be deafeningly loud when performing live.
Having said that, I’ll talk about their music rather than this actual show, because I really like them a lot, and I think, if the sound was right, they would have been my favorites of the evening. Dreamy, dark and ethereal with vocals from bassist Karina Dacosta alternating between angelic and anarchic. Chiming, hallucinatory, otherworldly guitar from Jinsen Liu (who provides a nice vocal counterpoint to Karina, as in “Wherever You Can Find It” and “Low Light”). This mystical trip is propelled along nicely by Greg Murphy on drums. There’s ’60s psychedelia and pop in there, with more recent harder-edged bands, and a dash of Eastern traditional music. An interesting mix, giving them quite a varied and fascinating sound. Live, they were joined on a few songs by Brian Murphy on trumpet; not sure if he plays on their recordings as well.
Ah yes, I see now in their bio “We’re usually loud as hell but not above playing an occassional ballad.” Well, ok then. Apparently their first two full-length albums and two EPs are available for free download at gimmiesound.com and their new album How Do You Like Your Love is available from ToneVendor. So, if you’re like me and you actually like to be able to hear stuff, I suggest you download their music and choose your own volume at home. Or see them… oh, I don’t know… outdoors, maybe. [in retrospect, listing My Bloody Valentine as one of their influences should have probably clued me in to at least bring along some earplugs.]