We finish our Northside stuff with Selden Paterson and her weekend in the BK.
6/26 - Toys & Tiny Instruments Band/Umbrella Men/Gaucho @ Pete's Candy Store
See more pictures in our photo section.
Three super impressive shows by lesser-known bands, all boasting creative songsmithing and lots of instrumental skills.
The Toys and Tiny Instruments Band
, whose name pretty much tells their musical mission, had a preposterously full sound considering the size of their instruments and didn't stop moving once during their set despite having to squish seven people onto a miniscule stage. When the mics all cut out about halfway into their first song, they played the rest of the track just fine while at the same time fixing the issue, proving that they really could fill the room with just their kazoos, melodicas, triangles, and similar toys (plus two awesome lead vocalists). Their original songs are poignant, honest and adorable, but their cover of "Come On Eileen" to finish up pretty much stole the show.
The Columbus-born, Brooklyn-based Umbrella Men
are a pair of multi-talented brothers who craft impeccable folk-rock tunes. They, too, have a surprisingly full sound &mdash the two alternate roles, constantly switching around instruments and trading off the vocals for a perfect combination of the simplicity of two musicians and the richness of four or five. Their songs range from somber bordering on dark, with tracks like "I Don't Emote" (personal favorite) and "Dying Day" to over-the-top, almost cheesy but self-aware enough to work tracks like "Sing Along Song" and "Pocket Full of Roses."
took a pretty extreme stylistic turn, that somehow fit extremely well with the previous two bands. A jazz group with a diverse set of influences, they've got a new take on oldschool, combining gypsy jazz, swing, and klezmer styles, to name just a few. They played a combination of originals and classic tunes, captivating the room with a laid-back, entirely instrumental set.
6/26 - World Atlas/Desert Stars @ Bruar Falls
and Desert Stars
got stuck with a pretty rough time slot on Saturday, coinciding with the U.S./Ghana World Cup game &mdash the whole audience was ducking back and forth from the TV to the stage. They held attention better than could be expected under such circumstances. All-female group Desert Stars
played trance-inducing, dark music that really needs to be heard at two in the morning instead of three in the afternoon, but was still a solid show, while World Atlas
was a lot more daytime-appropriate, super reminiscent of Belle and Sebastian's sunny sound. The style of the harmonies and the rhythm of the bass would be enough to garner that comparison, but with the lead singer's voice (almost identical to Stuart Murdoch's) and the occasional trumpet in the background the similarity is unavoidable. Their set was mellow but energetic, befitting for a Saturday afternoon barbecue.
6/27 - Vandaveer/Annie and the Beekeepers @ Zebulon
Trio Annie and the Beekeepers
played quiet folk tunes constructed of several equally powerful, beautifully simple parts. Lead singer Annie Lynch's voice is crystal clear, on any given song accompanied by some combination of slow guitar chords, strong double-bass backbone, long low cello tones, harmonica counter-melodies, and wandering banjo picking.
stepped the energy up a notch from the Beekeepers' crooning lullabies. Also playing simple folk songs, Vandaveer's entire live instrumentation is lead singer Michael Charles Heidinger with his guitar and Rose Guerin providing spectacularly sultry vocal harmony. This bare-bones setup was perfect &mdash I've admired the spectral clarinet solos and enjoyed the simple drum backup in their recordings, but seeing them live it's clear that those are excess complication. The voices carry it all, unbelievably powerful with a clarity that carries incredible weight normally only held by the grittiest vocals, with Heidinger's strumming just enough to ground it all. -selden paterson