Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I think the word would be "rollicking"

Did ya know that i love live music? I bet you did. Sunday night i went to the WTMD New Emerging Artist concert. If you ever have a chance to go to one of these events i highly recommend it; yummy food, an art show and 2 bands for $20 is a heck of a deal. It was the first time i have been to the Patterson Theater. It has a nice lobby where Zia's of Towson had the food set up amid the Creative Alliance's gallery show. The actual performance room was intimate, but still big enough to get a good sound mix. Baltimore's own June Star opened the show. A four-piece folk-rock-ish group, they had a nice mix of up-tempo numbers and lovely slower songs - apparently, all of them about love. The mix was a bit off, so it was hard to really hear all of the vocals; the singer's voice was mostly warm, though a bit twangy on the ballads for my taste. They reminded me how much i LOVE the mandolin and am less enamored of the harmonica. Also, i've said many times in the past that percussion makes or breaks a band (their drummer was good), but the same could certainly be said of the bass (he was also good). I would like to see a full show to get a better read on the band. The frontman was amusing with my 2 favorite quotes being: to the bandLets' not play that one; i just realized it sounds like the last song. to the audienceI mean, no it doesn't. I'm so out of tune... i meant to say that on the inside. The best lyric i could make out was, “Your heart isn't red inside; just a stretch (or something like stretch) of slick, black ice.” Nice. Other random thoughts i had during June Star's set : why do band guys wear jackets on stage when i know from experience it is a jillion degrees on stage; it must be terrible to have an itchy nose when you are a drummer; where do band guys get those perfectly ripped jeans- do they do it themselves; not enough bands utilize the snare enough; when the bass player disappears behind his amp during a song and then the drummer joins him, it can't be good news (the amp apparently got unplugged somehow and no one could really reach it, but they got it before the next song started); nothing is as cool as a drummer playing hand percussion (a bright blue shaker, in this case) while also playing the kit. The “New Emerging Artist” being featured was Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles. Wow. Wow. One more time, wow. They were really good and i enjoyed their set immensely. Normally a four-piece, their pedal steel guitar was at his brother's wedding, so they had a guitar player and a mandolin player sitting in. I would love to see the normal line-up because even with the step-in players this band was tight. I have heard them described as a country-rock-punk band. Hmmmmm... having seen them i can't describe it much better than that. I'd say that they are like the BEST bar band you have ever seen; there were short, fast songs interspersed with long rollicking jams. The whole band was having a great time; you can tell when performers are actually enjoying what they are doing. It makes all the difference in a show. At one point they were genuinely laughing during a song and they just got better as the set went on. It was the last night of a 7 week tour and you could hear the triumph and joy in their playing. Sarah Borges was incredible. Her voice was somehow smoky and honeyed at the same time; how is that possible, since those are opposite vocal qualities? And she is a great frontman; this is a woman who could totally pull off a black babydoll dress with white cowboys, while slinging a guitar. My favorite quote of hers: I wish we had a good prize for you guys. All we have is some set lists and, like, some broken guitar strings. I wish we had a fruit basket and a puppy. ... they shouldn't give me a microphone. The line to buy CDs was so very long that i skipped it, but really want to buy it. Some of the songs were pure fun, but one reduced me to tears with the vivid (and identifiable to me) imagery. I can't wait to get the CD and really want to see them again. Such a fun show! Thanks TMD for finding them and bringing them to Baltimore.

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