On November 3, I embarked on a journey in East Atlanta. Straying from my usual metal shows, I went to the 529 club to see Electric Six perform. I anticipated a fun night of music with Detroit based rock band Electric Six. Strangely, I was squeezed in a tiny room that looked worse than my basement after it flooded a few years ago. Plus, an endless sea of hipsters who boggle my mind with their strange scarves and lack of any edict. My night quickly changed to into a peculiar experience that I keep thinking I need to write a sociology paper on the sub culture of hipsters.
Electric Six is a detroit based rock band that formed in 1999. Their music is mixed with elements of disco, punk rock, new wave, garage, and synth pop. Electric Six’s lyrics are tongue and cheek with such phrases as “Now everybody down at McDonnellzzz, They down with Ronell McDonnell, And now they hitting the bottle, And everybody cool” and “Can’t see the forest through the tree,I make my living in American cheese, Bringing everybody to their knees,So have another slice of American cheese,Well, I know it’d be better with Gouda or Cheddar”. Despite their crazy lyrics, Electric Six’s songs are well written and posses great musicianship.
So, 10:30 rolls around and Electric Six take the stage and start their set. Right away, I’m like what song is this, I’ve never heard this song. I was expecting a set that depicted their new live album. However, they did play a few tracks that people actually wanted to hear. Songs like Down at McDonnelzz, Rip it, and Danger! High Voltage got the crowd jumping up and down like maniacs. A few were even crowd surfing while slinging their beer around all over the place. I hate to give Electric Six a bad review, but they were just not their usual selves. Some people said the singer had been sick, but I blame it on the 529.
Ok, so maybe it wasn’t solely the 529’s fault, but I feel it was a major contender. First, you can barely see the stage unless you’re in the very front row. If you add on drunken hipsters jumping up and down, all hope is lost at seeing much of anything. Second, their was no crowd control. Being in such a small room, I figured that people would know that moshing would effect everyone, but common sense was lacking that night. One guy was crowd surfing and nearly fell and could have cracked his skull open. Not to forget the abundance of “improper dancing”. If I wanted people to rub up against, I would have been a stripper. Did the club do anything about…NOOO. Honestly, the only thing this club had going for them was the window that opened to the outside seating area where you could order a drink!
Despite all the let downs of the that night, I still had fun. The songs Electric Six played, that I knew (I have all their albums), were cool and I enjoyed hearing them! Also, I’m sorry to say, I have no pictures. Pictures were just not possible at this club.
Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad
Jonah Parzen-Johnson has an innate ability to make the baritone sax sound like bagpipes, and maybe that’s why I cried.
Mostly I cried because Jonah tells radiant stories with his saxophone and analog synth, working the brass and pedals to recreate the framework which surrounds his album Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow: Parzen-Johnson wanted to make “something of myself that’s for everybody else.”
Jonah opened his set with “Stay There, I’ll Come to You,” showcasing the harmony between synth and sax right off the bat. With haunting lilts, the two combined into a ribbon of melody, pulsating inside the ear as well as the heart. Much like the song’s title, Jonah was the one approaching the audience as an experimental troubadour of tête-à-tête.
The back stories and thoughts behind each song tied in so well with the raw, almost throaty sax, developing such strong, emotional resonance with the musical layers. The skeleton shook.
Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair
The Sinclair was a packed house Wednesday night for the Speedy Ortiz CD release party; as a hometown gig for the Northampton, MA-based band, kinetic warmth buzzed through friends and fans alike as Sadie Dupuis and crew played their freshly-release Foil Deer track-by-track.
What’s a party without some guests, though? That’s where Krill and Mitski come in.
Krill kicked off the night with some tracks from A Distant Fist Unclenching, other goods from Lucky Leaves. Lead singer/bassist Jonah Furman brought to mind early (read: good) Billy Corgan, which I’m not sure he will appreciate. But I think he’ll appreciate this: I couldn’t stop laughing because then I kept thinking about Marilyn Manson telling Billy Corgan that he looked like Charlie Brown.
Opening with “Theme from Krill,” the Boston trio has a knack for rhythm and melody that burrows into your brain. The dreamy bleakness of “Purity of Heart.” The discordant garage rock and hiccupping guitar and warbly Scooter-ness of “Foot.” Krill’s sound is a good, comfy noise that keeps you wiggling and all that good stuff. Be sure to catch the band at Boston Calling.
Years & Years at Royale Boston
During winter storm Juno, UK electro pop group Years & Years were forced to cancel the first show of their two-night stint in New York City back in January. After the snow finally melted, they made the rounds again this past March, playing several shows in California, South by Southwest before finally landing in Boston.
Due to popular demand, the show was moved from The Sinclair to the Royale in downtown’s Theater District.
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