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Saturday, February 15th, 2003

Setting Your Head on Fire

So my list of music I want to get has gotten mighty small. Any sane person would take this opportunity to re-allocate that portion of their budget to cover other niggly little costs of living, like socks, clothes, food. Me? I’m downloading stuff from Epitonic like mad.

Last night’s Wavelength show was fantastic. First off, the new El Mocambo is unrecognizable from it’s previous incarnation. Well, that structural support beam right in front of the stage is still there, but everything else is unrecognizable. There’s a quite nice and well-lit front cafe area, and the main live music room is considerably larger, or at least the available space is. The stage is much wider and deeper… All in all, it’s an impressive facelift. Sound was pretty good as well. My only complaint would be the concrete floor. Unforgiving on the tootsies.

Anyway – the acts. First was Lederhosen Lucil, still as funny, quirky and adorable as ever. It remains to be seen how much mileage she can get from her schtick, but she’s definitely talented and a great performer. And she had trading cards at the merch table. How can you not love that?

+/- was ostensibly the reason I came to the show, Five Seventeen having berated me for missing them the first time through a couple months ago. Their main claim to fame is being half of New York City indie rock legends Versus, but they deserve to be known as an utterly brilliant live act in their own right. I deserve an Artie Fufkin-style ass-kicking for taking this long to come around. In my defence, their recorded material (I bought the CD there, duh) is more sedate and textured than the live readings – more electronics, samples and production – and while good, didn’t floor me the way they did last night. DAMN.

The Dirty Hearts were alright, mining a sort of cowpunk vibe, though they were undermined by some overly-harsh guitar tones and an unbalanced mix. My main impression was that I think the one guitarist bought his Telecaster from Songbird about three years ago. I know this because I saw that exact axe on their website at work one afternoon and actually took off early to try and snag it. But alas.

Atomic 7 is the new outfit from former Shadowy Man On A Shadowy Planet Brian Connelly. To my non-discriminating ears, the new band sounds a lot like the old one, which is awe-inspriring surf/rockabilly instrumental rock. The man is a six-string demigod.

I didn’t stick around for this week’s NOW cover stars Lullabye Arkestra, as my ears were sufficiently ringing and my feet hurt. Overall, that was probably the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had. I am definitely going to be attending more Wavelength shows, the sense of enthusiasm and hipster-yet-not-there-to-be-cool was contagious and refreshing. But as for us playing there… I realize these acts were the cream of the crop, trotted out for the anniversary show, but the level of musicianship on display was muy daunting. We’re nowhere near ready to play up to that sort of standard. But someday – soon, maybe even. Alls I know is I need to practice…

np – +/- / Self-Titled Long-Titled Debut Album

By : Frank Yang at 10:51 am
Category: Uncategorized
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