Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Interlude: Pace Is The Trick


And thus began yet another concert-saturated weekend. Thursday saw my abrupt return to the Bowery Ballroom, which is quickly becoming a favorite as far as small-ish venues go. I also had a nice chat with Jeff of the culture of me [dot] com; check out his review of the show here. I arrived in the midst of the first opener, something I'm loathe to do, but I settled in and we were off!

The New York Howl

The New York Howl played a loud set, highlighted with the addition of a saxophone. The band, always in motion, kept the crowd pretty involved, and singer Andrew Katz's giant mass of hair was quite the visual spectacle. Unfortunately, things weren't quite as impressive musically; while the band was fine in volume, it seemed that they were hitting the same notes over and over. Pedestrian songwriting made for a set that was ultimately merely okay.

High Places

Girl-boy duo High Places played a sort of indie-jungle that was equally indebted to dream pop and IDM, which you probably know as two of my favorite genres. They were a bit of a strange choice of opener in the context of the bands around them, but a nice surprise. Vocalist Mary Pearson manipulated a number of uncommon instruments, including little chimes and a flute, but her fragile, often distorted singing was the real highlight of the set. Robert Barber added some muscle to the mix with relentless drumming, but would occasionally overpower his bandmate. I have a feeling that they sound better on record, as this music is more suited for lonely bedrooms than noisy venues, but it was a refreshing experience nonetheless. The band plays locally a bunch more times in the near future - see below.

MySpace: High Places

Jamie T

I'd like to preface my review by saying that I knew Jamie T wasn't my thing prior to the show. I guess there's a bit of polarization between the fan and journalist in me, and I'll do my best to lean towards the latter here. Jamie's currently on tour with the Pacemakers, and his set is divided between the occasional acoustic solo song and the predominant full-band blast. He plays off a dizzying array of styles and influences, but his decidedly English delivery is generally what will determine if you fancy him or not. He doesn't sing as much as deliver stream of conscious material that deals with the various experiences of youth. Since I don't really pay particularly attention to lyrics in general, a lot of the appeal is lost on me. I did appreciate it when he gave out mixtapes to the crowd en masse at the end of the main set, but I'm afraid our selections would differ greatly.

Anyhow, that's my opinion, which is irrelevant as far as you should be concerned. Hear Jamie sans my bias below, and look for an interview feature at some point - courtesy of my journalist side, of course.

MySpace: Jamie T
Official Site: Jamie T

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