Sunday, March 09, 2008

Interlude: March of the Camels

I'm in a bit of a hole right now, but it's not the worst one to be in. It's been a very active past week of shows - I've got seven sets to write up. Things will get a bit muddled as far as chronology, but this batch was on Tuesday night. I hadn't planned to attend, but my wonderful friend Maria was kind enough to offer me a spot, and with relatively little homework to do, I went for it. I hadn't heard much of either band, although a couple weeks ago we got stuck outside of White Rabbits' set at BAM Café. I guess you could say I was meant to hear them eventually.

White Rabbits

Much like their four-legged namesake, White Rabbits was a springy, excitable sort. The sextet plays an uptempo indie rock that's easy to like, and I really enjoyed myself. The group's setup differentiates them, at least visually, from their many peers. They have a singer on piano, as well as a guitarist that sings, so there's no real lead singer. The band also features two drummers, including one who will switch to tambourine occasionally. I feel foolish for missing out on "The Plot" for so long, but I definitely was singing along to the "Whoa-oh-oh-oh" part. A bunch of people were clearly there just to see the opener, which I can understand. White Rabbits didn't totally steal the show, but they were definitely an opening exclamation point. Fort Nightly, their debut album, is also very good.

MP3: White Rabbits - The Plot
MP3: White Rabbits - While We Go Dancing
MySpace: White Rabbits
Official Site: White Rabbits

The Walkmen

If White Rabbits was a democracy of sorts, the Walkmen were a monarchy. That's not to discredit the rest of the band, but singer Hamilton Leithauser was the focus of my attention. Although the set started with a few slow songs, Leithauser quickly demonstrated his skill of leaning back and letting loose on the vocals. Although he slowed down a little when he had to strap a guitar, his vocals shifted from yelps to a throaty baritone with authority. It wasn't loaded with hooks, but I was impressed with the energy.

The band had a brass section on stage for a few songs, as well as continuing the piano tradition, but the songs were mostly guitar-driven. There's nothing wrong with that - most bands are - but there wasn't too much that really jumped out at me. One exception was "The Rat," which I heard years and years ago when I still listened to the radio. For four awesome minutes, between Leithauser's impassioned shouts and the guitar flameout, I really "got it." Unfortunately, that was the only truly memorable moment of their set, but I'm still glad went.

MP3: The Walkmen - The Rat
MySpace: The Walkmen
Official Site: The Walkmen


Aram ZS said...

That title thing is huge RoRo. We need to get you something cooler.

BTW, I'm around town for a while tomorrow, then in the city proper until Tuesday, how about lunch?

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