Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Show Reviews: Noise Pop (An Obstructed View Of Ra Ra Riot, Rademacher, more)

MP3 - "Dying is Fine" - Ra Ra Riot
That is NOT what my view of Ra Ra Riot looked like last Friday, but more on that in a second. [Photo cred: cameronparkins]. After a slow Noise Pop week (the only thing I did was a happy hour on Thursday), I was determined to hit three events on Friday evening.

My first stop was the happy hour at Benders which was being presented by my friends over at The Bay Bridged. I got there early, which was a good thing because that place just more full as the late afternoon turned into early evening. This was really a lot of fun - I saw so many great people that I knew, met some new folks, had some great conversations. I caught Tempo No Tempo's complete set, which made me happy to see someone still carrying the Q and Not U torch. I saw a couple of songs from Sugar and Gold and, while I would have liked to have heard more of their tongue-in-cheek indie disco funk, I had another event to get to.

The plan had been to hit up Ra Ra Riot's free acoustic set at the Diesel Store before making my way to Slim's. Unfortunately, one needed to have RSVP'd for this event, and even a long line of those who'd RSVP'd looked like they were not getting in any time soon. So, I just walked around the line and stationed myself by the balcony looking down at where the band was playing. The staircase was in my line of sight however I was able to see the legs of the singer and the cellist. The above photo captures it nicely - I suck at concert photos. If I got down real low with my head practically on the floor, I could actually see the singer. I couldn't hear all that clearly, but I could at least make out what song they were playing, even if I could not appreciate it completely. I thought to myself, "I bet Aquarium Drunkard doesn't have to go through this." After a half hour of crouching, it was time to head to Slim's.

I rode a lot of public transportation on Friday, but that is besides the point. I made it to Slim's just in time to catch Rademacher, who were opening a very stellar bill. And, let me take this moment to apologize to the members of Rademacher who are a great band and are not getting reviewed here until the fourth paragraph! Sorry, you deserve better. Anyhow, my favorite band from Fresno has been busy as of late playing high profile shows and this show was no different. I can now say I've seen Rademacher at small art galleries, Mission bars, and a large mainstream venue. It doesn't matter the setting - Rademacher play to their audience well. I kept thinking to myself - "they play like they want it." As a fan, this set was awesome - I had yet to see the band in its trio formation and practically all of the songs were new to me. Maybe it is the fact that two of the bands I am working with are trios, but I have really been enjoying smaller lineups as of late, which really spotlight the quality of the individual musicianship.

Up next were The Mumlers. The Mumlers initially made me think of Margot and the Nuclear So and So's - with a lush and large band (including a horn section) backing an acoustic guitar slinging singer. Once the vocals kicked in, I was reminded more of My Morning Jacket and Fleet Foxes. The keyboardist really stole the show, with an array of improvised dance moves. These guys are from San Jose, so I really need to check them out again.

I only caught a couple of songs from The Submarines, and missed out on the Morning Benders, because I was getting pretty tired. I caught up with Greer and Malcolm from Rademacher for a little bit - the cool thing about Rademacher is they always have something interesting going on. Then I had a little bit of an adventure getting home, but that has nothing to do with music and so I will end this review right here.
Bonus Tracks:
ZIP - The Submarines/Morning Benders Tour Single
MP3 - "Red River Hustle" - The Mumlers

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, I was at Slim's on Friday. I loved the line-up, although I was a bit disappointed with The Submarines live performance, even though I expected them to not be quite as good live. But my goodness, the morning benders lived up to my expectations. I had been looking forward to watching them live. And Greer was kind enough to play hand shadows with my friend and I.