For more information about Howl At The Moon, visit www.howlatthemoon.com
...ya'll not ready to go home yet - we're not... - Passafire
Welcome to the islands, readers! No, SouthSide's not on vacation at the sunny beaches of Jamiaca however she didn't have to leave the states to hear the music. She soaked up the flavor and sounds of island beat from the lineup from the Beat Kitchen stage. It was the soothing yet hip music with a Bob Marley feel in performances by The Pinstripes, The Embraceables and Passafire. Each band's unique spin on the reggae/ska sound had the crowd grooving to the beat.
From Cincinnati, Ohio, The Pinstripes kicked off the night with their mix of rock and reggae. It had also a modern twist of jazz from the rockin' brass horn section. This really had the entire stage as well as crowd jumpin' to the lively beat. SouthSide enjoyed the energy in which The Pinstripes' songs brought to the venue especially during the extended instrumental jams. This reviewer highly recommends catching this band's groovy sound at their next show. For more information, visit them at www.thepinstripes.net or www.myspace.com/thepinstripes.
The next band combined soulful vocals like Aretha Franklin and Roberta Flack, R&B tempo with a soft reggae mix and a funky rock sound. Stir a couple of times and you'll get a band known as The Embraceables. SoutSide was completely blown away by their music that was full of heart and soul. It was the type of music which totally jammed ...something she hasn't heard in a long time especially in the local scene. The Embraceables tossed in a variety of genres into their performances keeping this packed room dancing from one song to the next nonstop. Music that made you feel the rhythms, melodies and harmonies even while taking the tempo down a notch. there was still that momentum for the crowd to groove to the soulful sound. The female vocals by Maggie (also on piano) and Emily generated plenty of sex appeal which their type of music and lyrics requires. SouthSide recommends listening to Panties in the Sink off their current CD, Stories. A slow groove with a bass and subtle xylophone rhythms coupled around haunting vocals. It was almost a lullaby with a semi-acoustic feel in the music floating inside the venue emulating perfectly the mood of the lyrics. Also she recommends checking out their vibrant closing song, Wash. This tribal tempo-sounding song which left everyone hot and sticky from its smokin' rhythm in the end. For more information about this band, visit them at www.myspace.com/theembraceables.
Closing out this fantastic night of eclectic music was the lively sounds of reggae/funk./rock fusion by Passafire. After briefly chatting with the band rep at the merch table, SouthSide learned this type of music's quite popular in Savannah, GA where the band is from. And she could see why. They had this crowd jumping to the island groove instantly on the first note. This reviewer enjoyed the unique fusion of other genres such as psychedelic rock and freestyle in their songs. During Everyone Awake, off their current CD Everyone On Everynight, she liked the creepy voodoo hoodoo intro but it also jammed with lots of wicked guitar riffs . Even their new song, Here in front of Me, was performed as a rock alternative song with that reggae rhythm as its back melody. Another fine example was Passafire's mindblowing psychedelic intro before it slipped back to their standard reggae tempo in Fade Out. It was like taking a frightening journey through someone's nightmare but still fun. SouthSide highly recommends checking out this band while they're currently on tour. Their hot version of the reggae/ska sound will keep you warm all winter long. For more information, visit them at www.passafiretheband.comor www.myspace.com/passafire.
Until next time, readers, support your local music scene,
...take it off...
...give me another beer then I'll take it off... - Sister Switchblade
Whoever said Friday the 13th was bad luck didn't have the luck like SouthSide did. She rocked the night away once again at the Elbo Room to performances by Dollbody Kid and Sister Switchblade. This reviewer was saddened by the fact Liquor Boxx, though scheduled to perform, wasn't there. She was looking forward in reviewing this rowdy bunch of party animals again. Perhaps, next time, there will be a full review on them.
After opening with an orchestral crescendo off the guitars, this reviewer was immediately hooked by this band. Not only for its music but for the insanity that reigned on the stage. That's how Dollbody Kid liked to present itself to the world ...as raging madmen of hardcore rock. The audience was literally sucked into the craziness of DBK's mind. And it's not a pretty sight, my dear readers. They felt the thunderous riffs and drum beats clashing together with some screamin' angst which made the blood curl. Seriously, SouthSide's blood did curl however with excitement after hearing the first song, The Grey I Find. She enjoyed the intense energy this band brought to the Elbo Room. Sometimes she found it hard to keep up with them because there was so much to see and hear. DBK prided itself in rhythms that were furious like a madman's hot tempered anger. It seemed that was the intention throughout this performance making the audience feel the frustrations as well as hear it in the music. For example, in DBK's song, Diamond Bullets, the subtle intro fooled this reviewer into thinking the insanity was over. Hardly that wasn't the case, readers. The slow tempo was merely the prelude into feeling the pain and anger off the lyrics. It felt like a ballad but not the type of ballad which seemed "sane". There's a definite method to this band's madness which this reviewer loved. At times, she thought their guitar riffs were a mesh of offbeat chords and riffs. Not exactly - the riffs intertwined somehow meeting in the middle just right. It's highly recommended to keep reminding yourself that "insanity is good" when seeing Dollbody Kid's next performance. Their music thrills with hardcore guitar rock that chills your blood ...yes, they are totally insane in the membrane! Also stick around for the entire set when they really release those crazed demons on stage. Hey, where did all that blood come from? For more information about Dollbody Kid, visit the madmen at www.reccenter.com/dollbodykidor www.myspace.com/dollbodykid.
Performing songs like Run Like Hell and Lil Miss Cocaine, Sister Switchblade slashes through its hardcore rock sound with a sharp knife. There's a lot of energy in the band's guitar riff which set the stage on fire again. Sister loved bringing their sound loud and fast - this of them as an indie version of Aerosmith mixed with some AC/DC. So watch out, my readers, this local band means business when it comes to giving what the audience demands. Sister premiered two new songs, Sweet Spot and Baby Don't Stop. Both had a raw, gritty rock sound that had SouthSide's head banging to the heavy metal rhythms. Oh what dirty minds (and mouths to match) did this band have letting loose their hot sexual innuendos onto the "innocent" world. And that's merely a sample of what Sister Switchblade offered during their performance. They're simply Fast and Easy in all things about the rock sound ...leaving the audience hungry for more. They totally rocked out the Elbo Room when closing the set with a rousing AC/DC cover. This song had the audience going wild, readers! Those who really want to rock should salute this band. SouthSide highly recommends snagging a copy of their current EP, A Dirty Mind & A Mouth To Match, as a holiday stocking stuffer. Also request their song, Eye On You, now heard on Q101. For more information about this band, visit Sister Switchblade at www.myspace.com/sisterswitchbladeor www.facebook.com/sisterswitchblade.
Until next time, readers, support your local scene,
....that song's about a crazy, crazy [woman]....
It's well documented that SouthSide has an eclectic ear and taste for music. From country/western to pop/rock and everything else in between, this reviewer enjoys a variety of what the local scene has to offer on any given night. Recently, she had the opportunity of listening to variations of rock alternative music at the Elbo Room. The lineup featured a band named Empire Drift and this was their last performance before taking a hiatus from the stage.
Honestly, SouthSide did enjoy Empire's set of straight rock alternative music. It had a vibrant guitar sound which wasn't too flashy or trying to impress with long introductions and instrumentals. It was quite simplistic ...easy to listen and enjoyable. At times, their songs could be raw and gritty like hot Southern rock or there would be an edgier tone in the tempo. There was a moment during the song, Ten Years From Now, when Empire's music was too serious for this reviewer. This band did bring a lot of energy to the stage however something was missing to really liven up the audience.
SouthSide noticed at the beginning of their set how very little Empire Drift interacted with its fans. It appeared they were rushing between songs until the middle of the performance did they begin to acknowledge the audience. They were also another problem as well. For a Friday night crowd, many weren't feeling the momentous vibe even after covering Sweet's Ballroom Blitz. SouthSide doesn't know if it was the lack of excitement in the vocals or what but this poorly done cover couldn't hold onto the vibe which came to a screeching halt. In SouthSide's opinion, they were either laidback or uninterested during certain songs for example, Ten Years From Now. Placing a serious song after a rousing punk classic was a mistake. SouthSide also didn't enjoy Empire's attempt at psychedelic rock during their cover of Pink Floyd's Time especially when the lead flubbed on the ending lyrics.
It's not to say Empire Drift had a bad performance at the Elbo Room but as the night's headliner, SouthSide expected something better than mediocre. She does suggest not weighing down energetic rock alternative music with a serious song that you lose your momentum and audience in one heartbeat. Also don't leave your audience in the dark - make them feel welcome to your show. Please try to remember this is one reviewer's opinion and she recommends giving Empire Drift a listen.
Until next time, readers, support your local scene,