Hey, blogspot readers, not even a warm stormy night can stop SouthSide from rockin' with bands. Tonight, the beat took her back to the Elbo Room for funk/R&B by Funktion and eclectic country from the futuristic Cowboy & Indian. Before joining fans downstairs, this reviewer spent quality time at the upstairs lounge. A fun and lively acoustic performance by Dustin Welch was entertaining the bar scene crowd. Traveling the road from Texas, this singer/songwriter was making his way to Wisconsin for a music conference. This reviewer enjoyed his double set of vibrant acoustic/rock which also included a couple of Americana songs whenever he played the banjo. The banjo rhythms added a country/hillbilly sound that could also be heard in his sweet Texan accent vocals. However while playing the acoustic guitar, Dustin truly brought out the fire ...angst and sometimes tenderness to the lyrics. The words had a clear vivid imagery under his vocal style making those (who were listening) feel the emotions as he was. SouthSide highly recommends checking out Dustin wherever his travels take him next. Or simply visit www.dustinwelchmusic.com or www.myspace.com/dustinwelchmusic.
It was a mixed bag of music performances rockin' the Elbo Room main stage all night long with one performance SouthSide honestly cannot recommend. She had problems during Four Finger Five's set that it left her confused and exhausted from the long-winded instrumental bridges. This band from Michigan had a strong beginning of R&B/soul yet somewhere in the middle it became twisted ...lost and way off rhythms with sudden electric rock chord changes that didn't seem to make sense to their opening song. And this wasn't the only time SouthSide noticed the strange genre/chord switchups to FFF's songs. It happened throughout the entire set, blogspot readers. Another prime example, another song began with a lively reggae/ska sound then it jumped to a Pink Floyd-esque chord change pumping hardcore guitar riffs somewhere in the middle and finally back to its original reggae/ska beat in a subtle downtempo groove over the lyrics about peace and war. It was war alright while trying to listen to FFF's instrumental bridges that were too long on the ears and quite unnecessary since every member of this trio went on their own music trip before re-joining together again to close out the song. This is great and all that however try to do it without boring SouthSide to sleep. She knows it was meant to excite and titillate its audience when actually the repetitious strumming of the same chord (off the electric) can lose their interest super fast. FFF oversaturated their vibrant music with so much that this reviewer couldn't enjoy or feel what was vibin' off their whatever-it-was rock sound - believe this reviewer, there are no words to describe Four Finger Five's sound. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/fourfingerfive.
Funktion rocked the Elbo Room about four months ago which truly impressed this reviewer with its vibrant funk/soul/rock sound. For tonight's set this band took more of a somber approach instead of a rockin' bang. This didn't get SouthSide excited and/or vibin' to the Funktion groove when opening to Next Time. Still she enjoyed the eclectic variety of genres as well as instruments represented to get everyone into their music. For example, she loved the sweet docile tones of the flute floating within Make You See ...getting funkified to a reminiscent sound of P-Funk during Funk Year ...or rockin' to lyrical rap/hiphop and a HOT saxophone solo during Do For You. SouthSide's favorite song, Step Into It, had everyone trying the Funktion electric slide along with the band. This also had (finally) the audience feeling the electrifying groove they came see and hear from the stage. It was that spark of vibrant music explosion this reviewer had to nearly wait and expected from this band though feeling it was done too late into the performance. Funktion performed their latest Elbo Room set way too safe ...that laidback beginning somewhat killed it for this reviewer. She suggests lost the somberness and open with a BANG as heard in the closing song, Better Dayz. SouthSide does recommend checking out Funktion at their next show wherever they're funkifying the stage again. For more information, visit www.funktionmusic.com or www.myspace.com/funktionkalamazoo.
And now for something completely different ...and not from this millennium either, blogspot readers. SouthSide means different as in it wasn't what she was expecting from Cowboy & Indian but that doesn't mean she didn't like and/or enjoy the set. Their music had this pop sound (from programmed beats) under a country tempo and rockin' bass. Or better yet - this was how Brett (on bass) described the duo's musical style "...experimental/country from the future..." SouthSide was not only mesmerized by the Cowboy vibe but also by the powerful female vocals of Indrany. Her voice reminded this reviewer of Stevie Nicks - deep ...raspy but full of heart and passion. She lured the audience with her docile yet vibrant siren's voice into their music in which one could visualize the imagery of the lyrics if they merely close their eyes. That's what SouthSide did for part of their performance while enjoying the gentle bass and techno/electronica rhythms. It was the type of music that kept this reviewer hungry for more of the 80s pop inside the Cowboy country sound. SoutSide suggests listening to Time and Money as well as Lift and Draw (an awesome downtempo song almost acoustic-like with only a bass playing solo - no progamming). The highlight of this performance was the sultry taste of Indian folk dance movements during the instrumental - adding fire and passion to the closing song. It certainly warmed up the chilly basement lounge, blogspot readers. This duo thoroughly impressed SouthSide by captivating her with sensual music and vocals ...highly recommended. For more information, visit www.cowboyandindianmusic.com or www.myspace.com/cowboyandindian.
Until next time, support your local scene,