"...we're babies and do terribly at 21+ shows..."
Island of Misfit Toys
Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's feeling a little like Mrs. Robinson during this On The Town adventure. Tonight, she's rockin' out a busy August schedule at another Wine from the Moon presents show. And this time, it's located at Empty Bottle with a slightly different type of audience - college age. This College Space Out showcase featured a rockin' yet eclectic lineup of musical performances by young bands such as Mapmaker, Delmar & The Dedications, and Please and Thank Yous with Island of Misft Toys headlining. Though not being able to stay for the entire Misfit Toys' performance, this reviewer highly suggests checking out the strange humbled Beginnings of Beer and more with this jammin' band. This unique Island of musicians meshed together misfit sounds of acoustic/rhythmic/pop and some melodic horn (or accordion) on the side. They almost resembled The Fatty Acids (seen and reviewed at Beat Kitchen on August 22nd) with its intense stage presence, antics, and music but lyrically these two bands are totally different. Within Island's instensed edgy sound, there was plenty of venomous male falsettos from front man Anthony's voice. He had a way of spewing words (for example, during the opening song "...I love you because I have to..." took on a terrifying tone) full of spite and angst wafting over the microphone. Definitely not one to tangle with when he's in a foul mood, blogspot readers. She also recommends listening to Island's Taffy Apple Lifestyle and Heads Will Roll (or otherwise known as Hermit Crab). For more information, visit Island of Misfit Toys at http://www.tandemshoprecords.com.
The band known as Mapmaker (http://www.myspace.com/mapmakermusic) kicked off the lineup with an energizing yet rousing twist to the modern jazz/swing sound, blogspot readers. There was even a tiny bit of Brit pop felt from the keyboard rhythms that provided a groovy upbeat momentum at first. However, sadly, the rest of Mapmaker's set literally confused this reviewer when the band switched to elongated funk/R&B/soul instrumental bridges with guitar rock solo riffs. This not only muddled the original tempo and vibe but threw off everything about this band out of whack. She had terrible figuring if they were attempting to be a reggae/ska OR modern jazz/swing OR R&B/funk/soul OR a combination of all three at once. And it wasn't just the music that had her scratching the head either. The vocals were also missing something as well - life ...feeling i.e. emotions. SouthSide felt there wasn't enough umph to make the lyrics pop to life drawing out that fire and dynamic falsetto range during certain songs. Honesty, blogspot readers, this reviewer tried her best to enjoy as well as like Mapmaker's set but she couldn't. Suggestion #1 - try not to confuse the audience by doing so much with so many music genres at once. NOT all genres (or tempos) jam well together especially while switching from R&B/funk/soul to rock within one song. For example, during Map's quad-trilogy of songs, the third song began as downtempo rhythm with a slow steady beat before switching to a fast-paced R&B melody and then some ska before finally ending the song with a jumbled mesh of all three. SouthSide noticed this band was its best when rockin' the stage as instrumental R&B/funk/soul band. Suggestion #2 - don't be afraid to let yourself go, lyrically and emotionally. Most of Map's songs had powerful lyrics which required a powerful set of falsettos to the words popo. Even the backing vocals didn't gell with the lead's as both seemed quite bland when together. More umph is needed to excite the ears as well as the soul.
Delmar & The Dedications (http://www.letsplayspinthebottle.bandcamp.com) honed in that retro/early 50s rock-n-roll sound and feel for their set, blogspot readers. The music certainly popped with vibrant momentum wafting throughout the lively rhythms that it gave some in the audience the urge to dance. Though understanding the difficulty experienced of having to borrow another band's equipment, SouthSide noticed a few moments when the unfamiliarity threw off Delmar's rockin' sound (especially during the start of Let's Play Spin The Bottle). She also noticed (as well as suggests) the vocals needing some tuning within certain areas of the set like when performing their romantic slow dance song. In her opinion, she felt that would have been the perfect moment to wow the ears with such emotional sound by allowing the voice to shine. Other times, the vocal harmonies were a tad off and quite rough when closing out a couple of songs. Plus at one point, instead of singing, she heard "shouting" as the vocals began to strain over the microphone. However, despite that, this reviewer did enjoy Delmar's seemingly similiar (in music only) cover version of Ronettes' Be My Baby though the backing vocals could have used more soulful umph at the chorus (while being the echo on the lyrics seemed a little flat).
Now, Please and Thank Yous'(http://www.tpaty.com) performance was a little more of SouthSide's speed for that adrenaline rush of hardcore punk/rock music, blogspot readers. This was hardhitting garage, "shred your face off" rock with a few melodic interludes at certain moments when the ears least expect it ...but definitely plenty of blood curdling riffs to get the head banging. SouthSide immediately liked the fast-paced speed and hair-raising tempo within Please's intense music. A word of caution - earplugs were a must if going to stand in front of the stage to rock out with this band. Just coming off their west coast tour, Please rocked a quick short set performing a birthday song (not the typical "happy" kind either) and love song (no flowery poetic words here either) with some powerful punk angst ever heard. She could literally feel the frustrated anger by front man Geoff dripping all over the microphone while lyrically popping the venomous emotions to life. Even when performing the downtempo song, Losing Your Virginity, this front man not only rocked the mic with such fiery spite but also showed off his natural falsetto side as well which was downright terrifying to hear such calmness in his voice. Still, there was enough venom and spite to keep this audience energized to Please's hardcore punk sound until the close of this brief set.
Until next time, support your local scene,