There were dualing charity rock shows going on Friday night (and the rest of the weekend). The one held at The Saddle Creek Bar still managed to draw about 60 patrons to hear a handful of bands willing to give their time for a good cause. I stepped in halfway through No Blood Orphan’s rather loud set and stepped out halfway through Beta Minus’s. In the middle was Two Drag Club, a band that includes two thirds of Grasshopper Takeover and one of the city’s best drummers. They played relatively straight-forward bar rock reminiscent of, well, GTO and traditional ’80s arena bands. Very well played, albiet not my thing. Siena Francis House should be pleased with the take at the door.
Here’s today’s Brendan review:
Friendly Fires, self titled (XL Recordings) — This three-piece UK outfit brings an ecstatic brand of music highlighted by strong backbeats and solid bass patterns reminiscent of dance bands from earlier this decade. But in this case, they don’t rely on disco beats to propel their songs toward after-hours dance parties. The music is light-hearted and fun to listen to without typical dance-band structures. While the synth is a big part of each song, it’s used as a layering effect to create depth behind prominent guitar and bass parts. The vocals are the real selling point. At times they remind me of everthing from ’80s Michael Jackson (the good Jacko, mind you) to the non-talkbox stylings of Roger Troutman of Zapp. This is a band that you don’t need to be in the mood to enjoy. Rating: Yes — Brendan Greene-Walsh
Tim sez: Their single “Paris” already is getting the deserved MTV/Subterranean treatment. Opening track “In the Hospital,” is “I Zimbra” by way of Earth Wind and Fire. The rest is updated ’80 retro dancefloor fodder sung in Ed Macfarlane’s sometimes breathy/sometimes falsetto croon. It’s kinder, gentler indie dance music that could make them the next Duran Duran (but won’t). Rating: Yes.
In case you’re wondering, there’s nothing going on tonight and practically nothing going on until later this week. These are, indeed, quiet times… but not for long.
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