by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
A brief conversation from Thursday night’s Bleeding Rainbow/Crocodiles show at Slowdown Jr…
Shortly after Crocodiles finished their set I made my way back to the merch table, not to buy their stuff, but to buy some music from the opener, Bleeding Rainbow. Blond, perky frontwoman/bassist Sarah Everton was more than happy to oblige.
Me: “Which of these is your most recent album?”
Sarah: “Well, none of these are really very recent.”
Me: “Well, which one has the last four or five songs you guys just played?”
Sarah: “Well, none of them. That was all new material. We don’t really sound like that on these records.”
Me: “OK then, when are you putting out a new record?”
Sarah: “We don’t know. We don’t have a record label.”
Me (What I wanted to say): Well then why are you on bloody tour with Crocodiles?
Sarah ended up pointing me to a 7-inch called “Color the Sky” that came out last April, which she said was the most current recording available and the closest to sounding like the band currently sounds, and which I quickly snatched up. Strangely, it’s a one-sided 45 — the flip side is literally groove less (how much more could it have cost to press a B-side?).
Turns out Bleeding Rainbow used to be called Reading Rainbow, and among the wares that Sarah had on her table were a couple 12-inch albums, including one that was released on the amazing HoZac label, who they apparently are no longer aligned with (though they’re playing a HoZac showcase at SXSW in March).
I bring you this long diatribe (and two days after the fact) because Bleeding Rainbow was absolutely amazing — one of the best bands I’ve seen in a long time. The set-up is simple — two guitars, drums and bass, with Sarah and one of the guitarists sharing vocals and creating flat-toned harmonies on songs that are jet-fueled by guitar riffs and loud as fuck. Their songs were fast and hard and often ended with those two guitars fighting each other in a symphony of blinding power. There was nothing terribly innovative about what they were doing. In fact, their sound heralds back to ’90s’ post punk. They (strangely) get compared to Dum Dum Girls and Wavves, who they don’t resemble (though their music is much better). They’ve also been throttled with a “low-fi” label, though there’s nothing low-fi about the sound.
I wasn’t alone in my adoration. One rather well-known local musician gushed even more than I just did, completely blown away. And yet, as good as their music was, we’re not going to hear it played on our stereos anytime soon if what Everton said is the case — no label, no plans to record. Maybe that’s where this tour comes in. Maybe some label flunky will come to one of their shows on this tour and will hear what I heard and offer to help them get their music recorded. Or, the way things are going with labels these days, maybe not…
Crocodiles were good, too, in a sort of The Cure-meet-Brian Jonestown Massacre sort of way. Not bad, but not memorable, and they paled in comparison to the opener. As that local musician/fellow gusher said after Bleeding Rainbow ended their set, “How would you like to follow THAT.” No kidding.
* * *
If you’re reading this Saturday night, you’re either off to Cursive at Slowdown or off to The Brothers for White Mystery. White Mystery is a punkified, garage version of the classic guitar-and-drums two-piece a la The White Stripes. Opening is The Lupines and Snake Island. The show is $5, and starts at 9 or shortly thereafter. White Mystery is headed to Lincoln tomorrow night for a show at The Zoo.
As for Cursive, if you haven’t gotten your tickets yet you’re out of luck as the show is SOLD OUT. Opening is Omaha expatriate now Seattle-ite Mike Jaworski’s new band Virgin Islands and Cursive tour mates Ume. 9 p.m., see you there.
* * *
Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.