Live Review: The Family Radio; Ladyfinger joins Saddle Creek Records; Saves the Day tonight…

Category: Blog — @ 12:19 pm April 17, 2006

I made it only to one show this weekend. Actually, one-third of a show. I drove down to Sokol Underground Friday night to catch The Family Radio, which I’ve written about on the blog for the past few days (Nik Fackler, Dereck Higgins, etc.). I got there later than expected, but didn’t miss a thing as Nik and the band stood around on stage for a good 20 minutes doing a sound check (I think). You figure if you were nervous that standing around on stage would only make it worse. Fackler, however, seemed relaxed, almost giddy, throwing candy into the audience throughout the short, five-song set.

The consensus afterward — they sounded a lot like Bright Eyes. Certainly the style is similar — folksy, chamber-pop music pushed gently by a solid rhythm section, with personal lyrics (though not as confessional as poor Conor’s). Fackler’s voice is nothing like Oberst’s, though he does provide the occasional shriek (maybe more Kasher-esque?) and he likes to count out the beat. Violinist/flautist Tara Konradi added nice counter-melodies, though I’m doubtful she could hear herself on stage. And ex-Azure Ray-er Orenda Fink lent a hand on trumpet for one song. It sounded pretty good, and at times, almost great. The night before Fackler was most excited about the “50s-style rocker” that the band planned to end their set with. It was the weakest tune of the bunch, however. The best songs were the more subtle numbers that featured Fackler’s simple finger-picking guitar lines and the warm rumble of the rhythm section — Higgins we all know about, but that drummer was a real pleasant surprise. Now we’ll wait and see just how much more Fackler will do with this band. He’s a busy boy, what with his film projects and music videos. Is it possible to do all of it at once?

In the News: A number of people e-mailed pointing out that Ladyfinger has signed with Saddle Creek. The band themselves confirmed the rumor on their website (, where they announced that their debut full length will be released on Creek Sept. 26. The story goes that Saddle Creek paid for recording the new Ladyfinger disc with the option of putting it out if they liked it. Apparently they did. If you go to the Saddle Creek tours page you’ll find details about the band’s late-May early-June tour that caps off with a gig at The 49’r June 17 (You’ll also find on that same tours page a listing for Neva Dinova dates — the first pseudo-acknowledgement on the Creek site that the band has been signed to the label).

Tonight at Sokol Underground: Saves the Day with Moneen for $15. I’m not sure why I’m telling you this since I think both bands suck.

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