Live Review: Perry H. Matthews, Her Flyaway Manner; Grammys…

Category: Blog — @ 7:10 pm February 1, 2010

The Waiting Room is a whole different — and louder — animal when it’s not packed to capacity, as evidenced by last Saturday night’s show, which drew fewer than a 100 people. Walking toward the bar down Maple St. at 10:30, I could hear the noise coming from the venue as far away as Jane’s. Imagine how loud it was inside — but it was nothing earplugs couldn’t control.

On stage, Perry H. Matthews tore through songs from their upcoming full-length (to be released by start-up label Doom Town Records). This is loud, propulsive noise rock that chugs along with with serious, pounding riffage. I don’t remember if I’ve ever seen them as a five piece, with a dedicated frontman/vocalist. The guy looked the part, with a striped, sleeveless T-shirt and suspenders. Throughout the set, however, it felt like he was holding back. Though he could be heard above the band (barely), he needs to turn it loose if he’s going to keep up with what’s happening all around him.

There was no holding back Her Flyaway Manner, who I haven’t seen in years. The trio fronted by Brendan McGinn on guitar and vocals was spot on. Their post-hardcore sound reminded me more of Fugazi than the last time ’round — good, brutal stuff from one of Lincoln’s best. (See photo)

A few more thoughts on TWR: They adjusted the stage camera, so that the monitors around the bar are sharper, and are now in living color. While the room does seems semi-empty with only 100 people in the audience, it still feels less empty than, say, Sokol Underground or Slowdown’s big stage with a similar-sized crowd. This could be another advantage TWR has over other larger rooms — small shows don’t feel sadly unattended, though just having a crowd that gets off their asses and stands by the stage (as we did Saturday night) always helps.

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If you didn’t watch The Grammy’s last night you didn’t miss anything. I watched only because I intend to mention the telecast in this week’s column. It’s amazing just how far American popular music has fallen from any resemblance to adult content (unless you count the adult language used in the hip-hop medley). It was like watching The Nickelodeon Awards or some other kids’ show. The fact that Taylor Swift, whose off-pitch vocals sound like she’s struggling through puberty, could be honored with the “Album of the Year” among other awards, is amusing since her music could only appeal to girls in their late teens, and the parents who have to put up with it. It’s kind of like giving an Oscar to a Sponge Bob movie. During her performance with Stevie Nicks, Taylor could have used some auto-tuner action, and believe me, there was plenty to go around.

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