Friday, September 7, 2007

MusicFestNW: Friday Night

I went out for another MusicFest fix tonight. First up were Seattle's electro dance popsters Valella Valella at Holocene. I've been disappointed by this band before, but I figured I'd give them another chance. I was disappointed once again. They just don't make sense to me. I'll give you an example: their drum parts are all programmed, but at one point one of them spent the better part of an entire song playing a lone crash cymbol. Why? Just program the crash cymbol and give the guy something useful to do! I really don't get what these guys are doing, but they seem to have found their audience, so more power to 'em...

Fortunately, it got better from there. I made my way to the Doug Fir, stood in line for about 20 minutes, and caught Eric Bachmann, formerly of Archers of Loaf, now of Crooked Fingers. He's currently on tour as a solo act, accompanied by a keyboard player and a violinist. He's got a sort of acoustic country folk troubador thing going on, and his voice, at once assertive and plaintive, perfectly suits the form. Something in his delivery reminds me of Richard Buckner. Very good stuff.

Next up at the Fir were a playful, arty noise-rock outfit from Brooklyn called Grizzly Bear, pictured above. Think Sonic Youth meets Iron and Wine, with occasional four part harmonies (yes, you heard me right). They have a very loose and abstract approach to song structure, which I tend to like. I was impressed.

Stay tuned for more MusicFest...

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