If bands are still figuring out their sound, or are fairly new to playing live, they are often booked on bills that provide a sampling, nay, a splattering of genres. If the booker is good, they know how to attempt seamless crossovers. Last night, Rachel (PopJew) did just that. From Queening to Big Troubles to Pop. 1280 to the headliner, Julian Lynch, it was a variety show that made sense.
Julian Lynch plays his baby-blue Telecaster semi-hollow body through a wah-wah pedal like if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be able to breathe, or something. He nurses his songs like they were babies or puppies, lovingly moving them along, cooing and singing all the while. Yes, the music of Julian Lynch is pleasurable. While his solo stuff is more intricate, nuanced and maybe even a bit harsh sonically, last night’s live show with a full band was beautiful and smooth.
Lynch told me after the show it was the first time he played with a full band, and that they had only practiced that afternoon. Seeing as the band members were all his best friends at Underwater Peoples Records, it makes sense that they could so easily accompany their bro. The band featured Alex Bleeker (The Freaks) on bass, Matt Mondanile (Ducktails) on drums, Martin Courtney (Real Estate) on bass (I love when he wears his thick frames, what a guy) and Evan Brody (Family Portrait) on keys.
The band didn’t play long unfortunately, but I now have a taste in my mouth that I don’t want to get rid of.
Pop. 1280 is kind of a post hardcore noise band. The lead singer screams, dramatically whirls around the crowd and throws his microphone to the ground. It’s an old trick, one that, in my opinion, is boring if it’s not either completely scary or if the music isn’t totally demanding and dominating. I guess the band’s synth wasn’t working, which i’m sure had a huge affect on their sound, but besides guitarist Ian Campbell’s noisy Thurston Moore inspired strumming, there wasn’t much to tweet about.
Big Troubles has big potential. Another Underwater Peoples/New Jersey band, they play shoegaze inspired pop. While their one song that’s been around the internets, “Freudian Slips,” is really fun and well structured, the majority of the rest of their songs feel a bit undeveloped. The wall of sound effect that their fuzzy guitars make is good at times, but can also be overwhelming. That said, inspiring moments were prevalent, and these guys have lots of room to grow.
Queening is just one woman on guitar and a guy on a kit. Tia Vincent reminds me a bit of Kim Deal, Breeders-era, mostly in the way she carries herself. Big vocals and unapologetic guitar riffs is what she’s going for. It works. Drummer Jon Garcia added a lot with his off-beat drumming.
It was a time.
UPDATE: Check out the Bob (Chocolate Bobka) Blog for video of Julian Lynch last night.