It’s round-up o’clock!
AVID DANCER/KOPECKY FAMILY BAND
Honestly, why have you never seen the Kopecky Family Band before? Are you soft in the head? (And I’m not just saying that because the band slept on my floor one night.)
A shamefully under-attended Biltmore Cabaret show – the band hadn’t been through town for two years – on Sept 26 didn’t stop the Nashville instrumental-swappin’ six-piece from dousing the assembled in the room with buckets of joy. Trombones! Double drums! Electric cello! Six-part harmonies! Awesome vocals from co-pilots Gabe Simon and Kelsey Kopecky! The Kopecky Family Band are the finest purveyors of perky and uplifting alt-pop and must promise me to never, ever miss them again.
Also, if you’re feeling adventurous? Put money down on LA’s Avid Dancer, who warmed up the stage for the Kopeckys. I will be. And that’s saying something. I RARELY like an opening act. Dreamy, bluesy, alt-rockin’, textural, psych tapestries alll lived in there, guided by the really swoon-worthy vocals of singer Jacob Summers. Have a listen. And then go see them, too.
Meanwhile, totally over-attended to the point of sold-outyness at the Biltmore on October 3rd was the double-bill of indie-rockers-whose-song-I-pinched-my-site’s-subhead-from-who-are-also-my-friendsfamily, Sebadoh, along with some other guy you might have heard of, Thurston Moore. Yeah, THAT Thurston Moore. He of Sonic Youth. Who also happens to have a new band (The Thurston Moore Band) made out of Steve Shelley, also of Sonic Youth, and Deb Googe of that other little-known influencer band, My Bloody Valentine.
But, to Sebadoh. And don’t spare the horses! Lou Barlow, rife with flu and rambling on per usual, kicked things off for a deliciously fun and long opening set, comprised of songs that stretched all the way from there (“Magnet’s Coil”, “Ocean”, and my favest-ever “Forced Love”)…. to here (a whack from latest album Defend Yourself, including “I Will”, “Calves of Champions”, “Defend YrSelf” and others). Lou and Sebabrother Jason Loewenstein traded banter as well as bass/guitar and vocal duties per usual, with the highlights on Jake’s side being a screechy good “Drama Mine” and an incendiary “Careful.” Gods, it was fab to hear those songs again live. And good to see my boys.
But the highlight? Seeing Thurston Moore sneaking out of the Green Room, precisely at the moment Lou sang the “crackin’ jokes like a Thurston Moore,” line in “Gimme Indie Rock”. Surreal shit, my friends. As for Moore himself, there’s nowt much cooler than seeing half of Sonic Youth and a member of MBV (plus James Sedwards from Nought) on a tiny stage. Thing is? While the new The Best Day album sounds good (and ooooohhhh that guitar), a Thurston set always feels a bit rambly. Noodling ensues, the vocals wane, and he doesn’t exactly connect with the fan boys the way you want him to. But you forgive him, because he’s Thurston Moore, you know? And Deb Googe? ICY COOL. In all – fine, just fine.
Finally, taking the TARDIS back to September 29 and the Media Club, we find a new band I was super-buzzy-squee-excited for: OUGHT. Ought are from Montreal, though the youngsters (let’s face it, all bands are youngsters to me these days) hail from other climes. But Montreal’s cheap rent makes it a music mecca, and set the stage for their latest album More Than Any Other Day. It’s on my list for top 5 albums of the year and it’s a must if you like your music to be a smoothie of post-punk, super-early Talking Heads, The Fall and Suuns. I love the words on the album (“Today, more than any other day, I am prepared to make a decision…between 2% and whole milk.”), I love the anxiety, I love the tempo changes, I love the slack versus anger, I love the urgency and the pounding, I love the hypnotic repetition. There’s DRAMA! And so I also loved that singer Tim Beeler was basically a micro Mark E, and the smiles of surprise on drummer Tim Keen’s face, when he realized a) they were playing really well for this set and b) a fair few of us were singing along. First time in Vancouver, a lotta love in the room and hopefully won’t be a long break in between. Love love love these guys.
So, in all – a good batch, wouldn’t you say? Enjoy the photos, click on them to embiggen and scroll through. \m/
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