Thursday, May 28, 2009

Siberian Summer Camp, Courtney Greene, 19AD, Magnuson @ Foundation Room in HOB, Hollywood

I didn't even know this lounge existed. This was the first time I had been there. They seemed like they were trying for a tacky mix of Asian and Rococo for the interior, but who knows. I've always thought everything in House of Blues was a bit tacky, but on purpose, I hope. On the up side there were couches to sit on.

Courtney Greene was up first. She had a scratchy punkish voice, but sang mostly pop songs.

19AD sounded a bit 80s, a bit Alkaline Trio, a bit Joy Division (my friend says).

Siberian Summer Camp The lead singer also plays drums and does vocals for Crime Spree in Candyland (what's with all these long band names? They're not easy to remember). When I saw Crime Spree in Candyland I mentioned that I didn't really get his singing style, but after hearing the stylings of SSC I finally get it. They're more punk rock (or what my friend describes as loud), so his voice fit perfectly with that type of music. The guitars were great and the sound, by the way, was impressive in that lounge. Everything was very crisp. For one song, they brought out this little piece of equipment that looked like a small robot that distorted the guitar as it approached the robot. I have no idea what it was, but it made an awesome distorted sound.

Magnuson My friend thought they sounded quite good, much like Perfect Circle. For me, it wasn't bad, I'm just getting a bit tired of that period's rock music. I feel like it's a bit outdated and not very innovative.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Squirrel Nut Zippers, Fishtank Ensemble @ El Rey

Fishtank Ensemble
is definitely a strange name for a band, but I guess you should never judge a band by their name. At first I thought they were just influenced by Serbian music, but they were all actually from Serbia. Each member was very skilled in the art of their instrument. The singer had an almost operatic voice. The upright bass player was amazingly fast on his instrument (as was the accordian player) and would twirl it around in the air, which must be extremely difficult. I loved their mix of Serbian folk, gypsy swing music. I wasn't expecting much from Fishtank Ensemble because I had been disappointed so much by opening acts lately, but I was pleasantly surprised. This was one of the rare times when the opening act was just as good as the headliner.

Squirrel Nut Zippers
I was waiting outside for my friend who was about half an hour late. I got to see a ton of people dressed for the swing music. More Betty Page's than I could count, lots of 30s dresses, super high heels. I've never seen so many girls in heels at a show before. Then I saw a guy with crazy feathers in his hat chatting up this bum who was asking people for tickets. A girl asked if she could take a picture of him because she liked his hat. Little did she know she had just gotten an up close shot of one of the lead vocals of Squirrel Nut Zippers, Jimbo Mathis.

Here's another review that described the happenings of SNZ's performance.

Low Note: I wish I had dressed up for the show, but it was on a work day and I didn't have time to go home and change. :(

High Note
: people were really nice at this event (it was a slightly older crowd. Not many high schoolers there) and someone let me stand in front of them so I had a great view of the stage. Also, getting to see the video performance of Ghost of Stephen Foster cartoon (made by people who worked on The Simpsons).