Thursday, March 4, 2010

Perfect Indie Pop

Tally Hall, Jukebox the Ghost, Skybox at Great Scott in Allston, March 3rd 2010

Last night was some good, good music.

First up was Skybox. They were opening and I wasn't expecting much, but they were awesome. Really, really good. A friend that I was with noted their variety of sound: "There was that one song that was Simon and Garfunkle-esque, then that one song that was trippy Beatles-esque, then that one that sounded like Jack's Mannequin." Those boys were having so much fun up their, bouncing and laughing and singing, that it was impossible not to have fun too. They were also playing some really interesting music that was full of well executed key changes. They had variety to their music and a sound that was all there own. I loved it. They made me laugh and they surprised me and I really can't say enough how this is perfect indie pop. There was a song called "Various Kitchen Utensils" and the lyric that started the night was "Grab the river by the ass." You must listen to them. I insist. I need to find out find out how to get their CD. There's a free download on their myspace as well. Well, aren't you listening yet?

Next was Jukebox the Ghost. If you've been paying any attention at all, you should know that I absolutely love their music and live shows. They just finished a European tour, so they were a little jet lagged and scruffy and sick, but that just meant they were even more silly between songs. They played old favorites like "Victoria" and "Hold it In" as well as a whole mix of new songs. Some I'd never heard before, but others have been rotating through their set for the past year, which means that even though recorded versions aren't available, these songs get stuck in my head for days. "Empire" is a great one that I need in CD form sometime soon, but there's another that I just don't know the name of that is a frenetic battle of contradictions and I wish I could link you to it but I can't! "Half Crazy" is another fabulous new song that they sold as a "hit dance single." The crowd loved them and they had some sick, jet lagged fun and it was awesome. They joked that the album was expected for summer, then 2011, then 2012, but I want this music now, right now. This is still my most anticipated album of 2010.

Finally, Tally Hall. A booming announcer told the crowd to turn around and voila! The band was behind us by the bar with a soft, almost acoustic set. It was fabulous because it showed off their voices without the soundboard and huge amplification distortion. Those boys can harmonize. The vocals were amazing, some of the best live group vocals I've seen at a show like this. I would really push for all shows to happen like this - get the crowd to shut up, turn the instruments down, and listen to the music, not the noise. They eventually got back up on the stage but at that point the magic was lost. They were so amazing and captivating down on the floor in the middle of the crowd that I was disappointed by the switch back to a normal show.

Last night was the best show I've been to in months, the happiest I've been in a while. That was the high I've been looking for. Why can't all shows be that good?

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