03 April 2008

Catching up: February and March

Been slacking big time, even more than usual. Saw a few good shows in the last couple of months, but have also missed quite a few. The spring and summer dates are filtering in and it looks like it should be heating up around here. Not that there hasn't been some steadily good music coming to these parts this winter. It hasn't been too shabby. Anyway, this post is somewhat pointless as I can't really comment on these shows this far past their happening...I'll just mostly be pointing you in the direction of audio/visual aids. Just checking to see if the mic is on...
Charlie Hunter played Milestones on 2/19. Audio here, and a bit of video from me here:

Every time I see Hunter play I forget how freaking good he is. No matter how many times I see him, the amazement never ceases, This outfit of his was not one of his best in my opinion. It had its moments, but overall it ended up falling a bit flat. The main problem with the show was, whereas most shows, jazz shows in particular, where there are 2 sets, the first set will be a bit of a warmup and the 2nd set is where the shit gets hot. This was the opposite and it left me feeling a little down on the show in the end. Also, the stupid local paper floated out the probability of the Campbell Brothers sitting in, and then I heard that they had played during the soundcheck, but then they never ended up playing during the show. That was a big bummer. Of course, they then showed up and played with MMW the next week when I of course got sold out of the show. Lame.

The night after that MMW show though, the Duo was in town, so it wasn't all bad. They played to a half full Club at Water Street. It was a solid show, and ended on a high note, what that high note was I can't remember, but I remember thinking it was really good. Might have been a Radiohead tune? Anyway, couldn't find this show, but they played the next night in the Cuse. Get it here.

On 3/3 went to see Ra Ra Riot (an up and coming band out of Syracuse...Syracuse? Really?) at the Bug Jar. There were 2 openers and I tried to get there a little late. Of course I ended up getting there right after the first band got started. But thank god I did. They became the highlight of the evening. It was a band from Norway called Syme, As I walked into the bar they were ripping through some dark prog jam and I pushed my way up front. I had all sorts of thoughts on these guys, but can't really remember much at this point. Luckily Brad of Bradley's Almanac fame caught them a few nights later and taped it. My video:

Most of the time they were heavy and rocking, the guitar/bass/drums duo was where it was at, but the keyboard/singer was the main guy seemingly. Some of their songs got into a bit more of a songwriter vein, and that was them at their worst in my opinion. Those tunes didn't work out as well. I felt pretty bad that they came all the way form Norway to open for what were essentially 2 local bands in our lousy Smarch weather. Oh well, they won me over at least.

I have been interested in seeing Ra Ra Riot for a year or so. They didn't disappoint. Really enjoyable set, good tunes. Definitely worth checking out sometime. They stopped by woxy.com shortly before the Rochester gig, which you can download here, and my wonderful video work for you to enjoy:

I'll be back soon, promise...

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