“When I turn on my radio it all sounds the same, it all sounds the same”. Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside lead off the first song “I Swear” from their debut 2011 album, Dirty Radio, with this thought provoking lyric. With that lyric in mind, this night at Off Broadway was the anything but something that sounded the same. The local St. Louis area band Carriage House opened up for Sallie Ford with their entertaining, high energy sound that was somewhere between folk and heavy metal. Zack Sloan on guitar and vocals, along with Adam Donald on drums and keys, started as a two-piece playing in and around St. Louis after recording a couple of songs. Will Flesch was later added on bass completing this trio. In September of 2011, the band recorded their first full length album Besides the B-Sides, which is available for download through their ReverbNation and Facebook. Be on the lookout for these guys at an establishment near you. To keep track of Carriage House’s upcoming events, you can take a look at their Facebook page.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Every now and then I am introduced to music that is truly unique. Robert Randolph redefines the term unique. When first introduced to his music some years ago, I was surprised to find out his specialty was the pedal steel guitar. Not the normal instrument you would expect a band leader to be sitting behind. Robert masters the pedal steel like a man possessed. Being raised around country music, I was familiar with the pedal steel but didn’t know it could produce much more than a weepy twang. Robert's backing band consists of actual family members, hence the Family Band moniker. Robert throws in dashes of funk, rock, gospel, and blues, all of which he cites as musical influences. Robert played two, hour long shows at the Lumiere. I caught the first show.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
If life imitates art, then the following pictures capture the blurry, musical art that was created by Lockett Pundt and Lotus Plaza. A small and quiet crowd gathered at The Luminary Center for the Arts to take in the vast, sonic landscape that is Lotus Plaza. Lotus Plaza is the side project of Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt. Pudnt heavily exploits and experiments with electronic gadgets that can produce waves of sonic pleasure. The mood of the evening was set by a solitary, unchanging blue-colored stage. Lotus Plaza’s music is defined as shoegaze, a term that is defined by the musicians as they stare at their shoes while onstage. The audience was here to listen to and showed little emotion outside of applauding in between songs. Lotus Plaza played a short hour-long set due to some technical difficulties and Pundt recovering from the recent loss of his voice. Lotus Plaza is currently touring in support of their latest release, Spooky Action at a Distance, an album that at times can sound like English pop from the 80’s and then quickly turn around and bite you with a guitar sound that mimics Thurston Moore. One of the standout songs from this album that melds these two styles perfectly is “Out of Touch.” While onstage, Pundt gives one the feeling that he is always thinking of how the music should be painted. Tonight’s performance was portrayed somewhat dark but if you listen closely, as many did on this night in St. Louis, you’ll find every Lotus Plaza song has a splash of color. Pictures of the show are below:
Thursday, May 3, 2012
They say it’s bigger and better in Texas. I don’t know about all of Texas, but one thing that is bigger in Texas is the Dallas International Guitar Festival (DIGF). This annual event draws thousands of visitors to the Dallas Market Hall to view custom made guitars, new products and gizmos, and to hear some of the finest guitar players on the planet. This year I found my way to the DIGF two days in a row. The Market Hall was packed, as usual, with guitar enthusiasts and vendors. My first day at the show was kind of a preview day, but while previewing I had a chance to hear some excellent guitar players on both the indoor and outdoor stages.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Last Sunday, thousands descended upon FC Dallas Stadium (formerly Pizza Hut Park) for the 22nd installment of 102.1 KDGE's Edgefest. The premier radio festival in North Texas has seen an array of talent in its 21 previous years including Muse and the Killers in 2008, Phoenix and Limp Bizkit? in 2010, Blink 182 and Goo Goo Dools in 1999 (my first Edgefest), et cetera. But in past years, the festival has been drowned in alternative rock and nostalgic bands of the 90's, a sad reflection of their outdated playists on the station. Not the case anymore. This year, Edgefest returned to fine form with the inclusion of Cake, Garbage, Evanescence, Cage the Elephant, and headliners, the Black Keys. The Black Keys alone were a draw for most concert goers, as they are headlining almost every major festival this year and have blown up within the last few years to go from underground wonders to full-blown superstars.