I’m not sure whether it is a good or a bad thing that bands have freed themselves from simple names, opting to be more than The Somethings. For a while in alt-rock, it seemed like everyone had blue in their name; recently, “wolf” and “deer” names were all the rage. On one hand, it’s just a name, it doesn’t matter, but I like a band name to inspire confidence. I figure if you are putting in enough hours to make a band, don’t hobble it with a lackluster name. I gotta think the guys from Hoobastank feel me on this, now that they are on the D-list.
Case in point: Say Hi to Your Mom, not helped much by shortening it to Say Hi, is a charming as hell, emotional dream-pop band from Seattle that I’ve avoided just because the name seems foolish. I’m glad someone pulled me aside and set me straight, otherwise I might have foolishly missed them this Friday at Spanish Moon.
About a year ago, someone coaxed me into driving out on a Sunday evening to the Magnolia Café in St, Francisville (though really, it doesn’t take much coaxing, that place is a musical and culinary gem in a jewelry box of a town) to see The Mother Truckers, unprepared for the roots rock explosion, combining off-the rails backwoods guitar wizardry by Josh Zee (also of Protein) and the many sultry charms of singer Teal Collins. I have never been so thankful to be dragged to a show than that one. By reading this, consider yourself dragged to Chelsea’s on Thursday.
Trenton Van Plummer’s Circus of Strings, now there is a name with confidence behind it. The Indianapolis singer songwriter and ensuing carnival live up to the acoustic grandiosity they profess, and are at the North Gate on Wednesday. The Cinema for the Ears presentation by LSU’s experimental media labs is exactly that—a presentation of strange and often breathtaking compositions composed for the 27-channel ICAST sound system, a confluence of amps and speakers with enough precision and juice to make sound a tangible physical presence inhabiting the room with you. Don’t miss this illuminating presentation of the next phase in music on Wednesday evening at 8 p.m.
Monotonix, a badass name for a badass band, likely the loudest, most frenetic power trio from Tel Aviv that you will see this year, is at the Spanish Moon this Saturday.