We have a sound, or at least a style distinctive from that of other cities in the area. Upon seeing Big Sky Big Band in their opening slot for Generationals this weekend, I can now count at least five local bands off the top of my head engaging in what is a clumsy but convenient term, "post-rock." Post-rock is generally considered to be instrumental rock, with nods toward jazz and progressive music but having a marked degree of restraint characteristic of indie rock bands. Big Sky is a fine example of this: Their oversize ensemble (featuring at times saxophone, banjo, and a number of guitarists) coaxes their melodies up over hills and down through valleys, the band acting as a finely-tuned engine powering the journey.
Much as I like this music, what I hear missing in a lot of post-rock, not just in the work of local practitioners but across the loosely-affiliated style, is a sense of daring, an indictment I might place upon Baton Rouge's creative community as a whole. We have the practitioners, venues to perform in, and audiences willing to pile into those venues. The next step is to take, well, the next step. Push the audience, let them push the music back if need be. If the sound of Baton Rouge is being unleashed from supporting a vocalist, then run with it. Get orchestral! Utilize music stands if you must! Like I said, Big Sky and other post-rock revisionists, I like what you are doing here. Now, I want to see you do more with it.
Saturday night is jam-packed with opportunity to do more. The mighty Melvins, the band that demonstrated to Grunge-era Seattle how to do the heavy lifting, will be gracing the Spanish Moon stage this Saturday, just as Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk picks through the wreckage that aptly-dubbed Mississippi blues "two-man wrecking crew" Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm will have likely made of Bogie's on Wednesday. If, that's not enough, Tuscaloosa's finest the Dexateens will be tearing it up at Chelsea's with American Aquarium and Baton Rouge's The Last Chalaron in tow.