Thursday, January 15, 2009

Best New Bands of 2008 at First Avenue

So last night I headed out to First Avenue for Radio K's Best New Bands of 2008 concert. Since multiple bands performed aaaannnd it's almost time for the Office/30 Rock, this'll be relatively short. Mp3s at the bottom. Oh, and by the way, it's freezing in Minneapolis.

First up was Bouncer Fighter, which classifies itself as "2-step/progressive/thrash." I gotta admit, they know how to work the 6/8 rhythm, and the music had an insane metal/country vein pumping through it. There are no good words to describe lead singer Caleb Pease's voice, but I'm gonna simply say "South Park" and leave it at that. The band is definitely something I've never come across before, so I think that adds to their charm, plus the energy spouting from this group is more than enough to get a show started.

Then it was time for Lookbook to take the stage, and they couldn't be more different than what we had all just heard. 80's minimal down-tempo music produced by a girl (singer) and a guy (mixer and disturbingly-good falsetto harmony). It felt like they had the shortest set of all, so I really don't have much more to add than that, but if you want to hear Tiffany-esque music with a modern twist, check them out.

Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps came on and were most welcomed by the large audience that had gathered by then. Acoustic guitar, drums, banjo, keyboard, glockenspiel, tambourine, female singer-songwriter? How can I not like it. Spunky songs with a bit of a homespun kick. Caroline's voice is so familiar that my mind immediately jumped to comparisons, but none matched right. If you have a thought as to who she sounds like, PLEASE let me know in the comments section, cause my brain will not stop until it figures it out. It looks like Caroline and the Good Night Sleeps will be on soon, so keep your eye out for that.

Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles
may not list her as an influence on their myspace page, but it wouldn't surprise me if they all listen to Regina Spektor's albums, cause they got a serious edge of anti-folk to them. Lucy has fun with her voice while the piano, guitar, drums, cello, bass, accordion, glockenspiel and harmonica all conduct a quirky musical dance behind her.

Before I had to head out for the evening, The Dynamiters came on stage. A serious rock band composed of former members of Die Electric!, Freedom Fighters, and the Monarques, they played an impressive set that made cymbals crash down to the floor and lead singer Brian Shuey sing "I'm gonna break your f*cking heart" followed by stating "I wrote that song for my sister."

Believe the Hype- Lookbook [mp3]
Where Has Sally Gone - Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps [mp3]
Postcard - Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles [mp3]


kibberon said...

after listening to some stuff from caroline smith and the good night sleeps, i thought she sounded kind of like ingrid michaelson with alanis morisette's diction. but as for the band's sound, i couldn't really put a name to it.

Lise said...

Haha, I like your description of the vocals, although I dare say I'd tack on a "through a Regina Spektor filter." It has the same distinctive vibrato goin on.