Feb 16, 2007

Pop Rock That Sells (to Love and Hate).

Erik Lang - Touchez Pas Ma Baguette II (Flaunt)

The Damnwells showed up in East Madison this week with freshly ironed jeans and an obvious new agenda. Accentuating the volume and universality of their friendly rock, the band pitched a chain of three-minute singles to a young Barrymore crowd clearly pale from high school halogens. The cleaner and bigger sound seemed to sell (along with the pathetic pleads for iTunes downloads), but an impressively impassioned Doors impersonation asserted real talent. A sudden drop of the driving guitar opened up the radio equation to a more experimental aesthetic, but the nature of the evening quickly popped the pieces back into routine with calculated compartmentalization.

A dramatically lit Blue October took its turn captivating the stage, with lead Justin Fursetenfu's black eye shadow hiply challenging the formality of his crisp black suit. The teenage allure was inevitable by effectively pairing violent angst with pop expression, but the show was surprisingly powerful both in sheer rock experience and in the crevices where it manged to diverge from mainstream genre uniformity. Justin's staggeringly stoic presence frequently suggested the style of Pavarotti and created vocals that were sometimes emo, sometimes metal, and sometimes operatic (or at least enya-tic). But the sound was usually more like a comfortable Dave Matthews Band with a vocal sampler, a headache, and a frat Mohawk.

The Damnwells - Golden Days (mp3)

The Damnwells - Sleep Singing (mp3)

Blue October - Hate Me (mp3)


At Monday, February 19, 2007, Blogger jennifer said...

That Number 23 trailer reminds me somewhat of two things, the first being Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 and the second being Tim


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