So not quite as on the ball about this review, which is in no way a reflection of the bands I’ll be discussing but more of an admission about my own laziness. But now I’ve pulled my socks up, or Dan threatened to take all the Keith’s away and make me watch The Birds forever, so it’s time to talk about that magical night, last Friday!
Cai.ro – Rancho Relaxo, 8 pm
I’m going to start off by saying that I’m not sure the above photo is actually of Cai.ro. I took too many crappy photos and too many days have passed and my best guess is that it is, but, mea culpa if ain’t. This was a great set to start my night with. Cai.ro have a kind of whimsical and complex folk-pop sound that I really like and it was exactly what I wanted to hear as I finished off the much needed 8 pm coffee. The second band of the festival to put some effort into doing some interesting lighting to complement their sound, I really appreciated the added touches that pulled the show together. I would definitely see this band again and have given their EP, Young Love, a few listens this week.
Patti Cake – The Silver Dollar, 9 pm
It’s no secret that we at TWM love Patti Cake. Terri already posted a very favorable review of this set and back in September I was on hand when Dan Gorman played a cutthroat game of Jenga with Kritty Uranowski and Dan Bedard in this great interview. I first heard Patti Cake last summer on a Wednesday night. I was at Rancho totally by chance, I had been cat-sitting for Dan and Terri and had forgotten to return Dan’s house keys so I stopped by just as the band was setting up and it was the luckiest accident because I fell completely in love with their retro rock sound. Kritty has the kind of charisma and style that makes you rethink all of your previous life choices (jumpers are amazing, not weird!) I am a total sucker for anything that sounds like it might be influenced by 60s pop and with Kritty’s vocals and her charming as hell lyrics there is nothing I don’t like. If you don’t already have a copy of their EP Prime Minister of Cool Chicks you better correct yourself, and soon.
James and Blackburn – Rancho Relaxo, 10 pm
I had an inkling I would like these guys before I even made it out on Friday after seeing updates on Twitter suggesting that they had brought homemade cookies to sell at merch. Personally, I like to bribe people with baked goods and considering how many awesome hugs I’ve been getting from Rancho head bartender Greg LeGros after plying him with cupcakes on Sunday I gotta say it’s a winning strategy. My first non-cookie related impression of this band was that they all looked quite young and that the drummer was in bare feet, so I was totally blown away by the maturity and depth to the vocals. Though the vocal effects didn’t always work for me, there was lots of reverb, I liked the way it made them stand out in the traditional indie rock genre. Their sound had a certain heft to it and they tried some interesting things, though again sometimes I got lost in the jamming.
Meanwood – Rancho Relaxo, 11 pm
I’m fairly certain that I was the only person at the bar who did not know this band, or at least the lead singer, Viktoria, but I took notice after their set. On their bandcamp their sound is listed as country, soul and rock and roll and that is no fucking joke. The vocals alone are worth the price of admission and when added in with a group of skilled musicians you have a sound that grabs hold and doesn’t like go until its well and done with you. I’ve barely taken their EP, Trials, off rotation all week. And in case you don’t understand just how badass this band is let me tell you the story of their bassist, Eric. Early last week Eric was hit by a streetcar while riding his bike. By a goddamn streetcar, and that shit is no joke. They were able to get a replacement to play the show and Eric was up front during the performance with his arm in a sling and then he jumped on stage to play the last two songs. Check this band out, I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Wild Domestic – Rancho Relaxo, I don’t know. Late.
This may surprise you, but I can be a whiny brat. I get overtired and I eat too much sugar and I’m a terror to deal with and at that point I try to be considerate and sit at the bar and keep my mouth shut and just watch a movie until I can act like a human being again, so I’m afraid I have nothing to say about the wonderful bands that played between Meanwood and Wild Domestic because I was watching Beetlejuice. I pulled myself together for this set though because I love Wild Domestic, which came as a surprise to me when I first saw them play because I am not usually a fan of long songs or instrumental tracks because I have a short attention span but this band has me hooked for every second. Two kits and two guitars that weave a sound that goes from soft to loud seamlessly and is so damned captivating that I am always left wanting more when it’s over. Also, the lead singer has really fantastic hair. It’s a similar length and colour to mine but his always looks so shiny and perfect. I wonder if he conditions. But to conclude on a music related note, Wild Domestic released their self titled debut album back in November and it is five tracks of straight up awesome.