Another Saturday, another show at Market Hotel. I came out primarily to see The Magic Kids, whose song “Hey Boy” has been circulating around the internets, providing toe-tapping confusion about who these Memphis, Tennessee kids are. I learned at the show that they’re also pretty much the same band as the Barbaras, whose myspace is chock full of good songs. I wasn’t as impressed I was hoping I’d be with this band, but I did like them. The songs that had a rollicking back-beat, 1950s rock-n-roll style, chugging along feel were the best. High energy, fun, but a tad too precious. The girls playing saxophone and violin, providing twee backing vocals to the mildly off-putting but also charismatic frontman’s jangly, leggy presence was just a little too much. The band has played three big shows in three days, so I also think they might have been a little tired. But while some of their songs were fun, others just didn’t commit quite enough. Either be totally twee and adorable, or pick another band brand was my feeling.
Yellow Fever was up next. Jennifer Moore, who seems to be the mainstay in the band, used to be in Voxtrot, but has been doing Yellow Fever for a few years now. While I wasn’t entirely impressed by their live show (very little energy), it made sense with Moore’s laid-back, quiet, pleasant vocal stylings. Even though I wasn’t blown away by their on-stage presence, I LOVED some of their songs. Very cool, sparse songwriting that builds to great payoffs if you just follow along with Moore’s quietly-winding voice and mathematical guitar lines. Check out this band. Seriously. Early Spoon mixed with Sleater-Kinney? That might be a bad comparison, but I’m just trying to say I really dug it.
The last two bands were Fergus & Geronimo from Denton, Texas and The Beets from Jackson Heights. Definitely two garage-type bands full of boys playing good garage-band type music. Fergus and Geronimo had a nice, thick sound, but at this point the next day weren’t all together as memorable as I’d hoped they be last night. And I wasn’t as impressed by the Beets as I though I would be (they’ve been getting a lot of hype lately, touring with Vivian girls [who were in attendance] and this was the first time I’d seen them, so I think I had some unfair expectations), though I thought their use of only parts of the drum kit was very cool, and something I’d like to see more bands try. Also, when all three band members were singing, their vocals combined into this very rich, compelling, celebratory tone that I think carries the band. In the end, two promising bands who I think haven’t yet reached their full potential.
Fergus and Geronimo: