Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Troika Preview III

Friday night's Troika festival shows (schedule here) are pretty diverse, and I can't say that there's one that really stands out as clearly better than the rest. There are quite a few bands that are really great, but they're mixed in with others that I'm not at all familiar with (or, honestly, just aren't my thing). This is supposed to be structured so you can wander from one venue to another, and this looks like a good night to do just that. Here are some highlights:

305 South starts off the evening with two acts that are new to me, but impress me on a quick first listen. The Future Kings of Nowhere play a brand of acoustic punk they call "'acousticore,' music for people who are angrier than Peter, Paul or Mary, but nicer than Henry Rollins." Lots of energy here, which isn't terribly surprising given that half the band seems to be Midtown Dickens, who seem to be the living definition of "spunky". Shipwrecker is one of those bands that gives you nothing but a couple of songs on MySpace to go on, but the songs are good, so I guess that's all right. Another acoustic act, a bit more sedate and country-influenced. Something about the music reminds me of the vaguely anachronistic style of the Decemberists, though they are really not that much like them overall. Can I say "C&W sea chantys"?

The Future Kings of Nowhere: "Never"
(from EP 2006? Buy a recording here.)
Shipwrecker: "Dark Edge of the Da..."
(2006 demo. The last word of the title is a mystery -- tag your MP3s, people!)

The next two acts at 305 South are more than worthy -- I'm a long standing fan of the Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, and the Mountain Goats are superb (plus we get to claim them as local talent). Man Man hasn't done much for me, though, and I'd be awfully tempted to head off to the Marvell Event Center to see the twisted country of Spider Bags and the lo-fi pop genius of Schooner.

Prayers and Tears: "Raining In Darling"
(from Redux EP 2006. Download that free here; buy other PTADS stuff here.)
The Mountain Goats: "The Coroner's Gambit (Original Take)"
(courtesy this fan site. Buy Mountain Goats stuff here.)
Spider Bags: "Waking Up Drunk"
(from A Celebration of Hunger 2006. Unreleased, apparently)
Schooner: "Make Me Mad"
(from Tour EP. Buy Schooner stuff here.)

But then I look at the lengthy list of bands at Ringside that night, and I don't know many of them that well, but the reliably beautiful North Elementary and the ass-kicking old school metal of Colossus make me wonder if I'm missing something over there as well. There's quite a lot of ground to cover between the two, so while some of the other shows are stylistically consistent, this one seems like a total grab bag. It's a moot point, since I won't be attending any of these shows (damn work), but it's a pleasant dilemma to consider...

North Elementary: "Ships as Friends"
(from Lose Your Favorite Things 2004. Buy it here.)
Colossus: "Bubba Zanetti"
(from 2006 demo. Maybe you can get it at the show?)

Previous Troika Posts:
Troika Preview: Okkervil, Elvis, and DKD
Troika Preview: Portapleasant O'Collar


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