2007 Music Crawl Report

KO’s Music Crawl Wrap-Up

With another Music Crawl come and gone, here are my impressions of what I saw and heard. I typically try to see at least the bands in the lineup that I have never seen play a live show before, and there were ten of those this year, a higher number than usual for me due to the preponderance of new faces—one of the strengths of this year’s bunch, I thought. I also caught a few others along the way, bringing my total for this year’s crawl to fifteen acts:

Kimberly Summer
Kenley Young
Preach
Brave Horatius
Magnetic Flowers
Collette
Black Swan
The Gadgets
The Heist and the Accomplice
The Decade
The Noise
Suhgarim
The Downcide
Neverbetter
Almost Jason

Highlights:

Putting Kimberly and Kenley on the street was an interesting move that provided walking music between the Art Bar and Headliners for a while, a trek I made numerous times.

Preach brought the noise with a full band, something I wasn’t expecting but it worked well.

Brave Horatius—The quieter stuff got a little lost in the crowd noise, but with two of the Heist guys and FT music editor Pat Wall in the band, when they cranked it up all was right with the world.

Magnetic Flowers were the most surprising act of the night, with a full-bodied sound that reminded me a lot of Ware River Club (look ‘em up). Great country-folk-rock mixture of sounds and some pretty catchy tunes. Definitely one to see again when the chance comes around.

Collette—I remember someone at FT wondering “Where are we going to put her on stage?” when the decision was being made to book this R&B singer, but they needn’t have worried: even on the tiny Art Bar stage, Collette and the full band complete with backup singers were very well-received. Fun stuff, and a nice change of pace from all the too-cute indie rock.

Black Swan: Wholly unfamiliar with this group prior to seeing them at the Crawl, all I can say is that they have an attractive lead singer who needs to smile a whole lot more. Given how lousy their sound was out front (and it was probably worse for the band on stage), I’m not surprised she didn’t look too happy. I’d have to see them again to confirm it but I wasn’t real impressed with this set.

The Gadgets—When I heard Eva from Cuatro Mono had a new band with Jason Puckett, I was intrigued by the tracks I heard online. Seeing them live reminded me of a couple of things—first, Eva’s just about the best-looking chick bass player this town’s ever seen (Sorry if that sounds sexist but it’s the truth), and even though the songs don’t really make a lick of sense it doesn’t matter because of the precocious poppy music that only sticks around for two or three minutes and then gets out. It’s like the indie-rock version of hard candy.

The Heist and the Accomplice—last set of the night for me before I hit the proverbial wall and had to sleep it off, so I don’t remember much other than their gloriously dense wall of sound being intact from what I remembered of previous shows.

The Decade—This one, on the other hand, was one of the first sets of the night and boy were these kids energetic or what? It was like a pop-punk ping-pong match watching the band members bouncing around the stage. Plus, the tunes were pretty good. Probably a tie with Magnetic Flowers for best set of my night.

The Noise—Proof that great musicians don’t always make great music. While these guys were obviously excellent players, the music did nothing for me, not even the Black Sabbath cover.

Sugharim—There’s an audience out there for a band like this, but I’m not sure this was it. Another one I was hoping to like more than I did, they did an okay job but I think with a little more partial crowd that was really there to see them, the heat generated by their singer’s dirty little catholic schoolgirl outfit would have been a little hotter.

The Downcide—There’s a reason this band’s one of Columbia’s hottest hard rock acts, and that’s because they put on a relentless, punishing show no matter what the context. The last time I caught them was at their CD release show back in the spring and they sounded just as into it here, even with their singer nursing a fully bandaged hand.

Neverbetter—I’m hoping that indeed, this band’s been a lot better, because after hearing others rave about them I wasn’t terribly impressed. I like the fact that they have a lead singer, not a lead screamer, though.

Almost Jason—accidentally saw a couple songs of theirs when I went to the wrong club trying to catch Loch Ness Johnny’s latest lineup (which I never did get to see, sorry guys.). Best house sound of the night, and it was at Wild Wing Café, of all places. Too bad over half the crowd didn’t look like they cared if there was a band playing at all.

Apologies to the other bands I missed, too, but even I can’t be everywhere at once—I’ll catch you somewhere else soon, I’m sure.

KO

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