Admiring the scenery

Music seen at Geno's and the Soundpost, August 1 and 5, 2007
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  August 8, 2007

Seems I missed out on the big news at Geno’s last Wednesday — upon late arrival, two separate friends declared Jerk Off Jack Off Frig Face, a shouting Portland country-punk duo crashing the scene of late, the “best new band in Portland.” My fondness for such superlatives requires that I spread the gossip.

Fire on Fire’s set began with a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” utilizing their greatest asset — spellbinding five-part harmonies — to delirious effect. It was a kick to see the band in a more raucous venue than usual, allowing even the mild-mannered Micah Blue Smaldone’s natural showmanship shine through.

Samuel James spun his guitar 270 degrees around his lap and did not stop playing it the whole time, and he’s no longer human to me.

Sunday night’s Soundpost show was sparsely attended after a sun-soaked weekend, but opener Helen Money wowed a tiny crowd with cello tunes played through an army of loop and distortion pedals. Even a mid-song broken string couldn’t hold her back, as she moved with ease between psychedelic rock and modern classical compositions.

Vancouver’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? headlined the show, and combated the awkwardness of playing to a tiny crowd by turning off all the lights in the house. A smart decision that delivered a lot of surprises: trombonist dropping to the ground and sifting through a box of bells and noisemakers; sudden handclaps from the keyboardist hidden behind the curtain; swells of noisy vocal harmonies and winning, ramshackle horn breakdowns.

  Topics: New England Music News , Gnarls Barkley, Chris Gray, They Shoot Horses Don't They?,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   TEN YEARS, A WAVE  |  September 26, 2014
    As the festival has evolved, examples of Fowlie’s preferred breed of film—once a small niche of the documentary universe—have become a lot more common, a lot more variegated, and a lot more accomplished.
  •   GIRLS (AND BOYS) ON FILM  |  July 11, 2014
    The Maine International Film Festival, now in its 17th year in Waterville, remains one of the region’s more ambitious cultural institutions, less bound by a singular ambition than a desire to convey the breadth and depth of cinema’s past and present. (This, and a healthy dose of music and human-interest documentaries.) On that account, MIFF ’14 is an impressive achievement, offering area filmgoers its best program in years. With so much to survey, let’s make haste with the recommendations. (Particularly emphatic suggestions are marked in bold print.)  
  •   AMERICAN VALUES  |  June 11, 2014
    The Immigrant  seamlessly folds elements of New York history and the American promise into a story about the varieties of captivity and loyalty.
  •   CHARACTER IS POLITICAL  |  April 10, 2014
    Kelly Reichardt, one of the most admired and resourceful voices in American independent cinema, appears at the Portland Museum of Art Friday night to participate in a weekend-long retrospective of her three most recent films.
  •   LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX  |  April 09, 2014
    Throughout its two volumes and four hours of explicit sexuality, masochism, philosophical debate, and self-analysis, Nymphomaniac remains the steadfast vision of a director talking to himself, and assuming you’ll be interested enough in him to listen and pay close attention.

 See all articles by: CHRISTOPHER GRAY