REVERBfest at Mr. Spot’s Chai House

Husbands, Love Your Wives, Man Plus, Pufferfish ...

11 p.m.Diminished MenHave you ever passed by the "soundtracks" section at your local record store and wondered who buys those mid-'60s spaghetti-Western-surf-vampire themes on 180-gram vinyl? Aside from Quentin Tarantino, that is? This is precisely the territory Diminished Men revel in. A surreal, moody haze of spaghetti-Eastern surf-psych, the band creates the most cinematic instrumental journey in Seattle. Dave Abramson's drums roll and splatter like ocean waves on acid, and guitarist Steve Schmitt pulls off metallic, twanging leads washed in hues of crimson and dark blue. A psychedelic stew of Ennio Morricone tones, Angelo Badalamenti moods, Russ Meyer shtick, and Ry Cooder's Paris, Texas theme, Diminished Men aren't as concerned with the past as they are with creating new images through familiar sounds. BRIAN J. BARR10 p.m.The Curious MysteryLike a distillation of the Zabriskie Point soundtrack, The Curious Mystery is an acid-fried American band. Like hippies dosing on peyote in the Mojave and pitching a tent made out of the U.S. flag, the band creates the kind of twang that echoes across desolate Western canyons. Because of said twang, they get slapped on a lot of alt-country bills, but The Curious Mystery draws the line between alt-country and American music. Sure, some songs are banjo-driven, and most feature slide guitar, but it's of the melt-your-mind variety, not the stomp-your-foot-on-the-front-porch kind. Unless of course that porch belonged to Pink Floyd and they invited John Fahey, Ravi Shankar, and Jerry Garcia over to jam. BJB8:30 p.m.PieceSee feature.7:30 p.m.Man PlusSome bands take a little while to digest. Man Plus, however, is one of those rare instantly likeable bands. An adrenaline rush of electro-indie pop, the quintet bursts wide open with happy-go-lucky charm—the kind you usually get from Ecstasy or your first sniff of good cocaine. Mostly the songs start off with anxious keyboard chirps, which the band wastes no time leaving behind for raging choruses of guitar and vocals. Their album The Hungarian Suicide Songbook is rich with '80s flashiness and futurism without being overtly retro. Just picture sexually ambiguous boys with vintage keyboards on a new new-wave kick. BJB6:30 p.m.PufferfishTwo years ago, four-piece local alt-country concern Pufferfish put out an excellent folk record, Hello Zero, which made number 66 on KEXP's list of the top 100 albums of 2006. Then, not long after, Pufferfish, which currently includes Ball of Wax compilation guru (and solo artist) Levi Fuller on banjo, lap steel, and bass;Jonah Baker on vocals, guitar, and banjo; drummer Scott; and accordionist, bassist, and vocalist Emiko, seemed to drop off the face of the earth. Why? They've been diligently recording a new album in Jonah's basement, which should be out sometime in November. I have high expectations for that record; so far, the band's managed to capture the woebegone pathos, the sense of longing and displacement, that makes for a great country ballad. And you really can't go wrong with their instrumentation, either. Two banjos? Lap steel?Accordion? Yes, please! SARA BRICKNER5:30 p.m.Husbands, Love Your WivesSee feature.4:30 p.m.ArbitronDabbling in audio anarchy can be tricky. Sounding like shit can result in, well, sounding like shit. But then bands like Arbitron come along issuing a maelstrom of instrument-bashing that gets noiseniks jazzed. Treating their instruments like Neanderthals, Arbitron bang and clang like Jesus Lizard and even our own AFCGT (aka A-Frames and Climax Golden Twins). But there is structure of the punk-rock variety contained here, all buried under a mountain of fuzz. Controlled chaos hasn't sounded this good since Devo collaborated with Big Black in that parallel '80s universe. BJB

 
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