Joe Syversen, Final Spins frontman
The Ruby Suns, Karl Blau, the Final Spins
When: Sept. 24
Where: Mars Bar
Last night's show was only the Final Spins' second, but even though they were the opening band, they just might've gathered the biggest crowd of the evening. But then, everyone in the Final Spins has already stored up some cred in the indie bank from former bands. Former Throw Me The Statue drummer Joe Syversen takes the mic on this one, who's joined by with Blessed Light frontman Toby Gordon, Pica Beats drummer Colin English, Zach Tillman of Siberian and Chris Early of Amateur Radio Operator. Needless to say, I had high expectations. Which the band met. They've collected a nice little repertoire of indie pop songs, some of which are quiet and folky, while others do it loud and fast. I'll be excited to see whether they decide to make more of the softer stuff or if they'll go in a louder direction.
Then, hunkalicious songwriter Karl Blau got up there, all by his lonesome with a loop pedal and a guitar, which he later switched out for a beat-up (but great-sounding) bass. I really like loop pedals. At least, in Karl Blau's hands. He made these totally enthralling layered vocal loops that commanded my complete attention. Psychedelic drugs would do you a lot of favors at one of his shows. Not that you need 'em to feel like maybe the room is melting, just a little. But, as Erik Neumann pointed out, it's good to mix up the trippier bits with the melodic numbers, as not to bore your audience who may not enjoy things like that as much as, say, myself. I can't get enough of that stuff. What can I say-- it's my hippie blood. Also, Blau played a couple songs from his latest album, Nature's Got Away, that just came out yesterday. That sucker is very, very good. Go pick it up. Especially if you were hoping Blau would be playing another show up here soon. He's not. Someone in the booking community get on that, please.
The Ruby Suns at SP20
As for the Ruby Suns, well, I was pretty surprised to see that the crowd thinned out slightly. This band should've been the main attraction. Especially because, after ther big tour, it's doubtful that the band will ever play a venue this small in Seattle again. Which is why I was especially glad to be there, because even though I saw them at SP20, they seemed nervous onstage (plus, I missed a good chunk of the set). At Mars Bar, which has a decidedly homier atmosphere and a more outwardly friendly crowd, the band seemed much more relaxed. Ryan McPhun had a little chat with the crowd about the Mariners (he was rockin' a Mariners' hat), and the band played us a new song, tentatively titled "Don't Trust the Dusty Fruit" that just about made me pee my pants with its awesomeness. It had the tropical vibe, echo-y flute and thumping drums I so enjoy. Also, that song is post-Sea Lion, which means you can only hear it on MySpace. They also played "Tane Mahuta" (it's sort of a requirement). Then, toward the end, someone near the stage made the egregious error of calling them Australian. They are not. They are from New Zealand. Please take note, or you will incur Amee's wrath, or at least a stern talking-to, like the unfortunate soul up front. Also, if you still can't tell the difference between a New Zealand accent and an Australian one, well, you're obviously not watching enough Flight of the Conchords. Who I wish I'd seen in a small venue like this one.
So do I regret not going to see Dr. Dog? Or Nick Cave? Sort of. You all will have to tell me how those shows went.