Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Craft Spells, Soft Moon and Witch Gardens at the Vera Project 4-3-11

I ended up steering and lead front door at this show since we were a little short on volunteers, which made it a little challenging to get into the venue and take pictures and videos - too much work to do. I managed to get a few, though.

I dragged my 13 year old son along to help out, he sold concessions and was a good sport about it. He's on spring break, so he probably enjoyed the diversion, but it can get a little boring having to stay behind the concessions counter for several hours.
Early April 056

Pre-sales were low, but plenty of people showed up once the door was open, so we ended up with a reasonable crowd.

First up was Witch Gardens. Somewhat unusual instrumentation - they used a bass, guitar, zither/autoharp, and a stand-up drummer.
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They got a good rollicking sound, pretty full, and they did interesting things with tempo. The first video I recorded includes a section where they slow it way down:

...and this other video includes a section where they speed it up quite a bit:

The first one was good, the second was even better, the increasing rhythm was fun. I generally enjoy good tempo changes when they work out, they add quite a bit of interest to the songs for me. The band has to be on their toes, but Witch Gardens handled it well.

Next up was Soft Moon. Soft Moon used some interesting black and white video projections over the band and the walls as they played. That combined with their distorted and atmospheric sound gave them an excellent spacey feel, sort of a miniature Pink Floyd effect (coming from me that's a compliment, I love Pink Floyd).
The pictures don't really do justice to the show, for example this one is interesting:
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...but the videos are way better, you can see the moving effects:

Soft Moon used a guitar, bass, keyboards, and a sequenced drum, no live drummer. This video is a little rougher, but I like the effects and the sound. The video is too short to get to any more normal song structure, but most of their songs did resolve to a slightly more conventional approach eventually. Slightly.

The headliners were Craft Spells. They played with a more common double guitar, bass and drummer lineup and were a lot of fun. I took pictures from the balcony, which was problematic. Either I used the flash and got dim pictures with the demon eyes effect like this:
Early April 061
...or I left the flash off and got brighter, more colorful pictures that were blurred like this:
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Unfortunately my better digital SLR (which does this way better) was out of commission. The videos worked out OK, though.

They played pretty accessible upbeat rock, and they got the audience into it a bit.

That's actually a pretty lively crowd for an indie band at the Vera Project. I wish I had time to record more songs and longer chunks of songs, but at least you can get a bit of a feel for their performance from the short videos.

I just noticed that Brooklyn Vegan has links to several of Craft Spells songs posted, check that out if you want to hear them. Even better, bookmat has a way to embed some of them on my blog:
Read full review of Idle Labor - CRAFT SPELLS on Boomkat.com © Oh, I see, clicking on it just takes you back to bookmat's blog, where you can listen to them.

All three bands had names that made me think of withcraff/wiccan themes, especially when you look at them together. I didn't really notice if they echoed those themes in their music and lyrics, as I didn't get to listen and watch to all that much of their performances so I'm not sure if it was that much of a theme overall.

The variety of approaches and sounds was interesting, from the different approach of Witch Gardens with their slightly different instrumentation and tempo changes to the spacey music and cool effects of Soft Moon to the more straightforward well crafted rock of Craft Spells - an interesting variety of approaches and another fun evening listening to music at the Vera Project. Not bad for a cold wet and windy Sunday early Spring evening in Seattle.

1 comment:

  1. Virtualsoundnw, check out this:


    Also, let me know if it's ok for me to use a couple of your pictures to adorn my post with.