Sunday, September 25, 2011

Finn Riggins, Atomic Mama, Neighbors and Chung Antique at the Vera Project

Tom called me on Saturday and said "I have you signed up to steer today, how's it going?"

Oops. I'd managed to sign up for a few steering opportunities then lose the paper I wrote the dates on. I hate when that happens! At least Tom called me early enough so that I could recover. "I'll be there in 45 minutes, depending on traffic" I said.

I had just promised my wife I'd take her to get a nice Thai dinner, a huge family favorite, and now I had to go cancel on her. Sigh, I wish I wasn't such an idiot some times.

So I headed down to the Vera Project where I had 2 volunteers, Julia and Ben. Julia has been great recently, volunteering for open mikes and driving groups and showing up to help out, and I was glad to see Ben - a different Ben, not my son, I've volunteered with him quite a few times but hadn't seen him recently.
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Chung Antique pretty much killed it without any vocals.

Chung Antique plays complicated instrumental rock, sounding like a larger band by using changing distortion patterns and rhythms; the guitarist changes several times between highly distorted and clean sections and the transitions and complex rhythms are all very tight with all of the instruments reflecting them. Some of the more extreme dynamics towards the end are impressive, well written and even better performed. I enjoyed Chung Antique, apparently they're local so I'll have to keep an eye out for them. They don't even have microphones set up, they're purely instrumental.

Next up was Neighbors, another talented apparently local band that I was unaware of.
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Nice set, this is only a couple of songs but it gives you a nice idea of their sound. They get some good licks going around 4:00 in, great performance. Pretty dang good for the first two acts on a bill of four.

Next up was Atomic Mama
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Here's a short bit of Atomic Mama doing some psychedelic stuff:

I got several good songs recorded, you can see more of them on my youtube channel. It takes 75 or so seconds to get started after some chatter and prep, I like the dynamics and vocals in this one:

Full powerful sound, impressive from a duo.
If I have the details correct, Atomic Mama is from Idaho, and so are the headliners Finn Riggins.
Finn 078We're up to a trio now, with a keyboard player featured prominently along with a guitarist and a drummer. The keyboards and drummer are scruffy brown haired dudes with varying amounts of facial hair but no full on beards (Atomic Mama had some definite beardage) and a woman playing guitar. All 3 had mic stands and vocal mics ready, kind of the opposite of Chung Antique.

I love the way they put their sound together, the keyboards and guitars grinding and bouncing along, the rhythm nailing it all together. Different sound, but only mildly different. I don't quite know what I'd call it, mid tempo rock music I suppose, who cares really, just some kick ass musicians with a slightly different take working out their muse and taking us along for the ride. The dedicated keyboard player and prominent mixing gives them an interesting sound but they keep it pretty smoothly mixed so it's still fairly guitar oriented rock music. Familiar elements with some cool haunting interplay between the vocals and instruments, nice emotional impact. I got more than one song on the first bit of video, nice stuff!

Great sound, tight band cruising along and making it's own kind of music:

A couple of hot bands from Boise and a couple of cool local bands, nice show to kick off the fall. Consistently different set of approaches - not folky, not just old school guitar rock, something a little new yet not too unfamiliar, each different in it's own way. Finn Riggins put on a great set, it'll be interesting to see if they can build a growing regional and national following, they deserve one!

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