Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Men, Dude York, CCR Headcleaner and Big Eyes at the Vera Project

After attending the pop conference at the EMP Saturday morning and afternoon I headed over to the Vera Project and set the tripod up for the show. I was there pretty early so I got to listen to the sound checks and hang around a while, then Big Eyes took the stage right on time at 8:30. Big Eyes play the Vera Project Big Eyes has a power trio lineup with the guitarist also singing. Good guitar oriented sound, nicely active high end from the drummer and a good solid low end from the bass, nice guitar riffs driving the songs along, good vocal hook too on the first song here. I also enjoyed the solo about 2:20 in, a good contained solo, old school sort of stuff that stays within the song structure and adds nicely to the song - tasty. Fun set, and we were just getting started.

Next up was CCR Heacleaner. In a musical context, when I see CCR I think of Credence Clearwater Revival. I can't say the music sounded like it was inspired by that CCR or anything along those lines. CCR Headcleaner play the Vera Project They had 3 guitars, bass and drums. They play songs with unconventional structures, sections of slower tempo building and ebbing, multiple vocals on occasion, and fairly complex song structures. They were working out some different sounding approaches, definitely doing and creating their own thing.

Up next was Dude York. I hadn't heard them before, but the bass player was in Natalie Portman's Shaved Head/Brite Futures so I'd seen her quite a few times and was looking forward to seeing her new band. .
Dude York had a power trio lineup as well. The first song on this video has pretty aggressive, driving beat and a more angular sound than Big Eyes, the earlier power trio. They cranked out some edgy tunes, more from the punk side of the spectrum perhaps - powerful fast songs, not too long. I was happy to hear old friends in new sounding bands I've been seeing Dude York getting booked quite bit locally, so it looks like they're doing pretty well which is even better.

The Men took the stage for their headlining set. The Men at the Vera The had 3 guitars, an acoustic and two electric, along with the bass and drums. The acoustic guitar player also played  keyboards on occasion.

I like the way the meld the guitars together in this one. Nice beat and prominent guitar placement in the turnarounds, good vocals that are easy to pick out, nice song structure. Interesting music, fairly uptempo, I even enjoy the "la la la la-la la" bit towards the end of the song. Goof stuff!

The transition from song to song is also reasonably brisk, so they packed quite a bit of music into a moderate sized set. I didn't get to stay to the end of their set, since I had to catch the bus (which got stuck in traffic so I missed the transfer and got stuck downtown, but that's a different story). I enjoyed what I saw, and it was nice seeing Claire's new gig in Dude York and hearing 4 bands that are new to me that all are doing interesting things is always fun.

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