Went to see Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and others on Saturday at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago.
Hometown act Cheer-Accident, who played last (although SGM seemed to be the “headliner”) was ok, they were plenty “prog”, in an indie/math rock sort of way, but somehow their aesthetic was just a bit too “bar band” for me, especially after seeing all the weirdness that came before.
SGM was great, and truly a weird bunch. I could listen to the singer read the phone book, he just has the coolest voice. They certainly aren’t an easy-listening experience, especially when the guy who plays the percussion instruments made of salvaged junk is going nuts, but they keep your attention.
Faun Fables, which is a duo consisting of the main SGM guy and his girlfriend, played some sort of folk music mixed with some SGM-like insanity. Good, but not quite mind-blowing.
And then there was the opening band, The Dresden Dolls, who were actually my favorites of the night. Again, it’s a duo, with a girl on piano and vocals, and a guy on drums. Both of them are pretty heavy-hitters, though I was surprised how “musical” the whole thing was with only two melodic sources. The songs were just really good, where I was not only able to connect immediately with the music, but also with the lyrics, which is pretty rare in a live situation especially when it’s your introduction to the band. Ok, I wasn’t really able to “connect” to the lyrics, since they come from an angsty twenty-something female, but I did appreciate the creativity, delivery, and dark humor in them. If I was going to give an Alzn-like review, I would say “The Dresden Dolls: this sounds like music Alzn would like.”
I thought of buying their CD at the show, but decided I didn’t care that much, especially since I’m thinking of making an effort to wean myself off physical CDs. But then the next day, when I still had one of their songs running through my head (“Coin-Operated Boy”, which I think any woman would love), I figured maybe I should get the album after all. I checked iTunes, but unsurprisingly the album wasn’t on there. However, when I checked the band’s website (dresdendolls.com) to see where I could order it from, I did find a place where I could pay to download it. It wasn’t as quick and easy as iTunes because it was set up as a “micropayment” thing, so I had to install another little software app, and download and extract each song individually, but it was still a lot faster than mail-ordering it from somewhere. And at $0.75 a song, it was cheaper too. If the digital download option wasn’t available, I might have lost interest and thus not spent any more money on the band, so I really hope that more and more bands start to offer their music online for a price (or free, if they really want to). Because physical CDs are for dorks! 🙂