Tape Deck Mountain – “Scantrons”
As I walked up Market Street to Cafe du Nord, I could hear these brooding tunes emanating from underground and couldn’t help but think how perfectly the music of Tape Deck Mountain fit with the almost vampiric ambiance of du Nord’s crimson-soaked lighting and walls. While it was the brooding tunes I heard on my way in, TDM switched things up a bit in their set, playing a few tracks off their Scantrons 7″. Things really got kicked up a notch for these songs and showed the brilliance of their drummer. While the bassist and guitarist both left a mark on the crowd, it was the drummer that really brought everything together. Kind of like a Lebowski rug.
Greg Ashley’s performance was a bit of a curve ball. I hadn’t heard him before, but with a background in classical and flamenco guitar, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Alone on stage with just his guitar, he split his time between a Les Paul with just enough distortion to give it some “umph” without losing the notes themselves, and a humbly beautiful nylon string instrument. Ashley frequently brought in touches of spaghetti western soundtracks, making me believe he should have been the first choice to score both of the Kill Bill films. He is a man of few words and only opened his mouth for the first time on his last song — the sole piece with lyrics.
Scout Niblett added a piece to the puzzle as to Greg Ashley’s place on the bill. In the same manner as Ashley, she took the stage by herself and proceeded to lay down some bluesy rock with signs of newer techniques such as the tapped out melody. Her voice hit me like a brick; it was rich and soulful and reminded me much of Chrissie Hynde, at least at first. Bringing to mind artists such as PJ Harvey and Mazzy Star, she masterfully manipulated the timbre of her voice to fit each song without sounding at all contrived. A drummer joined her for the last several songs and really filled them out. Playing with mallets, he brought almost a tribal feeling at some points. At other points, he was just plain rocking out, a cracked crash cymbal indicating that this was not his first time around the set.
Citay – “Mirror Kisses”
Ezra Feinberg packed the stage with a merry band of musicians otherwise known as Citay. Their 60’s pop laced with some psychedelia and a healthy dose of foot stamping was a crowd-pleaser through and through. Citay was not shy in their use of harmonized dual lead guitars (just think Allman Bros), which can never be a bad thing. Those in attendance for the sold out show were privy to some tracks off their new album as well, including one which made me think of CSN&Y at first, until the flying V came ripping out of the woodwork and electrified us all. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get back to listening to Dream Get Together.