9/29: Folsom St. Fair After-Party w/ Icky Blossoms, Return to Mono, Metal Mother, + Sit Kitty Sit @ DNA Lounge
This show marked my first time at DNA Lounge, which was overall a great venue with excellent staff (though I found it a bit pricey for drinks, however).
RETURN TO MONO
This was my third time seeing Return to Mono, but only the first time I've been able to stay for their entire set. But let's gloss over how many times I've kicked myself over that now, and move on to the important bits - the music.
Return to Mono could be summed up as "electro-rock", and while that is true, it would be disingenuous to leave it at that.
Singer Tanya Kelleher is a tiny doll of a woman possessed of both an astonishingly strong voice and a composed and natural stage presence.
She manages to charm and captivate the crowd instantly; a super-power if there ever was one.
Combine that with J.G. Paulos's razor-sharp guitar work and the atmosphere and beats provided by Andy Sybilrud, and you have an intoxicatingly catchy mix of sexy pop, rock, dance, and electronica that will compel you to dance - even if you suck at dancing (like me!).
BOOKS ON FATE
Books on Fate (né Books on Tape) is another local favorite of mine, and were the headliners at the first show I attended in San Francisco after moving.
Adam Dishart (formerly of Catholic Comb) expertly weaves his bittersweet and beautiful music with lyrics that tell the kind of story you keep turning over in your mind long after you have read the last page and closed the book. Dishart is a confident, skilled musician with a one-of-a-kind voice that evokes emotions and memories you thought you had forgotten.
The addition of accordion during this set lent a vintage warmth to the songs and added to the intimate feeling of the performance. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you how much I love accordion (not to mention how often I lament that I don't know how to play!). Perhaps that makes me a bit biased, but I still think the world could use more accordion.
Dishart closed with a solo version of Catholic Comb's "Vampire Life" - a favorite song of mine, and always a treat to hear live.
This evening marked the premier of Stripmall Architecture's new album, "Suburban Reverb".
By the time they went on, the crowd was in full force and the front of the room was so packed that I couldn't get close enough to take any decent pictures (and by the way, why does it seem that all of the tallest people at any given event always stand in front of the shorter folks?).
Stripmall Architecture filled the room with their brand of minimal, yet complex electronica, bathed in stark lighting that ratcheted up the intensity. Vocalist Rebecca Coseboom appeared larger than life on stage, adorned in a headdress that called to mind a somewhat sinister modern version of "The Virgin Queen". Her performance was as much visual as aural, artfully blending the two into a singular experience.
The driving rhythms and atmospheric synth meld with Coseboom's ethereal vocals to create a sonic front that deftly escapes the boundaries of the genre.
Since I failed to get any of my own photos, here's one I shamelessly nicked from the band's website:
About the Author:
Elisabeth is an avid patron of the arts and connoisseur of the finer things in life. She resides in the East Bay and enjoys gardening and bird-watching in her spare time.... blah blah blah...
Hey, I'm on Instagram:
For even more photos: