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A brisk evening at The Haunt brought in three acts this saturday, Technicolor Winter, Summer People and Tera Melos. 

Technicolor Winter was up first and didn’t really do much for me unfortunatly. Made up of five members, this young rock group from Binghamton did try their best but it was evident that further work had to be put in.  They were at the best however when all members were playing in tandem, sadly there saxophonist and keyboard player seemed left out of the formula. 

Summer People fared much better in my mind.  A large indie rock band with several guitarists and two drummers the team mustered a lot of energy and passion from the crowd who in turn shot it right back.  My girlfriend found this group tonights winner as she danced through the whole set.  A favorite song of mine though was there more left field take on a fast blues number with tumbling drums and shouted vocals.  Certainly keep an eye on these folks as they have a soon to be released album on Red Leader Records.

Tera Melos was the star of the show for me though.  The trio quickly set up despite a myriad of pedals. Nick Reinhart (guitarist) quickly said “hey” and not .1 miliseconds after launched into a sensory assault that lasted for what seemed like 4 minutes but was truthfully more like 40. 

This was my first time seeing John Clardy (ex Fishboy) behind the skins and its interesting to compare old (Vince Rogers) to new.  I think Nick said it best as I chatted with him saying that Vince had a  much more jazz influenced playing than John’s more rock centric style.  It lent well to some of the bands newer songs they played, which seemed to focus on more structured singing parts and more aggresive riff rock than shredding.  This certainly does not mean they have given up their previous chaotic stop start elements as they were in full swing as well. 

Playing other songs from “Drugs to the Dear Youth” and their split “Complex Full of Phantoms” it was simply amazing to watch them blast through each one with amazing energy.  Nathan Latona honestly is one of the most interesting bassists to watch as he practically shreds his fret board doing some impressive movement on the stage at the same time.

Banter between songs was at a minimum but Nick make a comment asking about “sad bar flies” and if they were bumming tonight because he liked that kind of thing.  A girl in the audience also was shouting to them to play songs off their first full length to which he replied “im sure you know those songs better than we do.”

Certainly a band that has to be experienced live i was more than happy and lucky to bear witness to their set.  In hanging out with these gentlemen that night they are truly some of the sweetest guys to sit and talk to.  You can honestly tell that they care about their art and that its not for anything but the love of music.  It means a lot and i think it reflects back to each and everyone that has ever seen them play.

nate

Carla, Michael and Nils

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Two bands with some pretty interesting parallel’s, Dub Trio and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum took the stage last night (4/20) at Ithaca’s own (The) Haunt.  Both bands have a high pedigree of musicianship it would have been a hard show to pass up for me.

The scene inside was your typical white male in his twenties crowd that populates most “underground” fair in Ithaca (not a negative comment just an observation).  Speaking of underground, the show itself was put on by Ithaca Underground’s own Bubba Crumrine who took a great gamble in bringing a higher profile group such as sleepytime in.  Thankfully the gamble paid off with an impressive turn out on a monday night.

First to go on was Dub Trio.  A healthy mix of noisey metal intermixed with dub, the trio of  D. P. Holmes, Stuart Brooks and Joe Tomino (guitar, bassist and drummer respectively) immediately launched into massive guitar riffery.  Rarely did this sonic assault let up for their 45 minutes on stage occationally dipping into build up’s and their “dub” style.  I was much more impressed with them live than on record as it is hard to capture the rock energy of a band like the Trio’s.  Other than that i would say my problems, although minor, were with lack of movement.  Theres no singing involved so i figured i was in for some high jumps or even aggressive head banging or something but mostly neither bass nor guitar left there “metal stance”.  Fault however should not be placed on Joe Tomino who rocked as much as he could behind the set using his reverbed drums to great effect.  Stuart Brooks layed waste to his bass, peppering holmes’s guitar stabs with some seriously busy fretwork. As it was there last night on tour they did end up proving  to the crowd that they could certainly hang with the sleepytime boys (and girl) without question.

The main event was of course Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and they certainly did not let anyone down that night.  New songs mixed with older ones  charted a course that played to the bands strength’s.  beat-boxy art rock cum junk yard to full on prog-metal and into gospel preaching carnival dance.  There hour and a half set honestly felt to me much shorter than dub trio’s mostly due to the varrying songs.  On display was of course the groups famous homemade instruments like Dan Rathbun’s (bassist/vocals/a whole bunch of stuff) impressive sledgehammer dulcimer.  This odd instrument of his design is a long piece of wood with piano strings stretched across and makes an unholy bass slap.  Certainly not the only homemade instrument on display it was very easily the biggest at from what i could tell had to be at least 7 feet long.  The great thing i found about the group is their ability to shift on a dime switching instruments and moods to the whim of whatever song they play.  As a drummer myself its downright hard to state just how good of a rhythm section they have.  Aside from pretty much everyone in the group playing some sort of rhythm instrument Matthias Bossi is a powerhouse behind his drum set.  Its easy to hear the restraint he plays with 70% of the time, leaving the audience guessing where the next time change or dramatic fill will occur.  Not to say that his style is about 4/4 work but more attention to space and giving the rest of the members room like Michael Mellender (guitar, drums, vocals, on and on and on) to incorporate bike wheels and various bits of scrap metal to the mix.   Carla Kihlstedt’s haunting vocals and eerie violin wailing adds a surprising amount of depth to the proceedings especially on “Angle of Repose” with its hoe down violin stomp.   Nils Frykdahl (vocals, guitar, flute, see a pattern?) works the crowd amazingly well with odd stories before ripping into some funky guitar passages.

Matthias and DanIt was a great time had by all. a little moshing, jumping up and down the crowd was pretty energetic which seemed to ignite Sleepytime into an encore of “Sleep is Wrong” off of Grand Opening and Closing.  After the show, my girlfriend pulled me over to talk with the band much to my reluctance (i’m now very glad she did)  We thanked both Nils and Matthias who seemed pretty excited about the turn out in a place they wouldn’t normally play.  Matthias also shared with us that he and Carla are expecting a little one in August much to our excitment (our little boy just turned 1 this march) and was telling us the rest of the band has two other little ones on the bus that they travel with.  Truly these people are family and tonight they certainly played that way.

 

http://www.myspace.com/sleepytimegorillamuseum

http://www.myspace.com/dubtrio