Sunday, May 6, 2007

Upping the Frequency With Broadcast Radio

Montreal has bands, yes, and we have venues, and we have condensed hordes of twitching kids who don't need big heaving radio stations dictating what band to see at what venue. Another thing we have is independent record labels, and now one more of those with the recent genesis of Upp Records. On a privileged behest, Tully left his kitchen to head over to Club Lambi for a show with The Coloured Lights, Holler, Wild Rose!, and Broadcast Radio. The first and last of the aforementioned outfits also include founders of the label itself. How fitting, considering my strange attraction to all forms of vanity (this blog, anyone?). But forget not, children, that indy is short for independent, and not, as most think, indecent.

Ok, so first, let me confess that I did not expect the first band, The Coloured Lights, to come on at like 9:30 (It's Friday, Come On!). So I missed them--too bad since some other little reviewer compared them to The Magnetic Fields, gods of Cabaret Rock. Well, their tracks on MySpace sound cool. Some other time perhaps?

New York's Holler, Wild Rose! took the stage to a sadly vacant arena. I suppose the awkwardness was emphasized by the singer's mid-songs banter ('singing' is not the species of the genus 'talking'). But I must say, it always takes guts to be unknown, in a foreign (and sometimes harshly pretentious and judgmental) city, and to play a set of moody, slow-scape tracks, with guitar and keyboards melting together like Sambuca ice drops, and Jeff Buckley channeled vocals, supported by some truly awesome singer-gasm faces. If I was a better photographer you would have an idea.

Soon after, to slightly less a sparsity, Broadcast Radio stationed themselves up
high, handsomely led by front man Nick Backovic (pictured right). These guys play with the confident ease of a band who does not expend all their energy on simply standing out like a gangrened thumb. I see them in their first jam session making lists of bands who either inspire, or nauseate them, then just saying 'fuck it', light the list on fire, and go with what sounds right and feels fuzzy. There is a certain timelessness if one's conception of time begins in 1992. As an alt-pop-rock outfit, it fits loose around the waist and tight around the shoulders. For sum's sake, I'll say these guys are first and foremost authentic songsters, which means exactly what it sounds like: it is not an act or a show as much as a succession of well-hooked verse to versity. Forthright Huzzahs to them for scoring a gig in ol' Albion (London, England). I am sure they will there be mistaken for home-towners as long as they speak solely through their song.

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