Live Music: It’s Been a While

Despite the fact that I’ve been working across the street from the Continental Club for six months, and now own a store at the same place, I haven’t seen a lot of live music recently.

I’ve been out for Molly & the Ringwalds (work), and for Peter & James and Light Rock Express, which tend to be for socializing. I have seen a few shows, or parts of them, but it seems like it’s been since forever since I’ve gone out specifically to see live music.

Last night there was a three band CD release show at Rudyard’s: I Am Mesmer, Kelly Doyle, and Hillary Sloan.

I’ve seen Hillary many times, but not recently; I’ve been meaning to see Mesmer, and I didn’t know who Kelly Doyle was (until I read the pre-show write-up).

The large number of music related people in the audience told me I had picked the right place to be that night.

I was hanging out with TG who was testing her memory on how many names in attendance she could remember. She got several dozen.

Hillary Sloan started out and her material was very similar to the stuff I was familiar with, her band was good, she seemed perhaps a bit tired and self conscious about her performance, which seemed odd.

Kelly Doyle I recognized for his guitar playing with Clouseaux. He mentioned this was the first time he had fronted a band. Most of the songs were instrumental, with jazz, Eastern European, and pseudo-Asian influences. Odd time signatures were de riguer, but the music was fun and playful.

I Am Mesmer is an amalgamation 7-piece that smashes a lot of styles together. I have a hard time imagining a band like this forming anywhere else (maybe NYC). Two percussionists, banjo leading the band (when not playing the saw), two drastically different styled guitar players that blended well together.

I totally imagined this band filling the SXSW Continental Club Saturday morning slot after Allen Hill. It would be awesome.

Anyway it was nice to have a casual night out, see some friends I hadn’t in a while, and see some great and varied live music.