Wednesday, February 18, 2009

COMO Music

One thing I am slowly learning to appreciate in COMO is the music scene. Upon moving here, I was highly skeptical and rather suspicious. What could a town of less than 100k and full of transient college students have to offer in terms of local music? Well, it turns out that there's more here than I once thought.

The funny thing is that I'm not even getting out all that often these days. I guess that's the price I'm paying for fatherhood and a demanding work schedule. I've been meaning to get out to see the kids from the bathysphere and their band Tops, but that has yet to happen. Additionally, a buddy in Malone invites me out via Facebook and attends my happy hours, but I haven't found time for his gigs either.

I did catch Bald Eagle's opening slot for Cursive, but their label mate (and sharer of several band members) The Foundry Field Recordings are hitting the road. Check the dates and some tunes here, but be aware that there are new songs I'm not allowed to leak on this blog. So, check them out.

And while I'm missing all these bands, a whole commune of musicians is flourishing below my nose.

I'm talking about the promising cooperative known as Yards and Gods. There is some good, vibrant music here and I almost missed it. Luckily, Y&G's Michael shared some tracks with me today. Here's a quick rundown of the material I sampled...

In Dark Trees is the Explosions in the Sky for the ambient set. The band's track "Some Summer Night" leads off the label's compilation. Upon further investigation, I found that one could obtain the band's entire catalog for nothing, not including the 3 bucks for the compilation. I will have to check out the rest of the material, but this first track makes me very hopeful.

The Kinksy garage rock of The Makeouts fills the second slot of the comp with a needed jolt. The band currently has no other releases, but you get the feeling that they have an LP's worth of two-and-a-half minute gems waiting in the wings.

Nonreturner slips two tracks from their self-titled full-length into the comp. There's a real Radiohead thing going here, not like Muse, more Radiohead of the past two or three albums. Something about the production/recording feels shallow and quiet, but there's some intense stuff going on in the music itself. I've just started listening to their album and it certainly shows a more diverse output. Again, there is probably more to say on this band.

An acoustic number by Palisades follows, fitting better with the hippie vibe that goes with a co-op. However, Palisades mixes in some Lips-like warped samples and subtle organ work to separate it from flat, hippie, folk music. This material surprises me the most with its mix of warbly folk and alt-country that actually sounds fresh.

Ursus Arctos rounds out the label's compilation with some aggression and hollers, reminiscent of the Hives or Franz Ferdinand when these bands had the potential not to suck. Between Clash-like pop awareness, Ursus also includes some prog flourishes that remind me of a kinder, gentler Bald Eagle.

This label still deserves more exploration, but I'm pleasantly surprised by the output they've had in less than a year of existence. You should go to their site, donate, and agree with me on all of my points.

So, maybe COMO's coming around. I'm still not changing the name of the blog.


Zach said...

Well then we've got a surprise for you. In like a month.

(By "we" I don't mean Tops, but The Bathysphere; however, Tops does reserve the right to surprise anyone at any time)

comoprozac said...

You're merging with Comomusic, Emergency Umbrella, and Yards & Gods to make a super conglomerate of COMO music goodness. Or something.