Saturday, July 18, 2009

Emergency Umbrella Showcase, etc.

Last night was the Emergency Umbrella Showcase at the Note. A small-but-loyal crowd showed up so see 67% of the EU lineup. Of course, one would expect that the crowd would be larger had classes been in session. Still, it was a nice way to spend a Friday evening in July.

A couple of or more things before I get to the rock...

I think my latest (and second) batch of beer is ready for consumption. The Simcoe-dependency was sampled and labeled after work and before happy hour. It's so deliciously bitter and grapefruity that I puckered all the way through.

R and I hit the 'Tag for happy hour. (Sorry that we missed so many people. We would have enjoyed the company.) Barry has added some taps behind the bar, giving the 'Tag six great craft beers on tap. And I didn't drink any of them. I had heard through the hop vine that the Old Rasputin XII Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout was now available at the 'Tag.

What a lovely bit of bourbon barrel yumminess this beer is. It reminds me a lot of Schlafly's own bourbon barrel imperial stout, but not as sweet. It's so good that I'm trying to scheme another trip to the 'Tag before it disappears.

Of course, there will be more details on these beers and others at my beer blog Bottles and Cans.

After putting the Lu to sleep, I slipped out for the showcase. There is video of all the bands, but time and my upload limit at Vimeo will cause you to wait for all the footage to make this blog. In the meantime, enjoy Billy Schuh (The Foundry Field Recordings) doing a Big Star song, 3/4 of COMO legends Kingdom Flying Club with Schuh, and a song from new EU signees Netherfriends.

It's been a long, long time since I've been to a club where I knew so many people. I ran into folks from several COMO circles from the EU crowd to the failed ComoMusic takeover to some beer enthusiasts to one of R's colleagues. For all the complaining I do about this town, I do like a homegrown event with homegrown talent.

As far as the rock music, the Foundry (or this version) were loose, not perfect, but good. A couple of members of Malone and a cellist joined Schuh on stage for most of the set. I felt like I've been listening to versions of the next record for over a year, but it will be fully appreciated once it arrives. Look for a change in the sound. I'm hearing Shins all over this thing. That may turn some folks off, but it is what it is. I'm OK with the Shins, so the new material is fine for me. Now, if the record could just arrive.

Billy Schuh does Big Star from comoprozac on Vimeo.

3/4 Kingdom Flying Club from comoprozac on Vimeo.

Netherfriends put on a raucous set that screamed "We're from Brooklyn!" Of course, they're not, but a lot of the influences I heard were Brooklyn-based. Imagine all those bands like The Walkmen, White Rabbits, Delta Spirit, etc. wrapped up with a considerable dose of Animal Collective experimentation. Additionally, with the band being from Chicago, they had moments that reminded me of the Coctails, Sea and Cake, and Joan of Arc. They are a really enjoyable outfit and I look forward to hearing their record, particularly their opening track from last night.

Netherfriends from comoprozac on Vimeo.

As for the rest of the show, Gentleman Auction House and Bald Eagle killed as usual. I don't know that I'm a big fan of GAH's music, but I really respect what they're doing. That and they are maybe one of the more professional bands with great potential for stardom that I've seen in a while. There are always rumors of bigger labels showing interest and I can understand why.

Bald Eagle is just ridiculous live. They're unapologetic as they convert hipsters and indie nerds into rollicking metalheads. Unfortunately, I could only stay for the first three songs of BE's set as I promised to take the baby when the ten-month separation anxiety and teething would cause her not to sleep.

Boy, that last sentence just stripped me of any rock 'n roll cred I may have had.

Today, the party continued as all the EU folks and friends got together for a barbecue. We had some great ribs and some nice conversation. Folks played bocce ball and lobbed water balloons at each other, showing that EU is more than a label.

I've always been a big local music supporter - well, in theory anyway. It's nice to see a healthy scene here in COMO with EU at the heart.

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