Monday, August 20, 2012

August 16th, 2012 - A,E,I,O,YOU DIG?


The Funhouse is the kind of venue that welcomes people of all calibers and oddities.  Word on the street said they now allow electronic-oriented musicians to perform as well.  This is a wonderful example of anti-racism in the arts of the Lehigh Valley.  Ignore my moderate nonsense.  I heard The Vowels play on this evening and it was bitchin'.

My genre for the duration was a kind of Indy that was semi-electronic.  The Vowels were comprised of a singer/electronic drummer, 2 guitarists, a bass player, and a keyboardist.  Their image was casual, their emotions were cryptic, and their rock was roctacular.  They would transition between chill/groovy and heavily percussive textures.  Sometimes we would get sexy synth bass or even some live synthesis.  These moments were my aesthetic favorites in much the same way that white girls are not.

Now I shall describe each musician individually.  Let's start with the string players.  Peter Fritz was the bass player and he had a full heartwarming sound.  His playing really pulled the whole band together and he was one hell of a cool guy to talk to after the show.  Blake Antrim was one of the guitarists and was very influenced by Modest Mouse.  He would transition to keyboard occasionally and mentioned to me that he "just uses his ear" to play keys.  Joshua Colon is the other guitarist and newest member of the band.  He had some incredible guitar licks that would make a messiah cry.  His melodies were catchy, interesting, and perfect on a worldly scale.

As for the electronic side of the noize, we had Jayson Simpson and Aaron Couture.  Jayson is one hell of a singer and was sporting a pokeball necklace.  Hmmmmm Pokemon-inspired electronic music...  where have I heard that before?  Jayson is also the most emotional character on stage.  His beats were hard and his vocals often became largely effected walls of ingenuity.  Aaron rocks two keyboards at once.  He shows off a slick Ensoniq and a lovely Korg.  Frequently, he is part of the rhythm section and forms the chord progressions that create the overall tonality of each composition.  In many ways, Aaron is the most integral and vital member of the band.  I would also love to see him perform some extra-flashy synthesis.

The Vowels handed out free CDs which contained seven tracks that are definably familiar after seeing them play live.  My favorite of these is Cold Marrow.  It has a sexual feel to it and lovable vocal melodies.  "Baby, don't let it freeze your bones" is the hook that won't leave me.  Go see The Vowels next time they are around and you will hear some friendly sounds that you never knew you needed.              

For Pokemon-inspired electronic music:  http://officialelectrictype.com/

SACHEM ORENDA's third album, Apology for Popular Music and the Nihilistic Demiurge, is now available here:

www.sachemorenda.bandcamp.com

www.sachemorenda.com


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