Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sparta, The Movies, The Press Fire at the Echo

The Press Fire

The Movies


Early shows are good ideas in my opinion, especially when I can be home at 11:00. The Echo listed a show time of 6:00pm for the nice line up of Sparta, The Movies, and The Press Fire. The Press Fire were up first and had a slew of band members on stage. Mi Jin Gregory(Keyboards) was rocking the Roland Juno-D adding textures to their indie punk songs. I likened them to The Sounds because of their incorporation of keyboards, punk like guitars, and rapid fire vocals courtesy of Nicole Hajjar. The cowbell even made an appearance during their set. Their album New Dress, New Rules was produced by Tony Hajjar(Sparta) and can be found on itunes. The Movies were up next and were quite the spectacle. Silversun Pickups are big fans of this band and even covered "Creation Lake" on their Pikul album. Brian Cleary(Keyboards) was sprinkling keyboard lines via a nice Kurzweil PC 88. I haven't seen a Kurzweil on stage since the days of Fear Factory. They reminded me of the Talking Heads with some Kraftwerk like electronic bleeps and bips percolating thru the songs. Timothy James(Vocals) was pacing around on the short stage while managing to mix in some onstage jumps. Timothy was also trying to entice the monitors to feedback by waving his microphone in front of them.The Movies lyrically are hillarious. Check out such gems as "If I Had the Cash", "Ed", "Timothy James" and "Nam". One sample of their lyrics taken from "Nam" was "When we were in Vietnam, we partied in Saigon". The Movies will be playing the Viper Room on 2/26. Sparta hit the stage to a rapturous applause and the opening chords of "Untreatable Disease" rang out. Just like Stellastarr*, Sparta has had some record label problems before finally partnering with Hollywood records for their latest release "Threes". Besides the fact that "Threes" is their third full length release, I imagine that it is a reference that bad things happen in "Threes" in terms of the departure of Paul Hinojos and Jim Ward(Vocals/Guitars) mentioning at prior concerts how he wanted to dissolve Sparta completely at one point. Sparta always puts on a superb performance and tonight was no exception. Unfortunately they didn't play some of my favorite songs "Rx Coup", "Vacant Skies" but masterfully played "Air", "Taking Back Control", and "While Oceana Sleeps". "Guns of Memorial Park" was remarkable due to the hyperkinetic drumming of Tony Hajjar. His drumming is highly regarded and it was easy to see why. Jim Ward played almost every make of guitar as he switched between a Fender Telecaster, Gibson Hollowbody, Rickenbacker, and an Ibanez Jet King. Both Jim Ward and Colin Keeley(Guitars) were stomping on their Line 6 Delay modulation pedals all night to help augment their sound. Sparta is now going out on tour with mewithoutyou and Aloha so catch them while you can.

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