Wednesday, February 06, 2008
We Barbarians at the Detroit Bar
The Monday residency shows in January were so fierce that I missed We Barbarians at the Silverlake Lounge. I have been closely following We Barbarians ever since I saw their first show at the Detroit Bar. They also opened for the Cold War Kids at the Wiltern winning over a bunch of new fans. I managed to get a copy of their soon to be out of print limited EP "In The Doldrums" and recommend you get down to the Detroit Bar next Monday to get your copy before you pay Ebay prices.
Monday night residencies are a great way to discover new bands that you might not ordinarily get a chance to see. This was certainly the case with Canon Blue. The gentlemen of Canon Blue hail from Nashville, Tennessee and opened the show with a bang. I haven't seen many bands armed with a guitar, drums and some Akai MPC's hit the stage. They list some of their influences as Autechre, Boards of Canada, and Bjork. Their overall sound was a musical stew of electronic tinged folk ambient space rock. It was airy at moments with a mixture of grit to change up the consistency. Canon Blue has a free downloadable EP that one can get from their Myspace site. Their set seemed to be criminally brief and another observation was that I noticed the bar chatter in the club was extremely low as many patrons were taking in their set. I wish I could catch them again but they departed back to Nashville. I don't know too much about the Nashville scene but I think Canon Blue could easily find a welcome home in California.
Aushua generated some buzz before quietly returning back to the studio in order to work on a batch of new songs. I am excited about hearing their new material judging by their performance at the Detroit Bar. "Stained Glass Blues" was the first dose of cascading reverb soaked guitars led by the marching drum pattern of Lee Newyear. The song plays as an urgent call to arms of people rising up and taking action. Nathan Gammill (Guitars/Vocals) was backed by Eric Newyear(Guitars) and Phil Newyear(Bass) on vocal harmonies to make the song a great opener for their set. "Reverberation" was a new song that they debuted in September when I saw them and can testify that it sounded even sharper then I remembered with the vocal harmonies cementing the song in your playback mental memory. The chord changes within "Sister Saves" are dynamically genius and close out the set with punctuation mark. Aushua will be more then ready for another residency if not bigger things when they complete their album.
Aushua setlist at the Detroit Bar (2/4/2008)
"Stained Glass Blues"
"Slowly To Me"
"In A Way"
I correctly predicted a Detroit Bar residency in future of We Barbarians when I saw their first show. In the span of five months, one of their many missions are accomplished as they had a full room for the first night of their Detroit Bar residency. Derek Van Heule(Bass) started the evening on a fuzzy note with his Gibson Ripper bass on "White". If your band has a Gibson Ripper bass or Gibson Hollowbody bass, odds are stacked that I will like your band. We Barbarians played a newer song "There's This" which was a barnburner injected with dark tension as Nathan Warkentin (Drums) would yell out in the midst of the song. We Barbarians do an excellent job of hitting the listener in the gut with the primal force of drums and bass as major components of their sound with Davey Quon (Vocals/Guitars) providing the framework with his dark streaked voice and fiery reverb drenched guitar lines. I can't help but think they are referring to the music industry with their interestingly titled song "Yesmen and Bumsuckers". "In The Doldrums" sounds upbeat in contrast to the title of its name until Davey comes in vocals with his somber voice. "War Clouds" is another drum and bass assault with Davey providing his storytelling lyrics before the clouds rain with his falling guitars. We Barbarians will be heading out with Tokyo Police Club at the end of March but you still have plenty of time to catch them at the Detroit Bar before it is too late.
We Barbarians setlist at the Detroit Bar (2/4/2008)
"Yesmen and Bumsuckers"
"Sixes and Sevens"
"In the Doldrums"
"Black and Crooked"