Saturday, March 28, 2009

Great Northern at the Roxy Theatre

Great Northern's album Trading Twilight for Daylight was one of my favorite local releases of 2007. The album was a fine blend of cinematic songwriting and uplifting guitars.

Their new album due in late April, Remind Me Where The Light Is, has Great Northern shutting off the lights leaving them to explore their songs in the darkness. Their live show reflects their altered outlook.

The Brobecks
Another box office mix up prevented me from catching all of The Brobecks. I only managed to get a few pictures of them in action. I didn't hear enough to formulate a distinct opinion. They are playing the 3 of clubs in Hollywood on April 1st.

The Jakes
I did catch The Jakes before when they played with Peachcake at the Chain Reaction. The Jakes have all the pieces in place to make an impact. They won a competition to open for the Kings of Leon and landed a spot on the Bamboozle Left show this weekend at Verizon Wireless in Irvine.

The woozy codeine effects of "Cough Syrup" were strong enough that I remembered hearing and liking the song back at the Chain Reaction. Sameer Gadhia (Vocals) led the charge while Eric Cannata (Guitars) and Jacob Tilley (Guitars) fueled their music with a Fender and Gibson guitar assault. The Jakes have an EP Shake My Hand available on itunes and

Lemon Sun
It has been awhile since I last caught up withLemon Sun. I saw them with the Pigeon Detectives at Spaceland in September of 2008. Lemon Sun just released their album Run With The Faithless which does a fine job capturing the essence of their live show. It seems like they have undergone a few line up changes since I last saw them, but they were just as tight sonically as I remembered.

The hard charging "Three Words" opened their set as Lemon Sun has added a full time keyboardist to round out their sound. The boozy feel of "Congratulate Our Thievery" did a fine job of inspiring a group of ladies in the front of the stage to dance along.

"Run With The Faithless" was a slash and burn overdriven tune that continued to stir the audience. Pulling out all the stops, Lemon Sun actually brought out a tap dancer to add an extra flavor of sound to one of their top tapping tunes. Lemon Sun will be hitting Spaceland on April 15th for a Club NME night before embarking on a short tour with the Rosewood Thieves.

Great Northern

Great Northern have long been a favorite band to review here on Amateur Chemist, dating as far back as January 2007 when they played Little Radio. I am fortunate to have heard their new album Remind Me Where The Light Is and can easily state that the album blew me away. I thought it was going to be difficult to follow up their fantastic debut album, but Great Northern came back with a vengenance and revealed some of their darker side.

Rachel Stolte (Vocals/Guitars) has exchanged her keyboard for a guitar to added another sonic layer to the thick cinema noir songs. Solon Bixler (Guitars) has reconfigured his guitar setup and has some pedal effects on a keyboard stand to easily tweak his sound on the fly.

The curtain at the Roxy quickly lifted and the noisy notes of "Story"
started fill the club. I didn't have my earplugs but I quickly discerned that it was a lot louder compared to prior Great Northern shows. The ringing guitars of "Houses" had Great Northern picking up steam before the swooning keyboards kick the song up a notch.

"Home" was reconfigured significantly to fit into the darker aesthetic of their new sound. "Warning" was another highlight of the evening and could very well be their next single. Great Northern will be heading off for a tour of the U.S. with the Dears and Eulogies which will hit the Casbah in San Diego on May 22nd and the Echoplex on May 23rd.