Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fable Cry, The Green Zoo and Zvoov @ the Shredder (7/27/12)

This was a pretty good day for me.  I discovered that HCTD has been nominated for Best Local Blogger in Boise Weekly's Best of 2012.  I don't have a prayer of winning, but I'm truly honored to be nominated (and amazed, frankly--I've only been doing this for a few months).  Also, this day marked the 35th anniversary of the Record Exchange, a place that's very dear to my heart--I bought my copies of London Calling, Blood on the Tracks and Plastic Ono Band there--and a Boise cultural landmark.

Before I headed over to The Shredder to check out the show set up by Vagabond Promotions, I stopped by the Record Exchange and looked around for a few minutes.  I wound up buying myself a humdinger of an early birthday present: a used copy of a great 4-CD Otis Redding anthology.  It was a steal at $20, although for some reason, it didn't include disc three (it's ok, though--I went back and found it in the new arrivals used section).

Attendance was low, to put it mildly, for The Shredder's show.  I don't think that there were more than four or five people there besides me, Keesha Renna, the Shredder's staff and the musicians.  Admittedly, there wasn't much publicity for this: Vagabond Promotions' Facebook profile had an event page set up, but I didn't see any fliers for it or a listing on the Shredder's July calendar (though I did see one on their Reverb Nation page).  Of course, it probably didn't help that at least two of the originally scheduled acts had to cancel (including the group that I was most eager to see, The Finer Points of Sadism).  In spite of all this, I thought that this show turned out rather well.

Tennessee-based gypsy-punk duo Fable Cry started off the night.  These two were straight-up fun from their jaunty tempos and tunes to their proudly cartoonish singing, their playfully surreal banter and their tales of zombies, pirates and demented coyotes.  Brother Zach manically strummed his guitar and wore bells on his ankles to further accenuate the beat as he stomped it out.  Sister Kirstie bashed away on the drums and made her violin weep.  They would've made a helluva double bill with Dear Rabbit.

After Fable Cry came The Green Zoo.  All of my previous judgments on this Caldwell group, both positive and negative, still apply.  I will add, though, that I had a good laugh over their bassist's unintelligible comments and their guitar player's translations en espanol.  Not only that, I even heard some lyrics that I liked this time around.

Brooklyn-based math-rock trio Zvoov closed out the show.  I imagine that Television might've sounded a little like this group if they'd decided to go jazz and metal simultaneously.  Eric Hielscher's dynamite guitar riffs, Arthur Meacham's liquid basslines and John Swank's ferocious drumming powered through disorienting time signatures and changes.  Somehow, they managed to combine the mellow, contemplative feel of Adventure with the otherworldly, transcendent power of Marquee Moon.  Mercurial, hypnotic, hard-rocking.  Great stuff.

After Zvoov wrapped up, I made my way down to Tom Grainey's in time to catch a little bit of a.k.a. Belle's set (sorry about the picture quality; I dropped my digital camera off at my car and had to resort to using my phone again).  I stayed just long enough to hear them play "The Sweetest Sin" and a new number with the greatest title that I've heard in many a moon, "Jesus Christ, Goddamn You For Killing My Dog."  If all goes well, I'll get the chance to see a.k.a. Belle again in August.  Fingers crossed.

You can find info on all of these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online.  Special thanks to Keesha Renna and Vagabond Promotions, who can be contacted at 1 (208) 283-0259 and at  Special thanks also to Justin Cantrell and The Shredder for letting me take pictures with my digital camera.  Oh, and should you feel inclined to vote for me in Boise Weekly's Best of 2012, you can go here.

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