(Apologies in advance for the variable quality of the pictures. I forgot my camera at home and had to resort to my phone again.)
The chief selling point of this show was that man behind Moonface, Spencer Krug, was also the man behind Wolf Parade. I can't honestly say that I've ever heard a Wolf Parade song before, but I respect people who respect that band. And as usual, two bands that I haven't seen yet are two bands that I wanna see.
Only fifteen people or so were inside the Garage when I got to Nampa's Flying M. I took a seat back by the soundboard and waited for more folks to arrive. Sure enough, I counted a little over fifty people in the crowd by the time that Moonface and Siinai took the stage.
The Albuquerque, NM band Sad Baby Wolf opened. Marty Crandall's light, boyish vocals made it a little hard to hear the lyrics, but the audience had plenty of other stuff to listen to: poppy melodies, alternately sunny and harsh guitars, massive basslines, thunderous drums. They jangled, swung, droned, raved up and melted down with equal aplomb. A very fine start.
Moonface a.k.a. Spencer Krug played this night with Finnish instrumental band Siinai. The music evoked a whole slew of post-punk and New Wave rock from the Bowie-Eno collaborations to Joy Division to Peter Murphy to Echo and the Bunnymen to Interpol. Krug's solemn, transported moan combined with gorgeous melodies, chiming guitar drones, tribal/industrial drums, delicate keyboard lines and waves of mysterioso synth sounds. The whole audience danced, bounced and swayed as if locked in a trance, and some issues with the microphones and monitors didn't come close to breaking the spell. Powerful, hypnotic stuff. Were it not for the two eye-rollingly bathetic dirges that closed out the night, I'd have easily called this one of the best shows of the year.
You can find info on these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online. Special thanks to Nathan Walker and the Flying M.