Sunday, December 2, 2012

Garage Voice and A Sea of Glass @ the Flying M Concert-Garage (11/29/12)

This show really excited me.  I found out about Garage Voice a few months back through their connection (on Facebook) to one of my favorite Treefort acts, Koko and the Sweetmeats.  I listened to their music, liked it and have kept tabs on them since then.  When I found out about this show, I immediately marked it down on my calendar.

I got out to the Flying M good and early.  I sat, read, drank some tea and watched about thirty people enter the concert-garage.  Not a huge crowd, but not bad for a Thursday.

Local group A Sea of Glass opened up the night.  Their playing was so tight and their songs so distinctive that I'm a little surprised that I'd never heard of these guys before.  Joseph Lyle's light, breathy singing and tender keyboard combined with Sam Carrier's jangly guitar, KJ Zimmerman's soaring violin, Justin Gaupp's sly basslines and Tyler Shockey's furious drumming to create a sound at once delicate and muscular.  Gorgeous melodies, yearning lyrics, quietly intricate arrangements.  A group to watch out for.

Garage Voice played next.  I don't think that fond memories of my Episcopalian upbringing can explain why I enjoyed this proudly and explicitly Christian trio's music so much.  Instead, it had a lot more to do with their proud and explicit blues and Negro spiritual influences, which intimated a sense of history and community as well as a familiarity with hardship, doubt and struggle.  This gave them a tremendous leg-up over, say, the Getaway Car, who for all of their chops didn't convey anything that some vanilla ice cream and ABC Family channel wouldn't cure.

Of course, it helped too that they rawked plenty.  Tommy Panigot's hypnotic riffs and clipped soloing, Bruce Pearson's fluid, ghostly organ and Patrick Toney's rumbling drums formed a raucous, smoothly jerky groove.  Panigot's light, clean tenor growled its way nicely through a brooding, stomping cover of "Changed My Name," a somber, uncertain-sounding cover of "His Eye is on the Sparrow" and some cryptic, haunting original material.  Taken as a whole, their professions of faith had a complexity and idiosyncrasy that modern devotional art rarely achieves.

"He delivers," they proclaimed.  I don't know about Him, but Garage Voice certainly did.

You can find info on these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online.

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