Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sandusky Furs, Cutting Cages and Holly Johnson Loves You @ Neurolux (3/12/13)

I'd very much enjoyed seeing Sandusky Furs at last year's State of Confusion show and Evil Wine Carnival, but I hadn't actually written about them since the former.  When combined with the presence on the bill of two local acts I'd never written about before (not in this capacity, anyway), that gave me reason enough to check this show out.

I counted a little over twenty people when I got down to Neurolux.  The audience would peak at about thirty-six or thirty-seven during Cutting Cages' set.  Not bad at all.  It woulda been nice if some more people had stuck around for Sandusky Furs, but so it goes.

Holly Johnson Loves You opened the show.  I've always loved Johnson's vocal contributions to the Very Most, so I was excited to see what she'd do as a solo act.  Instead of British Invasion pop, her droning basslines, spare beats, wistful tunes and lyrics and coolly sultry singing called to mind Emily Wells or PJ Harvey.  Since I dig To Bring You My Love as much as I do A Hard Day's Night or Sgt. Pepper, this didn't bother me none.  Moody, elegant stuff.  Hope I get to hear it some more.

Cutting Cages played next.  This young trio has quite a bit for it: gleaming tunes, smooth beats, light but gritty tenor vocals, glittering electric guitar leads.  Still, something about these guys nags at me.  Both here and at an open mic set that they played at the Crux back in February, I observed a certain tension in their interactions with each other.  It tempts me to imagine them having one of those big onstage/backstage meltdowns (fisticuffs, screaming, announcements of disbanding, etc.).  Their lovely harmonies and pained but articulate lyrics give me hope that it won't come to that.

(Oh, and just one little nitpicky thing, guys: the Animals did "House of the Rising Sun," not the Monkees.)

Sandusky Furs closed out the night.  Their tuneful shout, fluid drums, rumbling bass and snarling guitar all sounded as sharp as I remembered.  They stopped, started, slowed down and sped up without batting an eye.  It really was a pity that only twenty people or so saw them.  However, the modest crowd gave them some good applause, and hopefully, some folks got to hear this tight, focused performance on Radio Boise.

You can find info on these acts on Facebook and elsewhere online.  Special thanks to Eric Gilbert and Radio Boise.


  1. Hi! This is Holly J. I just wanted to write thank you so much for the sweet review. It means a whole lot to me that you were one of the ones in the crowd watching and keeping my spirit up. Thank you again and I love the blog!
    P.S. Being even slightly compared to PJ Harvey is an amazing compliment!!

    1. Hey Holly! You're very welcome--like I said, your solo stuff's pretty cool. And I'm glad that you like the blog!