Last night, I went to Blueberry Hill's Duck Room
at the request of a friend to check out two local bands - LaPush
and Jonathon Cour
I have been a fan of LaPush
for awhile and have seen them live a few times. I first saw the trio about five years ago at a Sunday afternoon show at Cicero's
and, I believe, The Floating City
. At the time, I thought they were a great Travis
-ripping acoustic/indie band. They seemed very likable. Last night was the third time I'd seen them this year -- the first was an in-store performance at Vintage Vinyl's
25th Anniversary party and the second was at the Duck Room during the RFT Music Awards showcase in September. Their sound has slightly changed since I first saw them. The most obvious comparison to their current sound is Muse
. There is more distortion, more drone, and more compressed and slightly distorted vocals. This is not a bad thing, just an interesting development.
On stage, they are great musicians - the sound is impeccable and singer/guitarist Thom Donovan obviously knows his way around his guitar and effects pedals. The problem is, and has been at all the shows I've seen of them this year, that the band -- save for some hip swings and guitar slashes by Donovan -- hardly moves and they certainly don't engage the audience. The feeling you get is that the band is indifferent to being on stage and has absolutely no sense of humor about themselves. This was most apparent when I saw them at the Duck Room in September and a very drunk heckler was, um, heckling bassist Kevin Bachmann, who handled the situation with so little humor and so poorly that I was embarrassed for him, not the drunk guy. I feel bad saying all this because I really do like the band's songs, but I just wish they took themselves a little less seriously on stage and maybe, you know, smile a bit.
As for Jonathon Cour
, I have two words about them: Radio. Ready. Jonathon Cour is a 21-year old singer/songwriter that is backed by a band of musicians from several of St. Louis' former "modern rock" radio-warriors such as Colony
, Seven Star
, Just Add Water
and Lord Baltimore
. On the positive side, the band seemed genuinely happy to be on stage and had a good amount of stage presence. Unfortunately, they also looked like they stepped off the set of the O.C. and probably travel with a stylist and a hair-person. Their image has been perfected to a science and their sound honed to attract as many 20-something females that consider themselves "into" music as possible. They are all, obviously, great musicians and Jonathon can sing very well, but it all just seems so inauthentic - from the hand-picked band of musicians to the perfect wardrobe, that it's hard to take it very seriously. That being said, I will probably look like a fool when you hear their songs on Grey's Anatomy or One Tree Hill next fall, which you undoubtedly will.
I have a couple interesting shows that I want to make you aware of. First, TV on the Radio
just announced a spring tour, but no shows in St. Louis. they will be playing at the Blue Note
in Columbia on March 10
, in Kansas City on March 17 and in Chicago on March 12 & 13.
Also, on March 12
, the Scissor Sisters
will be playing at The Pageant
. I saw them play there two years ago, and it was a blast. Granted, it was a midnight show on a Friday and this upcoming show is a primetime show on a Monday, but still...Sparta
is playing at Pop's
on March 19
. I heard good reports about their recent show at the Creepy Crawl.
Finally, the Electric Six
are playing at the Creepy Crawl
on May 2nd
. I have missed them the past few times they've played in St. Louis, but I did manage to catch them once, at Coachella
in '04, and thought they were great.