Brooklyn's The Giraffes bailed on their Tuesday night Bug Jar show so The Teenage Junkies and The Expired picked up the slack. The new-on-the-scene Expired plays old-school (for lack of a better term) punk rock with minimal frills and gang vocals. You know, the good stuff, the real stuff. I look forward to hearing more before they break up.
Friday night was a trip back in time with Rochester ex-pats Dreamland Faces packing out Bullwinkle's to the ceiling. Dreamland Faces truly belongs in this joint. In fact I'm pretty sure that the music the ghosts listen to once everyone has gone home sounds just like this Milwaukeean saw-accordion-bullhorn duo. The music was whimsical, romantic, and beautiful. It put a wide smile on my dial --- a smile that didn't go away even when a dog at the bar bit me. Apparently I had stepped on the bitch's tail. We made up and spent the rest of the evening dancing cheek to jowl. I can just hear Fred Astaire now: "Heaven, I'm in heaven.... "
I'm hoping the O.A.R. show at the Main Street Armory is only the beginning for this new venue. The space is sized just right for acts too big for WaterStreetMusic Hall and too small for Blue Cross Arena. The general admission show was sold the hell out. And I'm almost positive the band didn't sell any CDs: it was clear all 4,000 audience-members own them already, since they were singing at the top of their lungs to virtually every tune. Great light show, great vibe. This hall should be used a lot more.
Headed out of the Armory and over to Montage Live to catch Trip Throttle. These boys have been getting some keen attention from the techno scene in Toronto, where, when faced with this band's relentless grooves, I'm assuming the people dance. This Rochester show had the audience transfixed but nobody danced --- at least while I was there. WTF? The band played intensely, with a mesmerizing drive and slick sonics (dig those super sub lows). It can get a little dicey when more traditional instruments like cymbals and guitars try and party with the keyboards, programming, and all, but Trip Throttle pulls it off. And did I mention the laser?
--- Frank De Blase