Monday, August 20, 2012
Friday, January 14, 2011
I talked to Kristian Dunn, the man behind the double guitar/bass and fretless bass. He said he's received a few reviews where critics praise the synthesizer and bass, "which cracks us up because we’ve literally never used a synthesizer, ever"
The sound comes from him using a violin bow, 13 pedals and "me doing shit with my fingers, that makes it sound really unlike a bass. With two guys I kinda need to do it." For all you guitar geeks, here's his explanation of the pedals-
Dunn is a pilot; the name El Ten Eleven was inspired by a plane.
There's three loopers that we do that whole thing live where I play something and it's playing back. Some of the main ones are a distortion pedal, that’s sort of a light distortion that I like to play on the bass when the bass is kind of grinding. Another main one is the whammy pedal which takes a note I play and adds another note an octave higher. Another setting is a note two octaves higher, it’s a rocking pedal like a wah-wah pedal, so you’re rocking back and forth and that changes the intervals, so for example, if it rocks back- this might be too technical- it rocks back it’s adding a note a 5th above, and when I push it down, it bends it up to a note that’s an octave above what I’m playing. So, a lot of that keyboard sounding woo-ooo-ooo that’s the whammy pedal, that’s the way I can explain it.
This was their 4th show in Phoenix, which Dunn said was by far the best.
Factories, a Tempe electronica band, took the middle spot.
The interplay between the two keyboardists made them loud in the best possible way. Two of them also played guitar, which created an interesting sound. They reminded me a bit of Phantogram without the trip-hop influence. They list The Postal Service as a similar artist, which can definitely be heard in their sound.
The Whisperlights took the opening spot. This was
the second time I had seen them in one week, and they lived up to my expectations, except the crowd wasn't quite as into it as they were at the Yucca.
To quote Dave Gironda, Jr., the madman who jumped in the crowd during "Death"- "We headlined the Yucca." A headlining show makes all the difference, especially when the Yucca draws big, rowdy crowds, and the Rhythm Room brought about a mostly calm audience until they bobbed along to their favorite El Ten Eleven songs.
Friday, January 7, 2011
It's no secret that The Whisperlights are my favorite local band. I've never seen the full line up because they have band members scattered across the country. They got the whole band together for a small tour that began the next day.
I've seen Underground Cities once before and was impressed. They play beautiful post-rock with a dose of energetic dance moves. I've always heard that Sigur Ros concerts are loud and mindblowing, so I suppose this is a local version of that. In spite of being an ambient instrumental band, the crowd really got into their music.
Fun fact: the bassist also plays in The Whisperlights.
Apologies to the band: I originally wasn't planning on taking pictures, so I only took a few pictures and this one turned out best.
Since I got a whopping one good photo from Underground Cities, I moved toward the stage. The Yucca Tap Room is a great venue all around- no cover, cheap drinks and amazing bands; but my only complaint is the low light. I hate using flash, but I really had no choice, especially with all these high energy performers. I switched between my 50 mm 1.8 lens and the stock lens because the 50 mm was a little too close.
I complimented Garnet, the singer of Dry River Yacht Club on her interesting earrings. She said she was going for a sci-fi look and shook her head to show that the hoops should stay in place while performing. They didn't.
I've seen Dry River Yacht Club's name pop up on quite a few line-ups and have heard good things about their music. I've been looking forward to seeing them for awhile, wanting to see what the hype was all about. They play a combination of gypsy and Cabernet music. Their sound was about what I was expecting when I first heard The Dresden Dolls. I personally am not a fan, Amanda Palmer's vocals are too melodramatic for my tastes. Garnet's voice is not- she is fun to listen to and has a great stage presence. She engaged the audience through her vibrato and dancing.
They covered "Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)" by The Doors, which Garnet introduced as "A song about whiskey. If you don't like whiskey, you should get the hell out."
I still love "Lucky" and can't wait to hear a recorded version of it. They closed with "Eaten Alive."
The crowd really got into "Death." It was nice to sing and clap along with everyone else. This was one of the best Whisperlights shows I have ever seen, I highly recommend seeing them with the full line-up. West coast/TX/NM tour dates are listed here.
Their first full length album should be out sometime this year, but until then (hey, I made a funny), you can hear their new material by seeing them live. They'll be opening for El Ten Eleven on the 11th and will also play River Jones Music Festival on the 16th.