Eight bands, representing selections from the lineups of Hardly Art and Sub Pop. And thus, short takes on each.
Unnatural Helpers: Like Idle Times, with whom they share members, it’s solid, unpretentious garage rock. Dean Whitmore’s vocals sound like a more ragged Craig Finn circa-Lifter Puller, which is a plus; the sole downside was their 7 PM timeslot. I suspect that this band is best appreciated closer to the midnight hour, with whiskey or beers aplenty chalked up and a mood of revelry in the air.
Dum Dum Girls: From what I understand, singer/guitarist Dee Dee is the sole permanent member of this group. And seeing them twice in one day made me curious as to what sort of project this was: a band with a consistent sound and a revolving lineup, or something more nebulous, like Destroyer or Pink Mountaintops, where the songwriter remains the same but the style shifts dramatically depending on who else is in the band. Also worth mentioning is that this particular rhythm section — anchored by drummer Frankie Rose — is spot-on, bringing a Joy Division-like sense of space together with the girl-group melodies coming from the guitars. It’s a much deeper sound than one might initially think, and I’m curious to see what the next step made by this lineup, or this group, or both, happens to be.
Moondoggies: Solid set. “Night & Day” makes for a fine closer.
The Dutchess & The Duke: Here’s the strange thing. The stage banter was wonderfully profane. Jesse Lortz and Kimberly Morrison seemed engaged in a weird game of one-upsmanship through the night, sometimes bleeding into their songs — and yet the songs didn’t sting any less for the fact that their irreverent beginnings left large chunks of the crowd (myself included) laughing. (Example: Morrison naming each chord as she played it, a wicked grin on her face, as Lortz fumed.)
Golden Triangle: Beach-party madness in a rock club in autumn. The most fun live set I’ve seen this side of Les Savy Fav, I’d say.
Pissed Jeans: Yep, dropped the ball in a big way by missing this band since seeing them around the time of Hope For Men. Mr. Weingarten is spot-on, I’d say. In lieu of more pontification, I’ll direct you to Diana Wong’s photos of the set in question.
Obits: A slow-burning set, opened with their cover of “Military Madness.” Fine stuff.