I’m pretty hard on 2-man bands and even harder on laptop bands. The White Stripes are the quintessential 2-piece garage rockers with a superior singer / songwriter / musician at the helm. They write great songs and can rock small venues, but despite their prowess (well, Jack’s anyway) they can be really weak at festivals and large theaters. Same for the Black Keys and just about anybody else in that boat (canoe). Vancouver’s Japandroids like volume and embrace the loud, spacey shoegaze, Pumpkin-style guitar, which helps them out a great deal. Touring behind one of the best albums of 2012 doesn’t hurt either. They rocked The Social on Tuesday, but I fear I wouldn’t want to see them at a larger venue as some of the power of their tunes would be lost in a bigger space without the dynamics of more musicians.
Founding members of Orlando’s Plain Jane Automobile, Duke Crider, Paul McCorkell, and Luis Meija, regrouped as Our Wild Love. They have a new song available for free on their Bandcamp site called “Low”. If you’re a fan of PJA’s take on alternative Brit pop then you might want to sit down. Our Wild Love is big and new with the sound of “Low” landing somewhere between Depeche Mode and Muse. This is a bit of a departure for the band and this tune alludes to something exciting for the Orlando music scene.
I didn’t know much about Future Islands before this show so I was surprised to hear the 80s influenced synth pop band have a singer that floated somewhere between Morissey and Meatloaf with sprinkles of death metal snarls worthy of Glen Benton. It was even more surprising to see him strut and pantomime in sensible shoes, high-waist pants, and fitted muscle T. This was all so weird and so charming. Then it hit me. He’s goin’ for a sort of what-if-young-Brando-fronted-an-indie-band thing. The passionate, poetic lyrics served with a dose method acting further underscored that Samuel Herring is a dead ringer for Marlon Brando (somewhere between young Brando and older pre-fat Marlon). I was reminded that I was at an indie show when I leaned over to one of the younger girls in the group and said, “He’s going for a young Brando thing” and she looked befuddled. “You know, Marlon Brando. On the Waterfront, Streetcar Named Desire, motherfucking Apocalypse Now?!!!!! No? What the fuck? Really? Fuck off.” He was in his prime 20 years before I was born and did his last great film when I was like 4-years old so there’s no excuse not to know who he is if you don’t live in a fucking convent, which probably has high-speed internet anyway. What is it with young people? They are so quick to remind you how young they are and that they couldn’t know who that is. You have the fucking internet you fucking idiots! You should know more at 20 than I do now. Fuck!