Yes, Indeed! 2014 Rundown, Pt. 2: Handsomebeast + The Trimms + After Nations + Another Run + Poor Pilate + Lion Among Men + Fake Believe

handsomebeast1Yep, here we go again, for a second pile of preview-type things for Yes, Indeed! 2014, which happens tonight — i.e., Saturday, September 13th — all down the Mid-Main area of shops, bars, and restaurants. There’ll be stages at The Continental Club, Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge (aka The Big Top), The Alley Kat, and the Pachinko Hut, which is basically the back patio of the Continental Club, with nearly 30 bands and musicians scattered amongst ’em from 5PM onwards.

As far as ticket prices go, I think the advance price is now gone — it was supposed to be good through midnight Friday night, which is well behind us now — but tickets are only $15 at the door, which still ain’t bad, in my book. You still definitely need to go, and here’s a handful more randomly-selected reasons:

Whoa. I’m not entirely sure what I expected Handsomebeast to sound like, but I’m fairly certain this wasn’t it. Going by their most recent release, this spring’s Estilo Gacho, the foursome is a funk-rock band first and foremost, but with heavy doses of psych-rock floating through the mix. It’s grooving and kinda trippy at points, less concerned with getting asses out on the floor than with closing your eyes and drifting off…or, on the other hand, with getting somebody into the sack.

I’ll admit that this hasn’t really been my thing for a few years; I had a funk-rock phase back in the ’90s, but I’ve had little time for stuff like this since, y’know? That said, I’m liking this, dangit — the Handsomebeast guys know what they want to do, and they’ve got the skill to pull it off. Listening to ’em makes me think back to the first time I ever heard Venus in Furs back in college, with those tight-yet-twisting guitar lines, rubbery basslines, and alluring vocals, and trust me, that’s no bad memory to dredge up.
[Handsomebeast plays at 7:45PM at The Alley Kat.]


thetrimms1The Trimms
Now this band, on the other hand, sounds freaking exactly like I thought they would, and that’s a really damn good thing. They’re rough and raggedy, distorted and rumbling and bluesy like the Stones thrown kicking and screaming back to the days when they weren’t just old men going through the motions. The Trimms seriously sound like they could be some classic-rock band that just skated by under the radar, low enough to be known only by connoisseurs of vintage garage-rock.

Obviously, that can (and often does) backfire, and I’ve got limited tolerance for retro retreads, myself, but like with Handsomebeast above, the Trimms know what the hell they’re doing — they’re just playing straight-up, down-and-dirty rock ‘n roll like it was meant to be played. Oh, and they do a freaking sweet cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”; take a listen below.
[The Trimms play at 12:30AM at The Big Top.]


afternations1After Nations
Next up, we’ve got a trio down from Kansas City, After Nations, who play some very, very cool, thoughtful, heavily proggy instro-metal, the kind that makes me think of Scale The Summit or Animals As Leaders, although they’re a lot more reserved and restrained than either of those bands tend to be. It’s interesting, though, because while they’re relatively low-key, there’s also a current of menace, of nervousness, of desperation boiling up from beneath the spiraling prog-rock guitar lines and stutter-stop rhythms; these guys are really good at holding back just enough to hint at what’s truly there. They remind me of Co-Pilot that way, actually, especially because some of those guitar lines seem to take a spaceward turn at times… To make things even cooler, the band’s got an animated video for “Gilgamesh III” which is pretty neat to see; like their music, it’s both low-key and tense at the same time.
[After Nations plays at 7:30PM at The Big Top.]


anotherrun1Another Run
For a long time there was a dearth in this city of genuinely talented, no-frills alt-rock bands; the ones that did float around were unfortunately pretty terrible, with far, far too many generic nu-metal bands trying to be the next Korn. While that may not feel like a big deal to some, I’ve gotta say, it’s nice to see how things have changed. These past several years we’ve seen a great, great crop of alt-/modern-rock bands come into their own, and Another Run is sitting up near the top of that pile, alongside folks like the last place you look and The Lotus Effect.

Musically, they’ve got some nice prog-rock elements going on, which is very cool by me, and they’re not afraid to get poppy or funky when the song calls for it — they can pull it off, too, which seems pretty damn rare lately. There’s also an honest sincerity to the band that I can’t help but love, abetted by Adrian Grammer‘s stellar, soulful vocals; the rest of the band is good, to be sure, but Grammer who brings the whole thing up a notch. See ’em on a small-ish stage while you still can…
[Another Run plays at 11PM at The Continental Club.]


poorpilate1Poor Pilate
It’s been a few years now since I last saw roots-rock gang Poor Pilate, but I still remember vividly how much they impressed me, coming in mostly cold to a band I’d only ever heard of up to that point. Frontman David Lascoe has an excellently gruff, scratched-up voice, one that brings to mind dusty backroads and hillside shacks, and when he gets going on that piano, you’re hard-pressed not to think you’re in some out-of-the-way honky-tonk only the locals know and love, playing his heart out for friends and relatives and maybe some beer money.

In some ways, they sound like a band out of time; the arrangements and instrumentation almost sound they belong to a different era, one before the Internet and smartphones and, hell, maybe even homes wired for electricity. Poor Pilate’s music reminds me a little of Tom Waits in that way — it’s music that’s “old” but still works beautifully in the modern day. And work beautifully it does; listen to their 2011 debut if you don’t believe me (and yes, they’re supposed to be releasing a new album sometime this year, which is very good news).
[Poor Pilate plays at 8:30PM at The Big Top.]


lionamongmen1Lion Among Men
To start with, I’ve got a confession to make when it comes to Lion Among Men. I’m honestly not sure why, but when I first saw the name “Lion Among Men,” I stupidly assumed the band was yet another screamo outfit, and I kind of put ’em off to the side; sorry about that, y’all. It turns out that the band’s about as far as you can get from screamo — although there are some emo-ish moments buried in there — but are instead a warm, jangly indie-folk band with awesome male/female harmonies, delicately picked melodies, fragile keys, and occasionally World Music-sounding rhythms.

They make me think happily of Holy Fiction, who also do the indie-folk/World Music-with-gorgeous-vocals thing, although Lion Among Men are far, far further along the tracks towards the folk realm. They’re reminiscent of The Head and the Heart at some points, Dashboard Confessional at others, and California popsters Dawes at others, but they remain themselves in the end. I’m making a point to catch these folks live tonight, definitely.
[Lion Among Men plays at 9:15PM at the Pachinko Hut.]


fakebelieve1Fake Believe
YES. After nearly five years, Fake Believe are back, it would seem, and that makes me very happy. The last time I heard/saw the band, it was back in 2009 at Rudyard’s; they’d recently released their Talk Speak EP, and while I’ll admit I wasn’t completely sold on the EP, it was extremely promising, and their live show was a heck of a lot of fun. They played a handful more shows over the next two years, but then…poof. Nada. I’d figured they had called it a day, as so many bands here do eventually.

But now, they’re back. For good? Not a clue, but hopefully they stick around a while longer and release some more music — like I said, that EP was pretty promising, at its best merging synth-heavy rock with emo-ish vocals, like Placebo crossed with the Get Up Kids, and somehow managing to be both shiny-sleek and ripped-open and raw at the same time. I’ve got my fingers crossed they do more stuff like that; any hope, you guys? (Oh, and I gotta admire a band that comes up with a color palette and sticks with it no matter what; from what I’ve seen, these guys only use gray, white, and blue, and that’s it…)
[Fake Believe plays at 6PM at The Continental Club.]


sigh. Well, folks, that what I’ve got — I’d hoped to do more, but unfortunately, I’ve been fighting something since yesterday that’s left me lethargic and unconscious for a lot of the past 24 hours. All I can say beyond this is, hey, get on over to Mid-Main this evening; you won’t regret it.

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One Response to “Yes, Indeed! 2014 Rundown, Pt. 2: Handsomebeast + The Trimms + After Nations + Another Run + Poor Pilate + Lion Among Men + Fake Believe”

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yes, Indeed! 2015, This Saturday! (Rundown, Pt. 1): Bee Caves + The Working Girls + Jealous Creatures + Black Kite + Moji + Blue Healer + Wrestlers + RIVERS + Handsomebeast on September 18th, 2015 at 1:54 am

    […] energetic-as-fuck bluesy funk into about half the space. As I mentioned back then, I kinda left my funk-rock phase a while ago for the most part, but even still, I’m liking this a whole hell of a lot. [Handsomebeast […]

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