In a couple of days we’ll be heading to the Bandwagon Music Market – that’s 1 October at the Power Mac Center Spotlight – and, since there’s some incredibly good timing at work, and because we can’t resist easy content (hey, we have to admit it), we’re devoting this month’s edition of the Local Outsider to the acts performing there on Saturday. Okay. Maybe not all of them. I mean, we’ve seen B.P. Valenzuela, CRWN and Tom’s Story live; we’ve written about Bullet Dumas and Eyedress a couple of times; and we’ve even tackled Shadow Moses – well, one of their members – on a previous edition of this column. That, and Inch Chua and Intriguant are Singaporean. So. Yeah. I’ve rambled enough. I told you. Easy content.
I was supposed to write about Oh, Flamingo! last month, but somehow my crowded head lost them. This happens when you have a big event for the day job lying two weeks ahead of your deadline. Also, I will have to admit to lumping a bunch of bands that have that typical indie pop sound together. They just released the video to “Two Feet” a few weeks back, and at least this moves the needle: it’s a moderatedly-paced groover that does not have the need to assert itself to be heard. You know me and my whole “the song has to click at the right time” mantra – I’ve cited that far too many times lately, likely because I’ve been quite busy. This one can do that. I can imagine myself driving and hearing this song and going, “local track?” and then I’m suddenly drumming the steering wheel.
Runway Crimes is on the line-up too: a band that’s been around for a while now – came out back in 2009, apparently – but one I have never heard of until this year. Maybe it’s because they have yet to release an album? But I gather they’re regulars on the live circuit, and some of their songs have made their way to film soundtracks. These guys bring me back to college. Their rock is cinematic, the sort where the rain falls and you’re stuck outside, forced to realize something. It’s a nice tug: shades of Urbandub and its emotion on one hand, shades of the Ataris and its aggression on another. This was the sound that appealed to me at one point during my stressed out years attempting to produce mock newscasts (and failing, at least according to me). Yes, that’s almost ten years ago, but I believe there’s space for that even now, in 2016, and it does not have to sound lost in time. They aren’t. Now, release that album! (Okay, I think they’re recording the album now. Their Facebook page hints at a release this year.)
I did not expect this month’s column to go heavier as it goes, but, well, we end on a heavy note. Beast Jesus calls themselves a post-Internet band – I’m not sure what that means, but their Facebook page is filled with memes, which is refreshing, if anything. They dropped their entire debut EP, In Various States of Disassembly, online for free (or not, you choose) a few months back: it’s a tight melange of dirty riffs, sludgy overtones and reverb. It’s shoegazer with sharper teeth. (Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine is an influence.) It’s not a thing I’d usually enjoy, but I actually did, quite so. The EP is tight and satisfying and surprisingly well-rounded. And then you go to their Facebook page and see them post this absurdist gallery.
Extra paragraph, because things are different this month: tickets for the 2016 Bandwagon Music Market are still available here, as well as information on Saturday’s line-up. Okay, fine: Beast Jesus, B.P. Valenzuela, Bullet Dumas, CRWN, Eyedress, Inch Chua, Intriguant, Oh, Flamingo!, Shadow Moses, Runway Crimes and Tom’s Story. And a bunch of people selling merchandise. And me looking out of place. I bet that’s worth seeing. [NB]