I was impressed both by Woven Bones and the people who came out to see them: many of whom I didn't recognize. I think the paid door was maybe 75, but most of those people actually seemed to be there to see Woven Bones. I heard one gentlemen inquire of the bartender whether "the band from Austin was about to play." I don't know how else to explain that encounter other then someone reading about the show in City Beat:
A great local showcase, but stick around for Austin’s Woven Bones, who combine the creepiest parts of Jesus and Mary Chain with Queens of the Stone Age-style riffage. I’ve almost reached nü-shoegaze saturation point, but these guys are just too catchy to care.
Here my observation about their performance: their songs are v. catchy and accessible and of the sort that would appeal equally to garage fans and 80s/90s british distortion/drone rock fans. They elicited a positive reaction from the jaded San Diego crowd. The power of the music eclipses the fact that the stage presentation is minimal- three piece playing their instruments in place. I was surprised to see the number of pedals involved- that's a positive in my book because it shows that they are working with a palette of sounds. The drumming is extremely simple but it's counterbalanced by occasionally complex bass line and layers of fuzz/distortion.
I purchased three of their seven inches: two on Florida's Needless Records and one on Chicago based Hozac Records. After listening to them I thought the A side on the Hozac records 7" was really good, but the other two seven inches make them sound like a more-or-less straight up garage band and I think more of the electronics/distortion should be added to make the sound "pop" as they say. If they are going to do slow songs they need to amp up the atmospherics, just slowing down the fast tunes doesn't work so well. I think emphasizing the heaviness and darkness of the sound is a winner.
But the bottom line is that I would certainly be interested in hearing what they could do on a long player at some point. It makes sense that they would gather up the 7" tracks for that record- though not all of them. I think the purpose of buying 7"s is the hope that the band will put out a killer full length record.
Sunday Times actually played after Woven Bones and the crowd thinned out noticeably. Shame on you, crowd! Junior has def. written some tuneful songs this time around, and I would suggest that he focus on getting some good recordings of one or two of them and trying to get an out of town label to put it out on a 7" rather then playing more gigs in San Diego. Without at least one good record, that is going to end up being a waste of time.
New-ish San Diego buzz band Anasazis were the openers (Heavy Hawaii cancelled) and they are certainly on the "K records" side of the lo fi spectrum. Similar in design to Christmas Island, the lead singer has a Buddy Hollyish look that might generate some notice. Also, Mario Orduno is totally into them, so they'll be able to get good shows in the area. I look forward to hearing the records- which is the same thing I feel about Christmas Island. I thought the live show was refreshing, but I probably would have to hear recordings to really get into the sound.
Soda Bar continues to impress.