& Golden Grrls
@ The Casbah, San Diego.
Hard to believe that last night was the first time I'd seen Veronica Falls. I felt an affirmative duty to go last night, like I had disrespected Veronica Falls by skipping their previous San Diego experiences. The point was driven home a few weeks ago, when I saw my friends posting various social media updates from the New York City date of this same tour. Essentially, the sole and only purpose of a show review on a blog is to make a personal endorsement of the live show of a particular act. If you aren't prepared to do that, you probably shouldn't review the show.
Personally, I'm interested in the mechanics and comparisons to be drawn between various shows, but from the perspective of people who read this blog it's "Veronica Falls Show Review" typed into Google that typically bring them here.
That goal is served better by reviewing the first show of a tour rather then the last, but Veronica Falls will be touring the UK & the EU so I suppose there will be people in those markets who are looking for opinions on the subject.
Veronica Falls is a great live band, well polished, with solid musicians playing all instruments and great song writing. It's hard not to compare them to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. In fact, their "similar artist" tab on Last Fm is the biggest "miss" I've seen on that site. They've got The History of Apple Pie, Girls Names, The Babies, Widowspeak, Christopher Owens & Torres. You've got to be kidding me. How can The Pains of Being Pure at Heart not be in that top 5? It seems impossible. I would argue that they are the English analogue of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart- and I think The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are an incredible, really viable band with a strong fan base, so that's a good comparison.
The crowd was fair but not great last night, no doubt having Foxygen playing across town at the Soda Bar diminished the available Audience. The turn-out was roughly in line with the "100 paid per 1 million last fm plays" that I use as a predictor of show attendance. It seems to me that Veronica Falls last release on Slumberland was compromised by the move from Revolver/Midheaven to the Orchard- kind of caught in the window during the transition.
I was equally excited to see the opening bands- both of whom also have releases on Slumberland Records. In case I haven't actually said it, Slumberland is one of several indie labels: In The Red, K Records, Hozac, Captured Tracks, Sacred Bones, Secretly Canadian label group & French Kiss label group that I actively track. The main thing that elevates the listed labels from the labels I work with is sheer number of release. If you want to go pro in the Indie Record label game you need- minimum- one LP release per label for quarters 1, 2, 3 & 4 with nothing released after early October. Due the trailing nature of digital royalties having a consistent release schedule is the only way to ensure that you don't experience precipitous drops in monthly revenue. Getting the number of releases up to one, per quarter, per label with no releases after mid October is basically the only professional goal I have in the music business. Everything else besides accomplishing that goal is literally meaningless.
Rushing to the Casbah to get there in time for Golden Grrls- I suspected that they would take the stage early... and they did. I caught three songs but it was enough to see that the buzz I've noticed about them online is borne out by the live set. They have crisp, catchy tunes and an easy manner that would seem to indicate a good deal of practice.
Main support Brilliant Colors also had good, well written, catchy songs. They don't really have a "look" but I am quite sure that they don't give a fuck about that shit and that would laugh in the face of anyone who brought it up. They seem to be in the same spectrum of Bay Area bands like Grass Widow: not necessarily the flavor of the month but a good band, dedicated to their art and willing to work out.
Watching the show last night I got the distinct feeling that not repping for all three bands on a consistent basis in this forum represented a failure on my end. I regretted not previewing the show, and missing prior shows by Veronica Falls & Brilliant Colors. As far as I'm concerned, if a band continues to tour and put out new records they deserve support. If any of these bands is playing in your town- go see them. Hope Brilliant Colors comes back soon (they are from the Bay Area, not England, like the other two bands.)