New Music Seminar Festival Day 3: Twin Wave and the Grizzled Mighty at Piano’s and Xenia Rubinos and Bury Me a Lion at the Delancey 6/11/13

New Music Seminar Festival Day 3: Twin Wave and the Grizzled Mighty at Piano’s and Xenia Rubinos and Bury Me a Lion at the Delancey

June 11 2013

Tuesday, the 11th marked the third and last day of the New Music Seminar Festival, and initially I didn’t know what I’d actually catch. In fact, for the third day there was only one act on the night’s bill that I had heard of – Xenia Rubinos, who I had caught opening for Railbird at the Big Snow Buffalo Lodge last December. But thanks to the oracle of Google, I was able to find out about a few bands that I hadn’t heard of before and seemed worthy of catching. The plan was to catch Twin Wave and the  Grizzled Mighty at Piano’s, and I’d be able to catch some portion of Xenia Rubinos’s set. And if I had felt inclined, I’d catch the last band at the Delancey to end the festival and the night. 

In the case of Twin Wave, I was clearly more impressed by their recorded sound than their live sound, and I think it had to do with the fact that the band generally had a very awkward stage presence, as though they were uncomfortable or extremely uncertain – especially in the case of their lead singer, who I wanted to actually do more besides stand there. Sonically, they were pretty prototypical indie rock, reminiscent of Twin Tigers’ Grey Waves album and several others. I’ve heard it countless times before and at countless shows. And yet, what I can say about the band is that they were pretty tight musically, and they played with the simpatico that comes from musicians being around each other and truly knowing each other. But I think it takes more than that to win over a more astute audience though, and they need quite a bit of work to smooth over their general roughness. 

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The Seattle, WA-based duo, the Grizzled Mighty followed and man they were impressive – they played a grungy, towering bluesy set of garage rock reminiscent of White Mystery, the White Stripes and the Black Keys but with a snarling, nastier, blistering edge to it. Towards the end of their set, half the drum kit was knocked over in a wild frenzy, completing their live sound. 

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i wound up missing most of Xenia Rubinos set but I caught the last song or two at a very empty performance area at the Delancey. Backed by a drummer, Rubinos howled, squealed and turning into her voice into a super expressive instrument of its own, while playing buzzing, hypnotic lines on a synthesizer. It’s and odd sound that’s more of an acquired taste but it’s distinct in the sense that I’ve never heard before. 

Bury Me a Lion followed and their set was a boring and kind of annoying – their lead singer’s body language and stage presence was a bit too hammy for my taste. And the music wasn’t super original or interesting either. I got so annoyed that I wound up leaving during the set. What a frustrating way to end a festival.

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For these photos, check out the Flickr set here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yankee32879/sets/72157634275754857/