Space Merchants, KHB, and Sleepy Sun
The Knitting Factory
March 4, 2014
Lately having what amounts to two full-time jobs with competing demands for my time and attention has become an exhausting and extremely frustrating drag – but with all labors of love, deep down there’s a sense that you’re inching closer to making something truly long-lasting and worthwhile. And I can say that recently, there have been a number of things that have come up, which have confirmed that i’m doing the right thing. In any case, earlier this month I was at the Knitting Factory for a night of psychedelic rock featuring Space Merchants, KHB, and Sleepy Sun.
By far, the best band of the night was Sleepy Sun, a California-based band whose “11:32/The Lane” 7 inch was one of my favorite 7 inch releases last year as it revealed that the band can play with a muscular and powerful insistence and a tightly controlled beauty, much like their live set; however, it didn’t occur to me how bluesy their material often was. In fact, at points their lead vocalist played harmonica through effects pedals. And maybe because of the lead singer’s uncanny resemblance to a young Robert Plant, and the bluesiness of the material, I couldn’t help but think of Led Zeppelin – in particular, think of Led Zeppelin 1 and Led Zeppelin 4 but more ethereal, thanks to some gorgeous and mind-bending guitar solos.
Space Merchants, the opening set played material that wasn’t very interesting to me. Although it bluesy it seemed to lack much in the way of originality and their stage presence was kind of lacking. And I can say the same of KHB, too; however, Space Merchants’s set felt incredibly and impossibly long. Let’s be clear – I’m not saying that either band lacked talent because there was musicality to what they were doing an at times their songs had a catchy hook (which is much more difficult than you think). Hell, I’ve certainly heard bands who completely lacked any discernible talent and shouldn’t have dared to be on a stage; but being dull or being unoriginal is a sin because it’s wasting a paying audience’s time and money. And that’s a shame.
For these photos and more from this night, check out the Flickr set here: