Oh, I’ve been a virgin up until last Friday, I finally made it to the Silent Barn in Ridgewood, an all-ages DIY venue. It was the smoothest all-age event I’ve been to. Starting time was at the time listed, all the bands played, and there was a pretty close to seamless time break between bands. There is no sound check at the Silent Barn, they do their best, and duct tape is a helpful aid. The community spirit is alive in this large way place, and Joe Ahearn was a wonderful host. The Hop Along / P.S Eliot tour was on its eighth night, and two additional bands, The Diamond Sea and Little Lungs, joined them for a second night.
Hop Along formally (Hop Along Queen Ansleis) played first, to the disappointment of some late fans. It was her turn to test the unknown sound factor. She played a solo electric set. Yes, it would have been great to see her with the band, but she handled the new material well. A new song, “Sally” had whispers and vocal intensity. She employed great fast strumming and a few pedal adjustments revving it up when needed. The band would be proud! “Junk Yard James,” the vocals were the star with a few muffled strums, guitar body hits, and slow, steady kick drum by Allison Crutchfield of P.S Eliot. There was quite a large crowd, and Hop Along (Francis Quinlan) could silence a crowd and move them. So as loud and as fast as she got when it came time to hear her whispers, everyone could! WOW, I bought a 7-track demo!! It offers a diverse mix of styles, including all the festive quirky folk elements only morphed into an edgier and much louder electric recipe. Impressive!!
Next was an Australian group, The Diamond Sea, making their second appearance at the Silent Barn. Three female players and a male drummer create a smart intricate dialogue between instruments in the spirit between punk, noise, and rock. I was fascinated to look and listen.
P.S. Eliot, those awesome youngins from Alabama bring a straightforward down-home punk that is very catchy, bouncy, and rich in melody. The sing hook-along high-pitched yelps are to die for in songs like “The Troubled Medium.” The 5 song demo I bought has a muffled garage sound with megaphone vocals and is the kind of contagious fun I live for.
Little Lungs enthusiastically closed the show with high energy and great playing. With this group, it is not just making sure they play the songs it is totally about doing it. Nice bass playing as well. The multifaceted Angie Boylon plays guitar in this outfit but was the drummer for Each Other’s Mothers (reunited show in August Silent Barn) and Cheeky. I left the Silent Barn with a beautiful feeling about women musicians. I am from the generation raised during the beginning of the women's movement. Technically these are the children of my generation. It is great to see young women taking command of their lives booking and driving across the US for one Epic adventure and doing it with skill, conviction, and love. What was really cool was that the next young wave of female musicians not only came to the show but was allowed to be there! Three groups have released with Salinas Records Hop Along 10-inch Wretches P.S. Eliot Introverted Romance in our Troubled Minds, LP Debut Little Lungs Hoist Me UP 7 inch released in 2008 Flickr set HERE.
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