I started Obsession Collection one year ago in June. Having spent the last couple of years seeing live music and devouring recordings that blew my mind, I thought that maybe others would like to hear what I was getting so excited about.
The last week in June, a Garage Show, reaffirmed what I always believed: there is nothing better than hearing great music performed live. Sometimes it does matter where you see it.
This particular garage show was outstanding because of the line-up selection, order and timing of the sets, and the wonderful crowd of friends and fans, getting together to enjoy music.
First was a punk girl group Vivian Girls a three-piece from NYC playing guitar, bass, and drums. They played a short, sweet four-song set. They are fairly new and enjoyable, performing catchy punk with nice drumming.
The crowd decided to sit on the concrete floor to fully appreciate the acoustic set by Francois Virot, an expressive lo-fi alternative folk singer-songwriter from France. His vocals were unplugged. The mic was situated under the guitar to pick up his beating, strumming, picking, and right-hand hammering (Kaki King style) up the fret.
Francois sings and records only in English. His distinctive voice patterns and range convey a variety of emotional levels. His vocals are shaky and muffled, as if he is holding something back. Suddenly he grunts, and his distant voice rises and squeaks with intense and chaotic abandon. His folksy eccentricities are creatively accompanied by his irregular guitar patterns. He is very original and captivating. The audience was absorbed by his intimate presentation.
I was surprised when the next band, Clara from France, came on with Francois Virot in the drummer's seat. This band has an intense sound using the keyboard (Amielie Lambert) as the melodic digital force, chaotic /psychotic drums, and frenetic electric bass (Charles Virot), relying heavily on distortion. Clara Clara plays hypnotic jams with occasional moments of sing-along type phrasing. The sound is explosive, erupting with rhythms and very loud distortion. The crowd moved in a trance-like motion of ecstasy until the last song, leaving a sweaty, musty residue in the garage cocoon to get some oxygen.
The air being a necessity, was a lost cause when Kickball, a band from Olympia, Washington, came on. They are an infectious trio of guitar, bass, and drums. The band has the perfect mix of lush solid indie pop, catchy sing-along punk, and dance-propelled grooves.
The lead singer and guitarist, Jacob Wilson, has a distinct voice with a very appealing range. He vocalizes like a Cantor in a clear high pitch and sings every syllable in broken phrasing patterns like; Ev/ er/ y / things / a / mir / a / cal. He stutters to find a word and then holds it for effect. With the guitar, he creates memorable intricacies that ebb and flow between Adam Oelsner's creative bass line. Lisa Schonberg, the drummer, plays expressive energetic percussion and is a charismatic force in the band, communicating with her bandmates.
The crowd of ravenous fans loved and craved the old favorites and embraced the newer, recently released songs. Their bodies were in constant motion, sweating profusely, singing along, and displaying admiration and love for Kickball. The band was at a point of exhaustion, but the audience finagled two more songs. They obliged with enthusiasm. Kickball has energy and awesome chemistry. Seriously no one wanted this show to end.
This was a great night. There were no annoying drunk patrons, just music fans, as they should be.
"everything is a miracle nothing is a miracle everything is" buy on Kickball myspace site
|Kickball / Clara Clara / Francois Virot / Garage Show|
Francois Virot filmed by LaBlogoteheque
Francois Virot filmed by Big Purple Van Club
Clara Clara Live Berlin