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spindrift, the vandelles @ 12 galaxies, 1/16/08

January 17, 2008

I’ll begin by saying that I think I started off my shows this year with an appropriate choice. There’s just something about seeing psychedelic rock in a small venue on a Wednesday night. On a evening with a clear ramping up from the amateur to the professional, all performers possessed the spirit of psychedelic rock in their own little manifestations.

I caught most of LSD and the Search for God‘s set, which would best be described as an attempt at psych rock in it’s purest form. Unfortunately, it felt really uninspired, perhaps with the exception of the distortion guitarist. The vocals of the male and female singers didn’t mesh well for me…but I probably would have liked it more if it were one or the other.

I’ve been listening to The Vandelles a lot lately, so I had some high expectations. Apparently I really like the combination of psychedelic and surf rock- it reminds me of a Lynch film and how he combines the otherwordly and the wholesome. They had some old surf films projecting behind them, set up to capture their shadows in the curtains. It was a nice use of the space. Unfortunately, some equipment issues derailed the beginning of their set, as the lead had to actually run upstairs to grab something to fix it. After that, it sounded great, but the band’s chemistry seemed…fragile. This was exacerbated by the way they exited the stage tossing around the equipment and then literally leaving in different directions…except for the rhythm guitarist, who set his guitar down and nicely waved. I really wanted to like them more…it seemed like they were in their terrible twos. Maybe next time.

Spindrift was on a whole ‘nother level. It’s psychedelic spaghetti western music, and it transports me to another space and time. The lead singer is very charismatic in a different way than I’m used to. There’s not a ton of lyrics to their music. And there’s a double neck guitar in there, which is always a plus. Their background projections were classic westerns like A Fistful of Dollars. I can’t help but visualize this music as a soundtrack to a QT or Rodriguez film…maybe even this Weird West film that Zombie has alluded to.

Welcome to the new HardRockChick.com show rating system:

Spindrift performance: 8/10
The Vandelles performance: 6.5/10
LSD and the Search for God performance: 4/10
venue (12 Galaxies): 6/10
crowd/scene: 8/10
value ($8/ticket): 9/10
memorable: 6/10

footage of spindrift from a show @ the knitting factory

the vandelles @ a cmj party


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