The UMS got into full swing Friday as more bands played in more venues. If you’re into this kind of thing (like me), it’s akin to being a kid in a whole row of candy stores. All you have to do is walk down South Broadway, and music of many different kinds pours out into the streets from the various indoor (and outdoor) stages.
For me, Friday evening for some reason was mainly retro night. I even Tweeted about the irony that indie music is supposed to be progressive, but most of what I heard sounded like it had come from 4 to 8 decades ago.
Forget 60′s retro–that’s so ’90s. No, this stuff sounded like it comes out of the Dust Bowl. (One of my Facebook friends joked about the recession stirring the collective memory.)
Forget electric guitar; that’s so early 2000′s. The bands that are truly chic today use string basses, banjos and mandolins. (I’m surprised no one has thought to throw in some washboard.)
My tongue is in my cheek, of course. Not all the indie bands are doing this, though the ones who are doing so are actually pretty good. The beauty of indie music is you’re free to play what inspires you, and there is a lot of diversity (I just happened upon a slew of acoustic acts tonight). I just couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought of these twenty-somethings writing and playing music my grandparents would have liked.
The acts I caught all or part of tonight were:
- Natural and the Disasters–indie folk/rock/something-or-other
- Speakeasy Tiger–pop/rock with a retro ’80s glam vibe
- Tim Bruns (frontman for Churchill)–country
- Paper Bird–acoustic indie/folk with a bit of doo-wop thrown in
- The Beaten Sea–alt-country/folk
- The Centennial (formerly Meese)–atmospheric pop? (I covered this one for Examiner.com here.)
- Carbon Choir–indie-rock
And my pick for the evening: Tim Bruns of Churchill.
Admittedly, I had some bias here; Churchill is my current favorite local band. But left to himself, Tim has a country-leaning style all his own, and his lyrics are intelligent, emotional and thought provoking.
Carbon Choir ran a close second–but I could only catch the last few minutes of their act.
More to come…