The Low Down

The Benefit show was last night. The night had high and lows. Let me explain.

Kiiks played first and had a very attentive and warm crowd. His music is quiet at times, but then can become quite intense — some overall great dynamics. He uses a half strumming, half picking technique on a classical style guitar. His voice is somewhere between the obvious comparison of Bob Dylan and the slightly less obvious comparison of the Andrew Jackson Jihad.

For He Who Hung The Moon played next. His cover of “99 Problems” by Jay-Z naturally riled up the party crowd. This was his first time playing a show on his newly acquired baritone ukulele. Everyone was quiet and mesmerized for the set and I think he made a a lot of fans. His voice is like Björk, that weird guy with eye liner that sang folk songs and was popular a few years ago (Devendra Banhart ) and a pretty sounding goat. In other words, it is totally unique. His songs are stories that seem to be straight out of Charles Dickinson literature.

Dante Compañero got the crowd just as the drinks started to really flow through their veins. As usual “Two Packs a Day” was very popular. His deep voice (not good in the traditional sense, but reminiscent of Mark from Blink 182) works perfectly for the songs, which are almost always about the simple pleasures of drinking beer, smoking too many cigarettes and hanging out with friends.

Track Hubs and the Fixie Dicks, the stage name for Zack, followed Dante. The two of them have a split together titled “Let’s Wear Our Party Shorts on the Front Porch.” He had a riling chorus of “put on your short shorts” with at least three partiers stripping down to their skivvies. People were enjoying themselves, jumping around and slapping the low ceilings.

My own band, Making Eyes, finally got to play around twenty minutes ’til 2. The crowd had thinned out quite a bit by then. Moods started to clash and many people were too drunk to really listen. Good friends huddled around and sang along to our choruses and for that I am thankful. One of the members was getting perturbed and yelling at the crowd for being disruptive and I was a little embarrassed of her abuse toward them. I wanted to just have fun, but I could tell that all of my bandmates were a little disappointed and I probably let it affect me too much. I had trouble myself, as I am not usually the loudest, making it hard to be heard above the blare of the party.

In retrospect, we should have gone earlier when the crowd was calm. It is hard to follow a rousing chorus as repeatable, fun and loud as “party, party, party” and then play our kind of music at 2 am when everyone is either tired or drunk. We skipped to some of our more fun songs and then cut the set short and thanked everyone for coming out. Maybe, our own part of the show did not go well, but the party as a whole went tremendously.

I would estimate 50 plus people at the benefit show. The atmosphere was nice with scattered lit candles, flashlights pointing at cheap cardboard signs and even a donations bucket that glowed in the dark. Friends and strangers definitely showed their love and support and all together my girlfriend made about $150 toward her utilities bill.

The keg was sucked dry by the end of the night.

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~ by shawp on October 31, 2008.

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