Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Jenny Besetzt / No One Mind / Enemy Waves / Konvoi at the Pinhook - 7/23/2016

Jenny Besetzt
with No One Mind, Enemy Waves, and Konvoi
The Pinhook

It had been forever since I'd been to a show...two months maybe?  Probably Moogfest was my last outing...apparently I only go to shows in Durham now.  And what better way to throw yourself back in to the scene than to attend a four band show, and be there from the very start?  Actually, there are a lot of better ways, but that's what I did. 

The reason for getting there so early?  Konvoi, an actual good band from Boone.  The idea of there being a group from Boone that I would ever give a shit about was a foreign concept growing up just down the road from that hippie haven, where most of the live entertainment involved groups with names like Mushroom Gravy Funk Concern, Quilted Pants Family Band, and Patchouli Joe & the Broken Volkswagen Transmissions.  Instead, you get a four piece of young dudes who are more (early) Whatever Brains than Widespread Panic.  They had a dark vibe to them as well, reminiscent of Ex-Cult or Pop. 1280...lots of distorted vocals and minor chords.  Some call it art punk I guess.  They've only released a cassette so far, and I no longer own a cassette player since selling my old Subaru, but you can listen online if you're so inclined...and I'll definitely be seeing them again. 

Enemy Waves would probably count as the main reason I left the house tonight.  For whatever reason, every time they play it's opposite other plans I have or I'm out of town or some such shit - luckily tonight worked out in my favor.  Three-fourths of Enemy Waves might be made up of Birds of Avalon members, but you would never confuse the two groups from their sound - this outfit is instrumental and pretty goddamn jazzy.  Jazzy in that mid-90s Thrill Jockey sort of way mind you, not classic hard bop or anything.  Their sets used to feel a lot more freeform, but it had been a while since the last time I saw them live and now the performance is much more structured.  They started and ended their night with more traditional "rock" jams (with a bit of a kraut backbone), but in the middle they had both saxophones out, squawking a very fanciful fashion...sounded great.  Those dudes really know how to blow a horn.  I'm really stoked it finally worked out that I got to see them again. 

I didn't know anything about No One Mind, the third band of the night.  My friend Paul said "It's the Toddlers, basically," but I'm not sure if that was a reference to their sound, the band members, or maybe both.  To be honest I don't really remember the Toddlers but I'm pretty sure I saw them live a time or two, they played a ton a few years back.  Once they took the stage I did notice Missy from Love Language and Birds of Avalon (and god knows how many other bands) in the group, but that was the limit to my knowledge.  The band turned down the lights, manned their own personal light show set up at their feet, and then proceeded to play what I would most generically describe as dark indie pop.  Not that the band was generic, just my effort of describing them.  My first reaction was it reminded me of Arcade Fire, and I know to a lot of people that might sound like an insult but fuck it, that first Arcade Fire record was damn good.  No One Mind seems like an act to keep an eye on, wouldn't be at all surprised if they got a little buzz behind them.   

At this point, it was time for the last act Jenny Besetzt, and goddamn was I tired.  They were there to celebrate the release of their new full-length "Tender Madness," and I loved everything I heard but after a few songs my ass had to bow out before I collapsed from lazinessitis and old leg syndrome.  They're a good pairing with No One Mind, both are in the general frame of dark indie pop, with keyboards playing a large role in each band.  One of the most noticeable/interesting aspect of Jenny Besetzt are the deep, almost Ian Curtis-like vocals; they kinda have a classic Echo & the Bunnymen/Psychedelic Furs vibe.  What's not to like about that?  Next time I see them hopefully they won't be the fourth group of the night. 

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