House Shows and Gigs to See

Hey friends, so I won’t be reviewing shows for the next couple weeks. I’m taking the holidays off to gather the fragments of my mind and earn some cash.

But I’ll still be at shows! Definitely these ones:

New Years Eve is a tough call guys. I’d recommend doing more than one thing…

Reviews will resume in the new year!

In other news…

I’d like to share a little of some smaller gigs I’ve been to recently…

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these guys aren’t even in a band. they just jammed the shit out of some stuff as soundcheck or something? a tweener between the tweener and the next band? ft. Justin Kozak (ukelele), Zach Van Der Hooft (drums) and Shaun McDonald (keys) of Hooch and the Howlers, and Joshua Letkeman (guitar, in the back) of June Killing Stones.

I’ve been to two house shows in the past week. And as someone who always prefers a house show, this makes me really happy. I’m cheap, and I like to drink, so a house show is like the happiest place I can be. It’s small, intimate, almost always fills up, and keeps me surrounded by a group of friends I know and trust.

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I sat this close to Fever Rose at a house show. sat!

In retrospect, house shows provide a really unique opportunity. They offer a privately controlled venue, that provides niceties and freedoms that the bar can’t, that often features solo artists or lesser-known bands, with  direct interaction with your audience, a potential for fresh jams between bands, the chance to hang out with the musicians you like, and an overall vibe that can’t come to life in a bar.

House shows. You get up real close. you sit on the floor next to a bunch of other people. You hear a lot of local music, live, in a very comfortably controlled setting, where you can also meet people and bands and fans.

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Kyle  (left) and Andrew of the Human Creatures

In terms of space, I wonder what the size does for the music. I mean, music is sound, and sound acts on the physical realities of time and space (which I’ve come to understand as two parts of a whole), so the setup of a space, the size of a space will impact the sound.

I have a hunch that sometimes, it sounds better in a home. I mean, the space is much smaller so you don’t need the same amount of amplification. You don’t need as much gear? I think? Especially if you’re doing a solo set. I mean, in the shots with the LED back wall, they got a PA system and were ready to host bands with 5-6 members. So they were really well outfitted. But it didn’t need to get that loud, and the sound seemed to retain some warmth.

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Rastamils. And Franklin Fernando, singer, is a talented painter, whose art was displayed at the same event.
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Kieran West and Chevrolet David

And then, in another living room, a solo set went smoothly with just an amp and room for a few pedals. This show was very intimate. I mean, granted, it was a collection of fun friends and beautiful souls. But as people played, the audience sat in almost total silence. The performer had everyone’s undivided attention. People sat around the living room floor as vegan-friendly pizza was passed fresh from the oven onto their plates.

The quiet caught me off guard. The gentle silences that found their way into each song because everyone seemed absolutely captivated.

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Many people sitting on a floor watching and listening intently!
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Micah Erenberg and his uplifting laughter.

Both of these shows totally rocked. I saw performers I’ve never seen before. I hung out with a bunch of my friends. I had a chance to meet new musicians and hear new music and drink homemade sangria and eat homemade pizza.

These events really feel like community, and they tend to be more accessible for broke students like me!

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one of my oldest friends and fav people to jam with, Adam Gaunt. special shoutout to this guy for proofreading my blog this year, liking and always sharing  each post on Facebook!
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Zach Van Der Hooft of Hooch and the Howlers, the KoalaTeas, and the jam band that formed that night.
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performer I know as Liz of Basic Nature. also, photocredits to Dave Gagnon (Chevrolet David) on this one. He got da shot

See ya at shows and happy holidays!

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