Spring must be here (or maybe I finally got some sleep)! Either way, my love for T-Town has hardly faded, but recent exposure to some fabulous songbirds and crooners have me twitterpated about Tacoma all over again, and twitching to get out to more local music shows ... especially now that the kids are getting older. So, in no particular order, some luscious local vocals to check out (listed in no particular order) ...
I'd been hearing about Goldfinch and hearing about Goldfinch and hearing about Goldfinch ... and last night I actually got to HEAR GOLDFINCH! And now I can love Goldfinch honestly. Last night this fab five serenaded the MLK Ballet company dancers three times at Tacoma's School of the Arts for MOVE! #16 (a fundraiser for MLK Ballet's tuition-free ballet school, where my Diva is a student). Love them! I'm going to have to seek them locally more often.
Handful of Lovin'
This is a band who, until this last month, I'd only heard on Adam The Alien's video of First Night festivities from two years ago. (And technically not sure if they're "Tacoma", but I haven only heard them in Tacoma, and I believe they used to be the house band at Masa.) Fun, fun bad. And I finally got to hear them myself at a CD release show at Jazzbones a couple weeks ago. Even more fun, fun, fun! In trying to describe their sound, I can only say that the vocals frequently remind me of Dave Matthews, the energy is ska without the horns, and the rest is a definite Celtic influence and they know how to rock a crowd. Their description: A rock quartet featuring a rocking classically trained violinist, Handful refers to their music as "fiddle driven roots rock," and their cheerful blend of folk-rock, reggae and world rhythms, plus secondhand baroque and Celtic influences with catchy pop hooks, strongly recalls the vintage sound of Actual Tigers, the madness of Flogging Molly, and the moodier, more experimental side of Wilco. At Jazzbones, Handful of Lovin' (put your hands together, that's how you show your love -- CLAP!) was playin' a little overtime as a late-night DJ/dance crowd began to gather ... and even they were getting into it. You can't help but move when these folks are on stage ... whether it's on the dance floor or in your seat. Sitting still is impossible ... I left the show in a happy daze from all the energy. And while some of the songs are basically fun drinking songs, others have lyrics that if you pay attention to, make you think a little harder. Good times.
The Fun Police
I had no idea what to think about this band when I first heard of them ... but finally got to see them open recently for Handful of Lovin', and I can confirm: They are fun. They should be cited! I hope to see them again sometime soon. :)
Love, love, love Deborah Page. This duo, consisting of Deborah Page & Paul Uhl, always reminds me of Annie Lennox/Eurythmics. Haunting vocals, meaningful lyrics, presence on stage, artful visuals, pushing the envelope in an inviting fashion ... and I don't know about the Eurythmics, but Deborah and Paul are two of the sweetest, most fun people. I feel silly for ever being intimidated by their talent. I first discovered them at First Night, followed them to their Third Thursday Artwalk stage at Sanford & Son, and even hired them to surprise my dad for his 60th birthday (and then infected the rest of my extended family with their fabulousness). Deborah and Paul know how to rock out, sound great, and have fun. I so want to see them on a really big stage someday ... something big enough to match their talent and personalities. :)
The F***ing Eagles
Ok ... I haven't heard these folks in person yet, but enjoyed their CD and many friends are fans ... and I plan on going with friends to their April show at the Swiss. And I'm sure I will enjoy.
And, if you haven't already heard her stuff, you need to check out Tacoma legend Neko Case ... who finally made it back to her hometown to sing last year at the Pantages, who asked when the f*** someone was going to do something about the Elks hall ... and then magically, the McMenamins stepped up. Coincidence? Perhaps. But I was happy to hear a Prairie Home Companion rerun this weekend where Neko Case and non-Tacomans (but still fabulous) Wilco rocked the stage and, while she's more widely known to be living in Virginia, she did declare that Tacoma is where she's from. There's the love. And I'm loving her newest album, Middle Cyclone.
Happy Spring, Tacoma. I plan to get out and enjoy you more ...