Concert Review: the Jean Marie, Arboles Libres, Static Moon, and Pretty Please at Churchill's, September 4
Churchill's Pub, Miami
Friday, September 4, 2009
Better Than: Paying 20 bucks to loiter at your favorite lackluster South Beach club and end up holding your best friend's hair back in the WC
Despite a pretty stellar local lineup, this past Friday night Churchill's was devoid of anyone besides the usual patrons. "They think the rain's acid," opined doorman Chris Hubbard, glancing at the faithful few. The previous evening, he said, only six people had come to the scheduled show. (Well, technically five -- there was a refund to consider.) And though at 8:30 on Friday, things looked bleak, within two hours the pub's empty dance floor filled up with spastic dancing and head bobs.
The evening began with a set by John Paul Sindoni, who performs as Static Moon. While a talented multi-instrumentalist, Sindoni seems to fancy himself the next Trent Reznor, with lyrics evoking the typical LiveJournal post on loneliness and the decay of human existence. This was mostly set to a unimpressive use of four strings on a massively down-tuned guitar.
But the music took an upswing with the next set, by Arboles Libres. The local trio -- comprised of Juan Londono, Eddie Moreno, and Anthony Genovese -- got the crowd off its feet, effortlessly weaving through a barrage of chords and blues licks that would make Eric Clapton blush.
They were followed by Pretty Please, who a local quartet who plays a funky mashup of wobbly basslines and riot grrl-inspired choruses. Think Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls and the B-52's playing together in a Tarantino film.
And finally, the Jean Marie, whose set began after bassist Jeff James made his way from the control booth to take his place onstage. Always local favorites, they fed off of Pretty Please's residual amped-up energy, and got the already excited crowd whipped into a frantic dance. Percussionist Geneva Harrison anchored the funky rhythm section with an array of experimental techniques, complimenting vocalist Jordan Davidson's desperately pleading voice.
And although the attendance overall was relatively sparse, those who braved the roads of Little Haiti on Friday got something better than a show. It was an early chance to listen to acts poised to storm the sacred space on your radio dial.
Personal Bias: I have a soft spot for obscure music that weaves haphazardly into the lanes of so-called "mainstream music".
Random Detail: Static Moon's Evil Knievel reference stands as the strangest moment of Friday evening.
By The Way: The Jean Marie has an untitled, four-song EP in the works.
-- Nelson Hernandez