Bird Names, Dracula, and Self & Other Light Candles, Chant Together, and Step to the Edge
|Marta Xochilt Perez|
The lineup: (1) Quiet acoustic cover band Dracula starting a séance; (2) Deep and Dreamy twosome Bird Names flying through forest weirdness; and (3) Self & Other charging full-speed into some sonic unknown.
See the cut for a short video recap.
If you've never witnessed the winsome Dracula in action, the band is a boy-girl-boy trio that plays (mostly) cover songs. On guitar, you had Eli Oviedo, who costumed himself like a Southern gothic gentleman in black, crying blood. Meanwhile, singer Dorys Bello hid under a sheet and Kian Seara played the saw. The six-song set included two songs from Tim Burton flicks, traditional "Cruel War," "Porque te vas" (see video above), another Spanish one, and even an original about a ghost that likes to eat brain and liver.
Yesterday, Crossfade gave the world a mini-primer to the ex-Chicago, now-Athens outfit that goes by the moniker Bird Names. Often, the recorded output is a dense, swirly slice of happy psychedelia. But as guitarist David Lineal put it last night, the live thing is a little "rootsier." He and bandmate Phelan Lavelle bashed out ditties like "People Should Get More Aware," "Skin," and "Baby's a Lady." They used an acoustic guitar wearing a pair of headphones rigged up as a contact mic and a drum kit cobbled together from a milk cart, cowbell, shredded cymbals, and tom toms covered with Mexican blankets.
Last up, Self & Other laid down four dark and intricate post-punk epics that roared and raged in an uncommonly brainy way. Normally, songs like "Apocalypse Blues," "Power Mad," "Frozen Before My Time, Part II," and "Split the Sea" might feature some screams and singing. But after recurring feedback problems, Ryan, Gabe, and Rob just scorched out instrumental versions. Weird thing: The descent was still über-intense. The guitar, bass, and drums were enough.