The Buddha Den

Everything you wanted to know about the Dayton music scene and more but were afraid to ask

Friday, June 20, 2008

Towhee/Hospital Garden/Electric Banana/Mascot @ Pearl 6.19.08's difficult to say for sure whether the closing of Nite Owl has really affected music-going in Dayton, but from recent turnouts on Thursday nights at Pearl, it would seem that the lack of quality weekend shows in recent months has turned the Pearl into the de facto weekend show on Thursday nights. Steady turnouts for all manner of shows bears this out, and last night was no exception...

...after a short opening set by Mascot, new buzz band Electric Banana whipped into the Pearl to lay down their self-proclaimed "fuck music" for the kids. The duo clearly seem more concerned with shredding than with quality backing tracks, as their drum-and-bass tracks were called up using a Discman. After struggling through the first half of the set with PA issues, the guitars finally cut through and by the time the band reached the climax of their set with the title track of their Denim on Denim album, Electric Banana were finally able to deliver on the promise of the recorded material. While much of their act relies on schtick and swagger that suggests the band may be little more than another Tenacious D, the fact remains that Billy Blanco and Jimmy Spade can shred on their guitars. The pair also know how to serve up jams that crack and smile and get heads banging simultaneously (see "The Mexican Jam", a tale of l'amour at the local Mexican joint) that get people up and moving. We'd like to think that as Electric Banana puts in a few more hours that we'll see these guys outstrip the gimmicks and seriously make a mark on the local scene. We're gonna keep an eye on these guys and we recommend you do the same... up were one of our favorite newer bands, Hospital Garden. The only other time we'd caught them, the PA was simply no match for the band's sound and the vocals never broke through. On this night, however, the vocals of Lucas came through clearly and the plaintive, earnest vocal delivery recalled everything from Alex Chilton to Paul Westerberg to Conor Oberst. The rhythm section of Sarah and Ian Spencer nailed down the structure as Lucas slashed across the tunes with utterly fuzzed out bursts. As this band continues to solidify, we highly recommend that you try and check them out...

...closing out the evening was one of Dayton's best-kept secrets, Towhee. Why this band continues to remain at the fringes of the local scene baffles us, as on this night their mastery of indie pop music was in full display. Between the stunning melodic guitar interplay of Brandon and Valen to the solid dance beats laid down by Josh to the solid, yet incredibly playful bass lines laid down by Sarah, Towhee is a band that begs to break through. The band are currently wrapping up their second album and we can't wait to hear it....

For more photos from the evening, go here.

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