The Buddha Den

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

Friday, August 29, 2008

Yakuza Heart Attack/Southeast Engine/Jesse Remnant/Cry Baby Genius @ Pearl 8.28.08

...with the hordes gathered yet again last evening for the monthly Squids Eye Records showcase at Pearl, we walked in to catch opener Cry Baby Genius (aka Mike Payne, who also serves as drummer for Andrew & the Pretty Punchers and The Judy Blooms). Releasing his debut on this night, Cry Baby Genius prowled the stage area in a nearly trance-like state as his distinct cadence spilled out over the beats. At his most impassioned, CBG nearly tore out his own soul to get across to his audience. By the end of the set however, a failed attempt at a new track gave way to a playful freestyle that proved that while Cry Baby Genius may be intense, he still knows how to get a party started...

...although we've loved his debut record since it came out, this was the first opportunity we'd had to see Jesse Remnant live. With the no less a backing band than 3/4 of Shrug, Remnant's summery pop melodicism absolutely shined on this night. Although tuning issues seemed to plague Remnant for a large part of the set, it was overshadowed by his band's consummate musicianship, in particular the multi-instrumental showcase by Eric Cassidy. From the Beach Boys-flavored harmonies, to the GBV-style brevity, Remnant & co. delivered a set of flawless indie pop that has us hoping for more appearances very soon....

...on a rare Dayton appearance, a new stripped-down version of Southeast Engine stepped into the void and ushered in a set of powerful, earthy tunes. Although guitarist Adam Remnant seemed somewhat self-conscious on this performance by the quartet, he still propelled the band into a rousing set that had the audience dancing and singing along throughout. One of the highlights of the set was a song performed for the first time last night that featured an extended piano duet between Remnant and keyboardist Michael Lachman which served as an hypnotic diversion from the rollicking rocker that bookended the piece. We're looking for that one to appear on their Daytrotter session soon....

...closing out the evening, the long-awaited return of Yakuza Heart Attack drew a sizable crowd to their feet and the responded with their trademark high-octane nintendo prog in full force. While the band seemed a bit hesitant early on, the crowd's unwavering adulation seemed to fuel the band and they settled in and delivered the electronic equivalent of a classical masterpiece. As keyboardists Keith Rankin and Matt Emmons veered between incredibly inventive melodic themes and severe dissonance, the rhythm section of Justin Baker on bass and Chris Mengerink on drums provided a muscular backbone to the compositions. We can only hope that we don't have to wait another year to catch Yakuza Heart Attack again....

Black and white photography credits to Marla Bremer. For more photos from the night, go here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

170+ dayton music fans can't be wrong!

2:38 AM  

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