The Buddha Den

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

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Buddha Den Presents: Andrew & the Pretty Punchers/Soft Targets/Towhee @ Canal Street Tavern 9.17.08

...with much of Daytonia still in the grip of darkness from the recent electrical outages, we gathered last night at Canal Street Tavern for The Buddha Den Presents. Opening the evening were the always-impressive Towhee. Armed with a handful of newer tunes earmarked for their next release, the band moved between their disco-inflected passages and nuanced restraint. Although the band may draw strong (and deserved) comparisons to Death Cab for Cutie, their range is simply much broader and should most certainly be examined further by music lovers far and wide... up we had Soft Targets, out on tour from Tallahassee, FL in support of their new album, Heavy Rainbows. Immediately we realized this was a band of incredible musicians, as bassist/keyboardist Nate Sadler effortlessly pounded out lines on the Rhodes while holding down the low end and adding pitch-perfect harmonies all the while. With lead vocal duties being split between all three members, the set never got stylistically stale. Throughout their set, the band walked the line between the impeccable pop craftsmanship of Spoon and the jazzier incarnations of Steely Dan. In the end, we were feeling a bit too much of the yacht rock vibe to be totally in love with the band, but the handful of songs that really got us were enough to keep us attached...

...closing out the evening, perennial Dayton-faves Andrew & the Pretty Punchers brought the requisite small-town catharsis that is their stock-in-trade. Although relatively loose on this evening, the band still mustered an intensity and dynamic range that continues to expand with each performance. With several new songs in tow, the band continues to refine their everyman-singalongs as the hooks become more potent, but less obvious. Likewise, the band's new slower dirge-like number allows the band to further expand their range, all the while retaining their ability to hold the audience enraptured. Yet again on this night, A&TPP proved that they are indeed one of the best bands in the current Dayton crop...

For more photos from the evening, go here.

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