Monday, September 5, 2011

it's okay to dance... really

Why is it that so many people appear to be allergic to dancing at concerts? Even at it's most simple form - swaying back and forth - people keep their distance as if it were the black plague. I'm so happy to report that that wasn't the case last Friday night.

I journeyed 10 minutes southeast of home to attend KEXP's final installation of their Concerts at the Mural series. It's a wonderful set of free events that the station produces not only showcasing some great national and international artists but also gives a stage to up-and-coming local acts. The four bands that played this past weekend all have roots in the Pacific Northwest - 2 Seattle bands, 1 from Portland and one act out of Nashville originally from Seattle. While the vibe for the entire evening maintained a healthy level of communal enjoyment, the shining moment of the evening was Pickwick's set.

Pickwick, a relatively new band based in the Emerald City, does not fall in line with the neo-folk/harmony driven/beard growing contingent that is heavily reverberating out of Seattle right now. The band's sonic aesthetic is not as easy to draw out. While the knee-jerk assessment would point to influences of soul and R&B (which are absolutely present), the instrumentation is a little more difficult to categorized. Disston's vocals have shades of Motown and the specific use of keyboard (frequently utlizing organ samples) accentuates their gospel tendencies, but the guitar lines don't always follow those same guidelines and there isn't single horn in their lineup. Regardless, the combination gets Seattle indie rock fans grooving.

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