Luckily, I had the Empty Bottle’s first show of 2012, which I attended with my friends JPLF and AA, to warm my soul, or something.
Famous Laughs was the first act of the night. Though Jake Acosta didn’t have any stage presence to speak of – I didn’t realize that the show had started for several minutes – his dreamy electronic space-scapes were the perfect soundtrack to the biting weather.
There is something raw and present about this kind of electro-experimental music that I love. It’s not so much music as it is an experience. Neither the audience nor the performer knows exactly what will come next. Also, he looped his vocals, and I have a weakness for that.
Next up was Mines. The vocalist was feeding his voice through a Fender ’63 Reverb unit and running that through a Twin Reverb reissue, creating a funky voice gimmick that worked… for the first few songs. By the end of the set, the fuzzed-out vocals became grating. Otherwise, though, the upbeat tunes kept my head bobbing. I appreciated the trio's obvious enthusiasm and the communication between band members. They never lost their cool, even when the bassist broke a string,
Color Card brought an Omnichord onstage and I almost lost my shit. I have Nerd Love for Omnichords. They also have a spiffy-looking, bespectacled drummer.
Their experimental, upbeat-but-not-quite-enough-to-dance-to tunes had me standing and swaying and tapping my foot. As with Mines, their vocal style underwhelmed me, but I think practice and variety could smooth that out.
Color Card is playing another free show with Grandeurs this Sunday, January 8, at the Whistler, so be sure to stop by and check them out.