More on round three of the Showcase | Rock Candy

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More on round three of the Showcase

Posted By on Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 1:42 PM

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Joe Yoder of the See. Photo by Brian Chilson.
A blog crash put me behind. This week, I'll be more prompt.

The Showcase might've gotten Girl Talked a bit last Thursday, but no matter, no riders-of-the-zeitgeist DJs are scheduled for March 6. That's the finals. Mark your calendars, people!

Those who were down the street sweating their faces off won’t want to miss the See (Tyler Nance, Dylan Yelenich  and Joe Yoder), again. The band, as our guest judge Rob Bell said, plays "indie rock like it was meant to be played." That is, with the right touches of dissonance and melody. With a drummer, who pounded the hell out of his kit without being too fussy. With big vocals and the most hyperactive bassist/keyboardist in Little Rock. Hell, there was even non-ironic fist-pumping (see above).

But as it was and always will be, the other acts were no slouches.

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Four on the Floor. Photo by Brian Chilson.

Before Four on the Floor even took the stage at 9 p.m. (early by rock ’n’ roll standards), its members were posing for pictures with fans. When I got up to make my introduction, 100 or so crowded around the stage and nearly shouted me down. When the band unleashed its hard rock fury, its fans started bobbing around and singing along. Between the first and second songs, they chanted the band’s name.
Metal will never die.

Especially with bands taking Four on the Floor’s considered approach. The group borrows equally from the Judas Priest-era hard rock and the post-grunge of Layne Staley acolytes. Guitarist Charlie Page, in the role of Jimmy’s long lost cousin, offered up plenty of Guitar Hero tricks, and lead man E.C. Haynes strutted and punched the air in time with drum fills, generally transfixing our judges, who seemed to appreciate the band only slightly less than the audience. Judge Nicole Boddington said, approvingly, that her “face melted off” somewhere during the band’s set.


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Lydia Washburn of Style Guide. Photo by Brian Chilson.

Style Guide followed, showing sharp improvement from its debut. Jeremy Brasher’s stuttering synth-beats continues to star, but the moody vocals of Erin Lang and Lydia Washburn seem poised to make this electro-pop trio a must-see act in the near future.
Judge Jason Tedford said Brasher’s “awesome, New Wave synth beats” made him “want to dance, even though [he] never dances,” but he said he’d like to hear “more harmony vocals.” 607 echoed several judges when he said, they seemed “a bit inhibited.”

Stage presence comes with stage time. Here’s betting at the band’s next gig, at Cool Shoes on Feb. 27, they’ll be looser.
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Sean West. Photo by Brian Chilson.

Sean West finished with a smooth soul set and a lot of jokes. The judges liked his vocals, but as they have in past weeks, they longed for more than a backing track. But times are hard and bands don’t just materialize over night, particularly for a midnight gig on a work-night that didn’t pay. Still, West convinced a number of talented friends to lend a hand. Osyrus helped out on West’s new radio-ready single “Bourgeois Hoes.” Epiphany guested on the duo’s “Loafaz and Lacez,” which Jason Weinheimer called “a highlight of the Showcase.” Jazz saxophonist J. White even made an appearance.

More pics after the jump.


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The See. Photo by Brian Chilson.

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EC Haynes and Al Martin in Four on the Floor. Photo by Brian Chilson.

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Charlie Page of Four on the Floor. Photo by Brian Chilson.

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Lydia Washburn and Erin Lang of Style Guide. Photo by Brian Chilson.

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Jeremy Brasher of Style Guide. Photo by Brian Chilson.

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Sixstring and Sean West. Photo by Brian Chilson.

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Sean West and Sixstring. Photo by Brian Chilson.

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