Favorite

Sea Nanners peel off a Round Three win 

The eccentric indie rockers join the finals lineup; Round Four this Thursday.

click to enlarge ae_feature1-1.jpg

Oh no.

I'm starting to fear we programmed these semi-final rounds a little too well.

For the second week in a row, the night's winner made the cut by a razor-thin margin and even the last place band wasn't far behind on the scoreboard.

Ultimately, energetic, up-and-coming indie rockers Sea Nanners took the night after a dynamic set of recklessly sweet, driving anthems that sound right in place in the taste-making musical corners of the blogosphere. In fact, it's hard not to see Nanners' planned mid-April release of their debut 7" ("Queen of the Brodeo") as a knock at that very door. The sound — driving, jittered and tethered around vocalist Thom Asewicz's wildly inventive, contorted vocals and melody lines — would be right at home alongside current critical darlings. No doubt there are similarities to be found between Sea Nanners and whatever noises are "in" right now, but it seems Thursday night's winners have sprung from entirely different reference points than, say, Cloud Nothings or The Drums. The strong overtones of '80s-era Springsteen and college rock progenitors The Feelies give the band a unique voice that sets it apart from its peers, national and otherwise.

Speaking of unique voices, the nudie-suited 10 Horse Johnson, country and western's answer to Tenacious D, opened the night with a torrent of songs about kissing Ned Beatty, the poor Reno-ite who ended up on the wrong side of Sue's bullet and guitarist Dover's wife. All replete with shoutouts to "Prozac Nation" author Elizabeth Wurtzel.

Self-avowed cover band Brown Soul Shoes traded in the soul standards it's known for and took to a set of originals with spectacular musicianship. Big, fat props are due to frontman/multi-instrumentalist Michael McDonald, whose booming, gospel-inflected vocals not only won over the crowd, but were praised by the night's panel of judges.

Also winning over the judges: Ezra Lbs, the endearing '90s slack-rock throwback act that nearly edged out the night's competition despite playing in front of a thinned-out house. In fact, judge Andy Warr's notes on the band gradually became a string of single words and exclamation marks. ("Damn! Rockin'! Kick! Ass! I wanna steal them!")

Round four is 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at Stickyz. The lineup:

Mandy McBryde and the Unholy Ghost. For years Mandy McBryde has been a steady source of acerbic, witty updates on traditional country music, but now the local songwriter is taking a shot at electrified country rock with help from her new backing band, the Unholy Ghost. But her sly humor still takes center stage with songs like "Loretta," which sees the Coal Miner's Daughter as a guiding spirit during a catfight at Midtown Billiards.

Think: A smart-assed Loretta Lynn for the Facebook era.

Thunder Thieves. Truth be totally told, we know precious little about this band from the Pop. 314 village of Perry, Arkansas. We're not even sure we're spelling "Thieves" the intended way. (Their application is under "Thunder Theifs") Over the phone, our contact is coy and on the internet, the band is un-Googleable. But with songs as cool and vitriolic as the lo-fi washed, angular "Forget My Taste," we're more than happy to embrace the mystery.

Think: If Cage the Elephant was indie-blog cool. (Or The Strange Boys.)

Ginsu Wives. Probably the most established band of this year's showcase, Ginsu Wives have spent years honing their unhinged dance (post-)punk sound and branding it with disturbing, sometimes hilarious iconography that's too N.S.F.Life. to print in these pages. Fiercely experimental and usually in some degree of undress, if your mind isn't blown after their show, we promise your jaw will be dropped.

Think: Drugs. Tom Tom Club, Public Image Ltd. and Funkmaster Flex doing drugs and filthy things to each other on drugs.

The Safe and Sounds. Filling a last-minute opening in this week's line-up, The Safe and Sounds hail from Conway and, like the college town itself, offers a great mix of jam choogle alongside decidedly indie hooks and instrumentation. Currently, the four are putting the finishing touches on an upcoming album, expected to drop April 1.

Think: If Modest Mouse drafted Trey Anastasio instead of Johnny Marr.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of...

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by John Tarpley

  • The Beatles anew

    Daniel Whelan's remixes expose hidden treasure in the Fab Four's catalog.
    • Aug 17, 2016
  • Walter was the worst

    But Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, the Danettes and Steve Winwood wow at Verizon Arena.
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • A new era for Riverfest

    In its 38th year, Little Rock's annual summer music festival reinvents itself.
    • Jun 2, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in A&E Feature

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: On "Beyond Scared Straight"

    • I need to find a scared straight program for my 14 yr old daughter here…

    • on July 20, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation