Saturday, November 27, 2010

"Please Bring The Flag"

Ever since the ill.fated Blind Faith experience, music critics have scampered to apply the tag, rightfully or not, of supergroup to any conglomeration of musicians with a previous track record, however dubious. Also, what exactly is the line when a 'side project' becomes a 'supergroup'...
Wild Flag is the newest recipient of said tag, & while its members priors certainly range from well regarded to sterling, i still cringe whenever i hear the label.

That aside, it's always a treat to be present at the birth of a band, and watch those first fumbling steps become a cherished memory, or a long forgotten blip on the cultural radar.

Eux Autres started the night with an earnest set of indie pop.

Grass Widow, from San Francisco, (pictured), opened up their own special blend of surf influenced noisy goodness. They threw out a crackling set that marked them as a band to keep an eye on, and their latest album, 'Past Time', came out in August on Kill Rock Stars.

Anticipation reached a fever pitch for the foursome that sprang from the ashes of the hiatus of Sleater Kinney, (Carrie Brownstein & Janet Weiss), along with Rebecca Cole (The Minders), and Mary Timony (Helium).

From the first crashing notes, it became apparent that this was a volatile combination. Brownstein's humble asides, ('we're trying out this whole band thing...'), underlined the fact that it was a work in progress, with space still being worked out for all the members, but when things clicked, (as on the raucous 'Racehorse', it was something special.

Their sound ranges from the uptempo strut of "Romance", (above), to the all out maelstorm of what i believe is called "Glass Tambourine", (below). Breathtaking...Their clutch of original tunes is a nice skeleton for a record...I really can't wait to see where it goes from here.

They fleshed out the set with covers of The Standells "Dirty Water" and The Rolling Stones "Beast Of Burden".
In only their sixth show, Wild Flag has laid the groundwork for some interesting times ahead. They've got a 7'' single forthcoming, and apparently a commitment from Merge Records whenever they feel they have the material. It bodes well if they can harness the sparks of this evening...

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