The one time I saw Dallasís The Deathray
Davies, I was totally impressed. I really liked their take
on the garage rock/new wave sound. Furthermore, I was quite
taken at their display of energy and skill, especially considering
the turnout for the show was negligible. In any event, when
I saw that they were coming back to Atlanta, I knew I had to
go see this band again, even though they were the first opening
act on the bill in question. (As a side note, the rating above
are based solely on The Deathray Davies, and possibly Dressy
When The Deathray Davies took the stage that evening, they again played to few people (although the crowd started to fill in as the night progressed). And much like that last time i saw them, The Deathray Davies really shined: they were tight, playing energetically and succinctly. Unlike the last time, you could actually hear the individual components of the band. The bass and drums echoed throughout the bar while the dueling guitars managed to combine the right proportion of echo and reverb, although at times I thought the random theremin bits were a bit overwhelming. But the highlight were John Dufilhoís vocals (which were actually quite audible this time), which allowed me to determine that his lyrical skill actually manages to measure up to his sly song titles. In short, in concert The Deathray Davies are easily one of the best groups that combine gritty neo-British Invasion sound (on songs like The Medicationís Gone) with a more lo-fi indie new wave sound (on songs like They Stuck Me In a Box In the Ground, of which they play parts 2 & 4 on this evening). I was very very sad when they left the stage after only 35 minutes, when it seemed they were really just hitting their stride.
I wasnít familiar with the next band, Dressy Bessy, except by reputation. However, I am aware that one of their members was in Apples In Stereo, and that this band records on Kindercore Records. Based on these facts, I wasnít particularly expecting to like them, and indeed I really didnít. However, I can tell you that their happy pop with the girlish vocals is quite well done. Each instrumentalist played with an extra flourish, which gave their songs a sophistication above most pseudo-twee Iíve heard. That skill caught my attention and kept me occupied, even though itís not music I normally enjoy. Still, if you like bands like Junior Varsity or Elf Power, I think Dressy Bessy would be well worth checking out.
After Dressy Bessy finished playing, their was a break as the headliner, The Moldy Peaches, set up. I looked around The Earl (which had filled up nicely by this point), surveying the crowd and came to the quick conclusion that this was the officially sanctioned Indie Rock Mafia gathering of the evening. Yes, the bar was packed with hipper-than-thou, thrift store clad boys and cute little, black-rimmed glasses wearing girls. I suppose this isnít too surprising, considering the nature of The Moldy Peaches, who always come off as an Indie Rock in-joke.
However, once The Moldy Peaches took the stage, I was quite certain this is an in joke that I just donít get. Iím not sure whatís so amusing about a drugged out male vocalist and costumed, fried, and apparently neurotic female vocalist trading lines about vaginas and penises. Itís 4th grade schoolyard humor at its most juvenile, and the crowd was completely eating it up, cheering on The Moldy Peaches ďhitsĒ like Lucky Number Nine. Of course, Iím certain most of these folks were only laughing and screaming for the spectacle; once a new novelty act du jour comes along, The Moldy Peaches will be discarded and mercifully forgotten. Unfortunately, I couldnít discard them on this evening. I did the next best thing Ė I figured Iíd gotten my moneyís worth from the first band, and decided to cut my losses by leaving.
In summary, then, Iíd explain the evening in the following way. The Deathray Davies were excellent, although Iíd like to see them on a headlining evening, when they can play a nice long set. Dressy Bessy arenít really my type of music, but it was well done and catchy. Theyíre a band Iíd definitely recommend. And you should avoid The Moldy Peaches, unless youíre a sexually frustrated Indie Rocker who thinks that South Park is the height of intellectual humor. All in all, it wasnít a bad evening, but Iíd have certainly reversed the order of the bands.