Celebrate 2004 with 2012

Adam Snyder, former keyboardist for Mercury Rev, will perform Tuesday night at Market Street Pub.

Courtesy of Adam Snyder
Published: Friday, January 2, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 1, 2004 at 11:42 p.m.

First things first. Welcome to 2004. Here we are, three years into the 21st century and still no flying cars. I, for one, feel extremely gypped.

Anyway, while Hogtown does quiet down over the holidays, there are still plenty of worthy shows going on.

Let's start with the weekend. If you're a regular reader of this column, you probably know I'm rather fond of the band 2012. The quartet, which takes its name from the year in the Mayan calendar when things are supposed to really shake up, is playing Saturday night at Eddie C's.

If you like inventive modern rock with tasty guitar licks, thought-provoking lyrics and layered melodies and countermelodies, then look no further. But don't get the wrong idea; 2012 isn't math rock. Put simply, these four dudes rock.

Never more than a few feet away from his ever-wise rubber sidekick T.O.B.I.E. (Talking Oracle Baby Inciting Evolution), singer-keyboardist George O'Brien belts out some of the most interesting songs I've heard on a Gainesville stage.

We're not talking tunes about cars and girls here. O'Brien's lyrics tend toward the cerebral, with mystical topics and a smidgen of contemplative absurdity thrown in for good measure.

Chet Honeycutt's riff mastery far exceeds the pentatonic drudgery many of us who play the six-string tend to fall back upon; it perfectly complements the music without cluttering it up. The rhythm section of bassman Eric Liebner and drummer Arturo Escamilla kicks ass, pure and simple.

And what would a 2012 gig be without dancers? Often accompanied by the lovely belly dancers Sisters of the Moon, the boys have of late featured a lone Goth dancer by the name of Jen.

Remember, the shake-up is only eight years away.

Also on the bill is Mr. Ainsworth. Eddie C's is at 1315 S. Main St.

To split from a critically acclaimed band at the height of its success might seem a little nuts, but that's just what keyboardist Adam Snyder did.

Snyder, a New Yorker who most recently played with psychedelic tricksters Mercury Rev, contributed to one of the great albums of the late '90s, "Deserter's Songs." After touring the world with Mercury Rev, he decided to pursue a solo career.

His debut solo album, "Across the Pond," was released in the U.K. to critical acclaim about a year ago.

Snyder is playing Tuesday night at Market Street Pub, along with a plethora of local acts.

After relocating to south London to record "Across the Pond," which includes contributions from the Rev's Grasshopper, as well as Ken Stringfellow of the Posies and R.E.M., he hit the road.

The result is a folksy, Americana sound, reminiscent of Neil Young and groups such as Wilco.

Also on this bill are Thick as Thieves, Swayze, Rob McGregor and Witness the Fitness.

In this writer's humble opinion, local songsmith McGregor alone is worth the price of admission, which is a paltry $3.

Market Street Pub is at 120 SW 1st Ave.

There's something mysterious going on over at Eddie C's Tuesday night. A band calling itself The Black Stripes, who claim to be from Helsinki, Finland, is playing along with Gainesville acts Hazel Levy and Hoyt & the Hotheads.

I have been unable to get any information on this enigmatic group, but I can tell you with complete conviction that both local acts are great.

Levy is a soulful performer with carefully crafted, intimate songs and an independent mind. Her guitar-picking skills are tasteful yet subdued, adding an ethereal backdrop to her confessionary singing voice. For somebody who spends most of her day in a white lab coat playing with test tubes and microscopes, she's an amazing musician.

Hoyt Walston, the singer-songwriter-guitarist who fronts the Hotheads, is a fixture on the local open-mic circuit, and his songs, with flavors of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and John Lennon, are a refreshing alternative to the screamo music that tends to dominate the scene.

With his coke-bottle glasses and disheveled mop of hair, Walston looks a bit like a cross between Roy Orbison and an English professor. His lyrics are biting and intelligent, and the music is solid folk rock. Expect to see more on Hoyt in a future column.

Merry New Year.

Contact Douglas Jordan at douwiljor@yahoo.com.

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