Towering 'indie' rock and high-voltage covers


Published: Thursday, January 4, 2007 at 10:25 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 4, 2007 at 10:25 a.m.

For most of my life, my birthday unfortunately coincided with a return to school after a much-appreciated winter break. Luckily, the 10 days between Christmas and Jan. 4 allowed enough time for friends and family to get their next paycheck, throwing the "I'm broke" excuse out the window.

Kyle: 1. Education system: 0.

I already shared my wish list with all of you, so I'll resign myself to taking whatever

presents are already up for grabs small, unmarked, non-sequential bills are also nice, if anyone's offering.

The first two things I'll try to get my hands on will be on separate stages Saturday night.

Towers of Hanoi will be playing at The Atlantic, along with Fiya, Die Hoffnung and Laserhead.

Towers of Hanoi moves me, period. There's a fair number of female-fronted/male-backed bands out there, and, frankly, most of them make me want to stick pencils in my ears. The ones who try to do it with indie rock emphasis on rock are usually the worst.

Having a woman step in to a male-dominated genre is a dicey game to play. She has to perform to a much higher standard than a man. It's a completely unfair expectation, but that's simply how it is at this point in time.

Rachel Whitton just so happens to be one of the few who force you to completely forget what you expected. Her vocals let you feel the words rather than simply hear it.

Naturally, it would all be wasted if not for the talent behind her on the stage. The surrounding music comes out like a speed-racer tightrope, and some of those guitar licks are just so catchy and fun, you might foolishly mistake them for pop if they stood alone.

If birthday luck strikes right, I'll be able to make a quick jaunt up Main Street in time to catch Sin City at Backstage Lounge.

Sin City bills themselves as a tribute band, but I'm calling them a one-track AC/DC cover band.

It may be petty, but a band that doesn't even put their Angus (Young) in schoolboy shorts doesn't qualify for "tribute" status, in my opinion.

I'll give them a pass on the outfits, simply because any band with a German man who sounds almost exactly like Brian Johnson deserves one. I don't know how his Bon Scott is, but it can't be bad.

Now, I'm not much of one for cover bands. Even if they sound just like them, I probably have the album already, so there's no reason to pay at the door. But ask anyone who's ever seen AC/DC play live, and they'll tell you: even a shadow of that performance is a damn good time. It's just one of those bands you don't have a choice about liking, so there's no reason not to go out and have some fun.

Okay, so I might have one request for my birthday: I don't care too much for American football, as evidenced by my using its proper name ("football" is the word for what some call "soccer"). But I'd really like to see the Gators pulverize the Buckeyes into a fine paste on Monday.

Anyone who cares to go out to see the game, minus the sports-bar atmosphere, can stop by Common Grounds and check it out for free.

I'll take my last present on Tuesday at 1982, where Whiskey Binge McKinney and No More will be playing an all-ages show with Rise or Rust and Vincent Valentine.

Punk rock had a really bad name in its early days before softening up a bit in the early '90s. Happily, Whiskey Binge McKinney is here to bring back that bad name.

I've only had the pleasure of seeing these young lads play twice before, and both times, I hope they didn't drive themselves home. Good, wholesome drunk punk is a sight to behold.

A life lived on ramen noodles and beer lends itself to making good punk rock. It's a heartwarming throwback to the days before Billie Joe Armstrong and his type, who sing of hard times while arriving at their concerts in a limo.

I'm not trying to say this is the best thing you'll ever hear. But it's real.

Tomorrow night at The Side Bar, be sure to check out Stevie D and the No Shows, who will be playing with the John McMillan Band, Together at Last and Building Rockets.

On Saturday at 1982, Electrionic SubSouth presents the 18th installment of their electronic music concert series with a host of IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) acts, featuring Elijah B Torn, The Flight Orchestra, Neuborn and R.Garcia & The Nerd Parade.

Skip ahead to Tuesday night at The Atlantic to find The Horror playing with Landmines, Ceasar & Godseeker and Fire on the Mountain. I really can't recommend The Horror enough to make it clear how good they are.

Finally, on Wednesday at Common Grounds, I have to give a nod to one band on name alone: Harry and the Potters. I don't care how much of a dork it makes me, but those movies are great. They're joined by Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin. I can't honestly say what you'll get, but, with those names, you might as well try.

Reach Kyle Mitchell at quieteidolon@gmail.com

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