Morningbell celebrates fifth studio release at Double Down

Gainesville's Morningbell with, from left, Chris Hillman, Stacie Atria, Travis Atria and Eric Atria, performs Friday at Double Down Live. (COURTESY OF MORNINGBELL)

Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 6:57 p.m.

For those who haven't heard of the local Beatles cover band, The Shoddy Beatles, here is the shakedown. They're great; true to the music, fine musicians and fairly affable before and after performances. But that's really not the reason people should be going to Friday night's show at Double Down. The real reason is Morningbell; something has happened to them over the past few months that seems to have sparked their enhanced musical prowess.

With most members being in their late 20s and early 30s, and taking into account how long they've been an active Gainesville band (roughly 8 years now), it would be easy to assume that they may have lost a bit of their hunger. This is not the case with Morningbell.

Walking into a Morningbell show these days is comparable to watching 18-year-old musical prodigies; they get downright giddy. With lead singer Travis Atria's witty quips, there's never a lull between songs. The light show, controlled by Travis's older brother and Morningbell's bassist, Eric, is simple yet fitting. Well rehearsed and musically tight, the songs flow together so well that by the end of a set, audience members appear to be lost in some sort of indescribable musical ecstasy.

Friday night's show is particularly special for Morningbell because the band is celebrating its fifth studio release, “Basso Profundo.” As always, the production is sonically stunning and local (it was recorded at their personal studio). The opening track, “You Think I Don't Know, But I Know,” is a jolting introduction to this modern take on their soul and Motown influences. Sophisticated guitar and bass hooks bounce energetically around Hillman's steady drumming, in the background Stacie Atria's well-thought-out organ parts surround the rest of the music like a warm blanket. There's even a saxophone solo in it; what more could you ask for?

Out of all the bands coming from Gainesville, Morningbell is the one that deserves its attention the most. The group will be joined by stomp-rock-folk master Lauris Vidal, and of course the incomparable Shoddy Beatles (which also features the Atria brothers) at Double Down Live on Friday starting at 9 p.m.

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If your musical interests are more along the electronica lines, pop into The Laboratory to see the Daft Punk/MGMT hybrid Dream Love, the noise-rock-sometimes-a-duo Tree Hopping, and the three-piece-freakout Praything on Friday at 9:30 p.m.

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But if you've just got that hankering for some good, old-fashioned punk music that you can dance to, stop on by and check out The Lunars, Apollo Fallout and Shark's Teeth at 10 p.m. Friday at 1982 Bar.

Contact Scott Kauffmann at

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