Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lonnie Walker/Free Electric State/Hammer No More The Fingers (Nightlight, Chapel Hill, 11/18/11)

Here's a few pics and a video from a recent Nightlight show featuring one of my favorite local acts, Lonnie Walker, and two others I hadn't seen yet, Free Electric State and Hammer No More the Fingers. I should have seen the headliner HNMTF much sooner, and unfortunately didn't get any good photos of them this night. But they go balls-to-the-wall for a trio, have a fun sensibility not unlike Weezer, and can get downright funky at times. They've got one foot firmly planted in the old school of indie, but with an emphatic bass and a sometimes somewhat complex interplay between bass & guitar. It's not surprising they've worked with producer J. Robbins (ex-Jawbox, etc.).

Lonnie Walker opened. I've seen them a few times, and you should too. Brian Corum's country-ish twang and manic tales of heartbreak and the road take your brain places, and get your body jumping (as evidenced by the dancing fans in the video and pics below). For all the bands around here with that rootsy, "Americana"-thingy going, they take it where no one else does, IMHO standing head and shoulders above the rest. They remind me of some of the bands on Athens' Ghostmeat Records back in the 90s (Tony Tidwell, Drive By Truckers, The Lures, and Dave Dondero... or really more like his old bands Sunbrain or Flatwheelers before he went solo). Very much kindred spirits with that bunch, anyway.

Meanwhile, relative newcomers Free Electric State filled out the middle of the night with a thunderous, sorta "math rock"-y, BIG sound. They follow the indie old school, too. Dual staccato guitars, stop-starts, unexpected turns, high energy... all that with the male-female vocals kinda reminded me of Versus live. Their songs often build to pleasant, mind-numbing drones that almost (but not quite) hide the many layers used to generate them. All in all a very cathartic live show, and I'd guess as much for them every time they play as for the audience.

Lonnie Walker...

Free Electric State...

Lonnie Walker doing "Summertime"... sorry the vid's a bit dark; the original wasn't before it was dumped to YouTube.

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