Sunday, March 11, 2007

Filling in the Blanks Part 2: Canada, Page France, Margot & The Nuclear So and Sos - Beat Kitchen 3/9

Second in my attempt to revisit shows I saw this year but failed to blog about at the time - some of this post was actually composed shortly after the show, but never finished.

I took indie rock Jason (from here on referred to as IRJ) to the Beat Kitchen to see Canada and Page France (Margot and the Nuclear So & Sos were headlining, but I wasn't so much there to see them).

I thought I had never been to the Beat Kitchen and was excited to check out one of the few venues in Chicago I haven't seen, but after getting there I was fairly certain that I saw Starflyer 59 there some 10 or more years ago. I was very happy with the venue in that parking was easy within a block.

I arrived a few minutes before the schedule 10pm start time and was disappointed to find Canada already in the middle of a song. Who starts a show early? I had only become familiar with this band earlier in the week in anticipation of the show. I like quite a few of the tracks from their album "This Cursed House" and like them even better live. They've got a fun setup with 2 cellists, xylophone, keyboard, tambourines, and guitar/bass/drums. They do some very nice stuff instrumentally and I find myself wishing they did more instrumental numbers. The closest comparison I can come up with The Danielson Familie on prozac.

Page France came on shortly after, with a very similar setup and MO (more xylophone), but much more upbeat. I came to this band through Pitchfork and was instantly smitten. I've since come to the conclusion that they are somewhat Christian (they're playing Cornerstone this summer). While their lyrics make unique and regular use of Christian imagery (and make up quite a bit of their own), their never seems to be any message (this is a good thing in my book). They put on an excellent, all to be brief, set made up of about 1/2 songs I knew and 1/2 I didn't. The biggest disappointment was the female vocals were not nearly loud enough. The band was clearly enjoying themselves. Canada joined them at the end for a number with lots of handclaps, tambourines, and a drum circle. Fun stuff - can't wait to see them again.

I tried to stay for Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos. I've heard such good things about them. I listened to a bit of their latest album but it didn't really grab me. I stayed through one song, but if this band is going to hook me, it's probably not going to be a midnight with a mostly inattentive crowd.

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