Gneiss at Red Square and Close Encounters and Binger at The Skinny Pancake June 18, 2016   Leave a comment

Gneiss at Red Square June 18, 2016

Gneiss at Red Square June 18, 2016

 

I had a great day of music yesterday. I began the day by writing up Friday’s epic day of music then had a little bit of time to relax before heading over to the party. I got an invite from Molly and Lauren from Rapid Fire Magazine for a party by the lake in Colchester. My evening was booked with music, but I thought I had enough time to go hang out for an hour or so. I arrived a little after five and met Paul Allison. After a bit Jamie and Anna from Cranial Perch arrived and it was nice to see them again. Gary Lane was there too and we had fun talking about music and living by the lake.

I drove home, then walked downtown and arrived a couple of minutes late for gneiss who were playing at Red Square from 7-11. I missed them the last time they were in town so I felt I really had to put in the effort to see them. Of course, I was nicely rewarded for doing so with the lovely sound of their music. With Naomi Galimidi on keys, Jesse Cowan on 5 string bass, Jacob Blodgett on drums and Johnny Meli on guitar they have an earthy organic flowing sound. The songs felt loosely structured and open to change as the mood struck. Naomi sang some of the time and both her voice and the sound of her keys sounded warm and friendly and just made me want to smile. Jesse’s bass was plucked mightily as he easily navigated each changing flow of the song. Johnny sang some of the songs and has a nice voice and his guitar playing flowed from chords to sweet leads almost effortlessly. One song they played was called ‘Bye Stander (?) and had a nice flow. One song jammed for a while then fell into For What It’s Worth. I think it was Water Is Rising that had some over the top drum work from Jake. A song with the line What A Lovely Day had a bit of an English Prog Rock feel and was a perfect sentiment for a band playing in the alley while the sun steamed down light and heat and their music flowed out into Church st. I hung out for a full set, about an hour or a little more then chatted with the band and got a CD. Yea, more music for my radio show on WBKM

 

Close Encounters at The Skinny Pancake June 18 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Close Encounters at The Skinny Pancake June 18 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

I headed down the hill to The Skinny Pancake and right at 8:30 Close Encounters began playing on the outdoor stage. As you walk into the restaurant there is a little bit of seating to your right and a lot to the left. Just past the seating on the left they have the band set up against the building wall and this seems to be the best setup I’ve seen there. Encounters are a four-piece band with singer/electric guitar, bass, drums, and singer/keyboard player. If you drew a line between jam and indie rock Encounters would be almost exactly half way in between. A lot of the music had a nice flow to it but there was also some hard rocking. One song called Future Ladies had a bit of a disco vibe. The band sounded really good and everyone played well but the drummer was just the star of the show. He just went crazy on every song and I just loved it. They played about 45 minutes and ended with a song called Stolen which rocked hard at the end. It made me happy.

 

Binger at The Skinny Pancake June 18 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

Binger at The Skinny Pancake June 18 2016 pic by Tim Lewis

 

Binger hit the stage at 9:30 with a groove called Now Check Your Pocket. They have such a smooth sound and mix elements of soul and rock and jazz and calypso and lively a few more, yet it sounds beautifully coherent. Shak Ear plays bass and sings and raps. Braden Winslow plays guitar and sings and raps. Dalton Muzzy just plays drums and his playing is subtle and powerful and always on target. The band mostly stuck with songs from the new album Skeptics and a few covers. If I Knew sounded great. I missed the cover song after that. Strings followed and it is such a cool song. As the set unfolded they treated us to a couple of new songs, which were really good. They tossed in covers like Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1 by The Flaming Lips and Breathe by Pink Floyd the latter of which sounded especially great when brought into the Binger sound. Buttonz, from the Roots In The Rabbit Hole, let Shakir really shine. Towards the end of the show they played Resurrection In Sanskrit and I’m pretty sure it was both parts 1 and 2. Either way, Braden’s guitar playing was stellar. I did not catch the name of the song that ended the 90 minute show, but like everything they do, it was a joy to experience.

After the show I said a couple of quick goodbyes and went home and collapsed. It’s been a couple of great days of seeing music and I feel so lucky to be able to put in just a little bit of effort and get so heavily rewarded.

 

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