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My first show in February 2010 was on the 6th at Neumos, with the Album Leaf, Sea Wolf, and Anomie Belle. And honestly, I can't remember why I went to this show. I must've been hearing music by the Album Leaf on KEXP and decided to check them out, given what my very sparse notes say. I didn't jot anything down about Anomie Belle, whose style just doesn't work for me. Sea Wolf was an unremarkable but not bad Southern rock band—at least according to my notes—who turned out to be an "oh, those guys" band, as they finished with "that song". Having looked them up again on Myspace, I'm guessing "that song" was "You're a Wolf", which is actually rather good, and the rest of their songs on Myspace seem to be more folk rock than Southern rock, so I'm not sure what's up with my notes. Finally, the Album Leaf played cool prog/art rock on the mellow side, somewhere between the arty instrumentals of Do Make Say Think and the more pop-rock sound of Minus the Bear. 

My second show in February was a special event, the fifth annual "Dancing on the Valentine" benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, held on Saturday the 13th at the Crocodile. These events feature a bunch of bands covering the songs of a particular artist or group, this year's being David Bowie. The line-up included Hotels, so naturally I went, but also had Lesli Wood of the Redwood Plan doing a set with Aaron Starkey, the bassist (edit: oops, not bassist) guitarist of Spanish for 100. The other bands at the show included Half Acre Day, Peter Parker, Legion Within, Exohxo, Motorik, and Sean Bates. I didn't take any notes at the show besides listing the line-up, so I don't have much to say besides it being a fun time, including a David Bowie look-alike contest. I did however take a lot of photos, which you can see in this set on Flickr.

My last February show was the next Saturday, the 20th, at the Sunset Tavern, and again featured Hotels, this time with Black Mercies opening and the Purrs headlining. Black Mercies sounded pretty good, playing pretty straightforward guitar pop-rock though with very '80s-sounding synth. Their last song, "Sparks in the Darkness", had a groovy bass line and different feel from the rest, which was a nice contrast; I liked it the most of their set. Hotels debuted a new song, "On the Casino Floor," which of course made me very excited, and in all honesty it did sound very good. Finally, I'd seen the Purrs a couple times before, and they've grown on me each time. But here's the thing about the Purrs: half the time they sound like a (stereo)typical bar band, and don't hold my interest, but then they rock out more with a harder/darker sound, sometimes almost shoegaze, and then I think they sound great. That said, I do really like "Miles Away", a bright pop song with a great catchy guitar line. They also played "Taste of Monday", one of the darker ones,  and "Stay Here with Me", which is practically Britpop. 

I'm including March in this post because I went to only two shows, and I've already written one of those reviews: on March 20th I went to see Alabaster at El Corazón, and after a few months' delay got that review done back in August. The other show I went to, on March 4th at the Crocodile, had CMYK headlining, with Hotels, the Fascination Movement, and Noddy. I'd seen all the bands but the Fascination Movement before, so I didn't take many notes. Noddy sounded really good; I recognized that I should've picked up their 2009 release A Seed (which I've just found out is available for free from Noddy's BandCamp page), and this show left me really looking forward to a new release in 2010—Remora, Remora, which came out later in July. Noddy introduced the last song by jokingly claiming "I wrote this song when I was on a lot of coke… sing along if you know it," and went into a cover of Stevie Nick's "Stand Back," jumping down to the floor to sing the lines "in the middle of my room." The Fascination Movement had a strong New Wave feel, evoking New Order and Depeche Mode, and a lead singer who sometimes sounded like Mark Hollis of Talk Talk. They had a good sound and I liked them. Finally, of course I ended up not taking any notes about Hotels or CMYK, as I was much too busy dancing to their great music. I did take some photos, although for no good reason didn't get any of CMYK; you can see what I have in this set on Flickr.


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