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On Friday June 24, I went to the Rendezvous JewelBox Theater to see C'est La Mort, at the recommendation of a friend. Opening for them were Blue Light Curtain, a band I'd seen before back in 2008, and Dirty Sidewalks, a band I'd never heard of.

It'd been so long since I'd seen Blue Light Curtain that effectively they were new to me, though I remembered that I'd rather liked them. This time, I felt they might be harder-edged than when I last saw them, but I definitely liked their shoegazey goodness. They made extensive use of a drum machine in addition to their live drummer, an interesting choice that gave them a heavier sound. But it wasn't all dark and heavy rock, they had a fair amount of ethereal dreampop still in their sound and even a rather dancey number. They recovered nicely from a rare mid-song glitch that caused them to stop and restart a song, and if I had a complaint it was just that the songs tended to end abruptly. I took a (free) copy of their older self-titled EP, and look forward to the new album they said they're working on.

Dirty Sidewalks were a dark psychedelic rock duo on guitar/vocals and bass, with prerecorded drum tracks. I felt their songs had a bit of a metronomic feel as they had to play to the recording, and thought they might do better with the more flexible interplay of a live drummer. Also at times the drum track felt overly busy or full. That said, they did have some nice melodic moments and I liked them.

C'est La Mort were pure goth dreampop, with chime-like swirly guitar and bass that reminded me of (sadly long-gone) Canadian band An April March (whose music can still be found on Last.fm, though ironically the "top track" is by the oft-confused April March). If I'd first seen C'est La Mort ten years ago, I'd probably have fallen hard for them. Instead, their music felt a little too old and unoriginal (or, to be fair, perhaps they just reminded me too much of my beloved An April March). The lead singer's voice also felt a bit weak, with flat rather than expressive delivery. However, I did still enjoy their set, and feel they'd be worth seeing again. Checking their website, their debut album Empty Words Fill Lonely Spaces only just came out last year, so they may yet further develop their style and come into their own. 

Lighting in the Rendezvous JewelBox Theater is notoriously poor (well, I presume it's notorious; it's certainly routinely poor at concerts), and so I ended up with a mere four photos from this show that I felt were worth saving, which you can see on Flickr


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The List: June 2011

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