March 27th, 2006

March bonus concert: Bethurum Collective at Chop Suey

The standout band of the March concert was Beehive. When I spoke to David Miller of Beehive after the show, he mentioned that their next show would be tonight (March 26) at Chop Suey; I enjoyed their set so much that I decided I should try to catch them again tonight.

Unfortunately, I misjudged - I knew they were on first and that the doors opened at 8, so I thought they'd go on at 9. If I'd been smart enough to check their website, I'd have known they started at 8:30. As a result, I only caught their last three songs, though that was better than nothing. I nearly didn't go in to the show, too, doubting whether I wanted to spend the money to get in when I'd knew I'd already mostly missed the set I wanted to see. Once again, though, I learned that it's always worthwhile to go to the show, as I discovered yet another cool new band.

First though I had to sit through Bobcats, a duo who may not have even been born when the 80s synthpop they play was at its height. It was a little freaky, actually, just how perfectly their sound and dress style was 25 years out of place. They were quite competent and enthusiastic, but their shouted vocal style grated on me, and I also felt they weren't bringing anything of their own to the music. Still, they deserved some cheering on just for getting up there and doing their thing, particularly in the face of a sparse, disinterested audience - a bunch of people who'd obviously come for Beehive left during the Bobcats set, and only a dozen or so people remained for the rest of the evening.

Next up though was a band new to me, The Bethurum Collective, and they proved more than worth sitting through the Bobcats' set. They appeared as a trio, featuring Didi on vocals, Evan on acoustic bass viol, and Benjamin on keyboard/sequencer/samples. When I spoke to Didi after the show, she mentioned that they usually have a DJ/turntablist as well, Jacedo. Their style falls into the acid jazz/downbeat subgenres - which is to say either hip lounge jazz with an electronic breakbeat and samples, or else jazz-influenced breakbeat. (This is probably a good place to recommend Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music - on the main page click "Downtempo," and then over on the right in the "Chillout" group you'll find both downbeat and acid jazz.) Didi has a lovely singing voice that's perfect for their musical style, Evan's bass pizzicato is impressively fast and precise, and Benjamin's keyboard riffs and sequencing are spot-on. I'm curious to hear what turntablist Jacedo adds to the mix. I really enjoyed the set and will be looking for future show dates by the band.

Finally the evening ended with DJ Collage, who turned out to be a rapper, not a DJ. I don't understand that either. He raps in the reggae/dub-influenced style, which isn't normally my thing (I'm not much into rap in general, though I do appreciate a lot of it now). However, I'd stayed that long already and I didn't want to walk out on him, with so few people left in the audience, and after a bit I found that I was getting into the groove and enjoying it. Although I won't be looking for further performances by him, I'll be willing to stay through future ones should he be part of some other show I'm attending.

Coming up in April, I'm definitely going to see Ladytron at Neumos on Wednesday the 26th; I haven't yet checked the listings to see if there's anything else I'll want to catch in April. And I'm really excited that Joe Jackson has announced tour dates, and will be coming to Seattle on Tuesday, June 20th, playing the Moore Theatre. Can't wait for that!