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The 4-Qs, Comfort Clouds, Leah Lou and the Two Left Shoes, and The Singular at Thursday’s Lounge, December 10th by jason
December 15, 2010, 12:22 pm
Filed under: Shows | Tags: , , , ,

I was really excited to see this show. As I’m mentioned before, I’m friends with members of The 4-Qs and the Singular, and I’ve always been a fan of almost everything that comes out of Bark and Hiss Records, Comfort Clouds included. So I was pretty much guaranteed to have a good time.

I’ve been to Thursday’s Lounge many times before-most recently, this Halloween-but I’ve never been there when a band was on. I was actually kind of surprised…I didn’t realize that they did shows there. As a venue, it’s just OK. The Band plays on the dance floor, and there’s lots of room to sit around the bar, but not much room to stand. The place wasn’t packed, but it was crowded enough that I felt like I was being a nuisance when I moved to the front to take pics. And while the acoustics of the room were fantastic, the sound guy’s levels were wrong, and there was some feedback and some unintentional distortion that blemished the show a little.

When I got there, the 4-Qs were playing. I saw these guys about four months ago, and I mentioned that they seemed a little awkward because they had just gone through a line-up change. Well, whatever the issue was, they’ve worked it out. Most of the songs I heard rocked, with Kristen Casale playing guitar and singing angrily into the mic (in one song, about how much she hated food service) while Nicky Mortensen sang more soothing backing vocals and knitted, though occasionally, Nicky took lead vocals. Oh, yeah. Nicky knits on stage. Anyway, besides some sound problems that made the keyboards sound tinny, it was a good set with lots of energy and some clever stage banter.

The 4-Qs, Live at...the Knitting Factory?

I have to be honest…this next band was a huge reason a made it to this show. As I’ve said, I love all the Bark and Hiss stuff, and I’ve been listening to Comfort Clouds since they were called Dinomania. They didn’t disappoint. Besides the aforementioned sound problems, they pretty much sound like they do in the studio, with their slightly dreamy approach to indie pop. It was funny, because I never realized who made up this band, but I should have known that because it is a Bark and Hiss production, I would see some familiar faces, like Michael Tolan from Talons’ and Trouble Books on guitar and Jen Court, also from these bands, on clarinet and sax. Like I said, if you like their album, you’ll like the stage show. I love the album.

Comfort Clouds...dreamy pop.

The third act, Leah Lou and the Two Left Shoes, really surprised me. At first, I was worried they would be too gimmicky, with Leah bringing out a wooden box to stand in so she could do percussion with the one tap shoe she wore. I was about to say “get the fuck out” until she started singing. With a little help from the sound guy figuring out the issues that hurt the previous performances, she put on a hell of a show. She’s got kind of a folky thing going…it reminded me of Jessica Lea Mayfield, but sweeter. I was really disappointed that she wasn’t selling an album there because I would have picked it up without even making sure I had money for gas for the trip home. I have a feeling that she’s going to be a thing in the next few years.

Leah Lou and the Two Left Shoes: the biggest surprise of the show.

And finally, the headliner of the show, The Singular, came on. As you know, I really like the Singular, and, like Comfort Clouds, these guys sound the same live as they do on their album. This was emphasized by the fact that they played the track list of their album, in order. If you haven’t heard them yet, go get their album, which is a strange mix of Radiohead-meets-college radio. The front man, James Pequignot, has a great stage presence, both while singing/giving stage banter, and while emceeing the show, as he did. After their set, they did an encore of some older stuff that I didn’t know (this band’s fairly new to me). The fans loved it.

The Singular: telling those crass mother(radio edit) not to raise such a ruckus.

Anyway, this show was four-for-four, and was probably the most consistently good show that I’ve been to in a while. Oh! And I won a jug of V8 in a raffle! Winner is me! If you get a chance to see any of these guys live, go do that.

-jason

Comfort Clouds’ album, The Dinner Set, is available at the Bark and Hiss Store.
The Singular’s album, The Sad Machine, is available on The Singular’s website.
V8 is available at your local grocery store.

Fabulous Prizes! Or prize. Or V8.

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