Gigs: Twin Peaks

 

No, I didn’t catch a show at the Hooters knock-off restaurant that has become the poster-child of classiness among restaurants. Twin Peaks is a punk group out of Chicago. Short and sweet would be the best way to describe their work…oh, and also awesome. Their first album, Sunken, comes in at a mere 20 minutes in length. Amongst that short album duration, is one of the most eye-opening indie songs I’ve heard in awhile. I have my brother to thank for introducing me to this particular track. It’s called Fast Eddie and in addition to some killer guitar work that changes speeds throughout, it has a pretty bitchin’ music video to go along with it…available here, audio file below

 

 

The show was at Vaudeville Mews, a smaller venue that has been able to bring in some fairly well known acts (bands that I’ve at least heard of anyway) . It’s a good joint, acoustics are just fine and there’s plenty of good brews to choose from while you enjoy the show. As you can tell, there’s a lot of different factors that go into me evaluating the quality of a music venue. From what I can tell they played a lot work from their latest release, Wild Onion. Most of their songs are fast-paced already and I noticed that they kick up a notch further during their live shows. This was not the case, however, for their performance of “I Found a New Way”. This was the song that really kicked things off an got the crowd into it. The lead vocalist puts an insane amount of effort into his vocals and it blends well with this seemingly chill song. It’s my personal favorite off of their latest album.

 

https://soundcloud.com/twinpeaksdudes/i-found-a-new-way

 

When I said that it wasn’t until then that crowd got into the show, it was through no lack of stage antics by the band itself. They definitely know how to rock and and at one point, the lead guitarist left the stage to play amongst the fans. It seemed to be going over quite well until he tripped over his cord and almost biffed it. Nonetheless, it was a fun sideshow that the crowd appreciated.

 

Overall, they seemed like a cool group of dudes. The only knock on them was that there practically NO in-between song dialogue. I know that some people can do without that but there needs to be something to keep the band from playing a set straight through with virtually no pauses. In fairness, I haven’t seen any band talk much at that venue and that’s not something that newer bands specialize in. Besides that, they put on a great show. I hope Des Moines left a good impression on them and that they make a return trip. If they’re in a city near you, check them out. The last song I’ve posted is off of Wild Onion. It’s called “Strawberry Smoothie” and it’s a good flagship song for them. But it also features a great guitar outro. Enjoy

 

 

 

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Quick Hitters: Shorties, but Goodies

I used to hate it when bands would have something great going, then without warning cut it off short of the three minute mark. Most songs you would hear on the radio should be at least that long, right? Over time, I’ve learned that quality over quantity is a perfectly acceptable way to go about doing things. And when it comes to great music, it can actually make it that more special when it’s not long and as accessible. It means that that’s exactly the way the artists wanted their finished project to turn out. They didn’t give in to making the song more “marketable”, they chose to take pride in their own work instead.

"Woah, why are we out here?" "Dude, let it go, being shot in front of this old shed makes us look way tough"

“Woah, why are we out here?” “Dude, let it go, being shot in front of this old shed makes us look way tough”

1. Twin Peaks-Stand in the Sand

If you’re a fan of nostalgia or quality network television dramas from the 90’s , you’ll likely recognize the “Twin Peaks” tag but I assure you this band shares no further affiliation to the show other than sharing the same name. The music doesn’t sound like something out of that show either, rather, it has a strong west coast garage sound. So you might be surprised to learn Twin Peaks hails from Chicago. They’re a young group of chums and there track “Stand in the Sand” comes in at a just a mere 2 minutes and 15 seconds. However, that short time is packed with so much indie goodness it’ll be hard to not play it on a loop thus making longer in theory.

Twin Peaks-Stand in the Sand

2. Kevin Devine and the G#$damn Band-Bubblegum

I stumbled upon this song the other day while driving home from work. It starts out with an overused guitar riff and sounds like a lame teen rock song about mustering up the courage you to ask out the chick you blew your chance with last summer at the big school dance coming up. Just seconds later, it stops sucking. @ 0:17 you’re thinking, “hey, I think we got something here!” Devine has several unique and worthwhile parts to this song. The lyrics appear to describe an event pertaining to some church or religious practice. And if you only listened to the instrumentals, you might not think it would be that a song with a religious message (I certainly didn’t). It flows excellently and displays Devine’s vocal range. While in the past his vocals have played second fiddle to Andy Hull’s in their project Bad Books, they are the highlight of this song. This is especially the case during the song’s climax @ 1:11.

3. Soundgarden-Kickstand

Let’s turn back the clock a bit. This was one of the later tracks from Superunknown, which I’ll say is top-10 for albums from the entire 90’s decade. It clocks in at an insanely short 94 seconds! Due to the fast-paced nature of this song, that’s all it needs. Chris Cornell’s vocals are as stellar as they always are. There’s catchy guitar hooks throughout and that’s what drives the song.  This is just one of many great tracks from that album. A lot of people know it only for “Black Hole Sun” but it has a lot more to offer aside from that, like this one. Be sure to check out “Kickstand” along with the others from this timelessly great album.