Monday, January 14, 2008

Crystal Buffali Treat the Shabelles

Most clever post title ever, right?!

I had a blast this Saturday night. It was my first time playing out with the Buffali, who I've been practicing with for a couple of months in anticipation of being their gig drummer. I've been a fan of their music for a number of years, ever since my regular band, Aporia, played a few shows with them at the Portal Cafe (Orpheus rest its soul). Clare and Andrew, the core of the Buffali, are both incredibly accomplished musicians and fun, friendly people to boot. They (happily) decided to add drums and sometimes electric guitar to their line-up, and I was extremely flattered when they asked me to audition and then gave me the thumbs up. Dan of the Augusteens rounded things out on said electric gee-tar, and I personally think the whole thing adds up to one killer sound (regardless of what the TDP reviewer says).

This was my first show at the Crystal Corner Bar, and I have to say that I was impressed. Compared to the other bar venues I've played in town, the Crystal definitely gets top marks. The removable stage itself ain't all that grand, but they have a decent sound system, a very competent sound guy, and a groovy atmosphere. The icing on the cake, however, was the band green room (probably normally their break room) in the basement, where they'd provided us with a cooler full of water and beer, and also with a safe, quiet place to store coats and use the bathroom. That's a rare commodity when it comes to playing bars.

The place was pretty packed when the show started, which was very gratifying to see. The Shabelles kicked the night off with their super catchy brand of motown/classic pop. It was my first exposure to them, and 1) I'm always psyched to see other lady drummers, especially talented ones and 2) I loves me some smooth saxophone playing.

We were next, and though I was a little nervous about my first gig with them, the Buffali came together pretty well and put on what I thought was a good, fun show. I had a blast, anyway. It has been a loooong time since my only duty was to hit things with sticks, and though I always miss singing, it was somewhat refreshing to have such simplified responsibilities. The only downside to the show, and this applied to each band, was that the vocal mikes were a bit muddy--you could hear the singing, but the lyrics were fairly inaudible. Which is a shame especially for the Buffali, because half the fun of their songs are the lyrics. Ah well, can't win 'em all I suppose.

I came down from the show high and listened to a few songs by the headlining band, the Treats, who were great fun. Good, solid rock n' roll, with a front man/guitarist who was supremely entertaining to watch. One of my favorite things in the world is watching artists bliss out with their craft.

As I had to get up early the next morning, we (sadly) took off before the end of their set. But it was a great night, and it felt good to play out again. Now we're looking forward to making the trip to Minneapolis next month for a show at the Whole, a venue in the student union at the U of M which, I'm told, is a pretty great place to play.

Bonus: my regular band, Aporia, has a big show coming up on the 27th, playing in support of the premiere of "Massacre! The Musical" at the High Noon Saloon. Expect a full post/plug for that event just prior to the date, and mark your calendars!


Anonymous said...

Someone told me the night was dearly endearing.

Emily said...

Yes, but the real question is, was it endearingly dear?

The Lost Albatross