J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Playlists, podcasts and music from WQFS Greensboro's J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Monday, August 16, 2004

L to R - Sonya (of Rogue Wave), Unidentified member of Newman's band, A.C. Newman, J. and Zach Rogue (Rogue Wave). (Credit: Jeremy Ball)

A fantastic send off to the lovely Go Room 4 venue in Carborro last evening. A.C. Newman, Rogue Wave and the Neins (not to be confused with North Carolina's own The Nein) put on a lovely evening of pop magistry.

The Neins, two members of which are also members of Newman's touring ensemble, started the evening off with a set of quirky pop reminiscent of the vocal delivery of John Darnielle of Mountain Goats fame and a more reigned in version, musically, of the Elephant 6 collective. My personal favorite was a song about the narrator's adoration of one Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Too few songs are written about seagulls. No, Maiden's version of "Rhime of the Ancient Mariner" doesn't count.

Rogue Wave came next in what was a really surprising set of blissful harmony. All Music drew some comparisons between these guys and Death Cab For Cutie and I can definitely understand the parallels, though Zach Rogue's musical construction revels in more classicist pop (read: Simon and Garfunkle-esque) than does Ben Gibbard's crew. It's not a wonder that Rogue Wave toured opening for the Shins earlier this year (both bands are on Sub Pop also) with their similar veings of revved up pop rock. A really, terribly enjoyable show, their new album, Out of the Shadow, is also terrifically beautiful and well worth hearing. You'll be hearing some off of it on this week's show, no doubt.

Finally came A.C. Newman. One of the risks you take in going to see a show by a band or artist with one real release is, well, a dearth of material. Newman plowed through the vast majority of his solo debut, The Slow Wonder, with dutiful attention to craft and really lit a fire under some of the album's best songs. ("Miracle Drug," "The Town Halo" and "35 in the Shade" became masterful rave-ups, though I must admit I really missed the big bell-tower bells on "Come Crash.") The show was a bit shorter than I would have preferred, but I would never expect for Newman to pull out New Pornographers songs on a solo tour so I understand the brevity completely. Newman is a really entertaining show to catch and if you haven't heard The Slow Wonder by now, you're missing out. It will definitely be in my Top 25 list come December, but where at we've yet to see.

For such a great venue as Go, I personally wish the final send-off could've been populated by local artists that could turn the place into a barn burning party for the last night. Having Newman and the rest close them down, despite it being a smashing show, seemed somewhat anti-climactic. There certainly was a pallor over the entire evening, punctuated by the constant drizzle. I for one will sorely miss Go Room 4. Having seeing the likes of Girls Against Boys, Hayden, Jim White, the Handsome Family, Q and Not U, Radio 4, Verbena, Rilo Kiley, the Scaries, Jesse Malin, the Pattern and Josh Ritter grace its stages, it will not soon leave my thoughts. Thanks, Go.


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