Friday, October 08, 2010

The August Teens/Hum Machine; October 8, 2010; High Noon Saloon

The name was familiar, but I was pretty sure I hadn’t heard it in awhile. It seems like maybe I used to see them at O’Cayz Corral or the King Club or some other bar that doesn’t exist anymore. Anyway if it was them, where have they been? I confirmed that it was indeed the same band by asking some of the folks that I knew had been around Madison as long as I had. “Didn’t I used to see them at O’Cayz?” I asked more than one person. Turns out they had been on hiatus for a good chunk of that time, playing in other bands like Shazy Hade, Shinky’s post-New Recruits band, until the urge to play the old songs hit them again. I guess they have played some shows recently, but I must have missed them all. Their fans certainly remember them, and there was a good-sized crowd gathered for this happy hour show. Their power pop is undeniably infectious and there was more than one person singing along. The band certainly seemed to be having a great time, they bounced around the stage like those O’Cayz shows were only yesterday.

Too bad a lot of people left after they were through, because the August Teens are every bit their equal when it comes to writing catchy hooks and killer riffs. The Teens have been around a decent amount of time themselves, but have maintained a much lower profile, thanks to playing only sporadically and just recently releasing their first CD. With the rate at which lead singer/guitarist Dan Hardgrove writes songs, four in a weekend I hear (“that only happened once” he demurred), there must be a huge backlog, and we got to hear some of them tonight. After one listen, they seem more mature than the batch that make up A Kiss in Wisconsin (though granted the terminally silly “Pizza in Your Heart” does bring down the average). I wish I knew the names of some of them so I could ask for them next time. In particular a rootsy/country tune caught my ear. Sadly, though I certainly enjoyed them, Hum Machine had used up a good chunk of the time slot, so it seemed the Teens just got going when they were out of time.

I’ve had some bad luck catching August Teens shows; they only seem to play when I am doing something I can’t get out of. So it was great to see them again tonight. Hopefully they will play again soon.

Hum Machine

The August Teens

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