Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sleeping in the Aviary/Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps/Icarus Himself; May 31, 2012; High Noon Saloon

Tonight’s Sleeping in the Aviary show was a celebration of “Vomit on Vinyl.” While that may just sound like the end of drunken hipster party, it’s actually announcing the release of Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Motel in LP form. Of the four, I am not sure why this was the one to get the 12” treatment, but Aviary’s second release has long been my favorite. Each has its charms, but Vomit was everything I had wanted their first record to be, acoustic guitars, hooky sing-along choruses and most importantly “Gas Mask Blues.” It’s a dark, haunted, driving tune and, by SitA standards, it’s also an epic.

It had been awhile since I had heard it live, so I was glad of the special occasion. Celeste breaks out the musical saw for the controlled chaos that leads up to the pivotal line, “If you have my daughter I don’t know what I will do, ‘cause I’m gonna want to hit her when she looks like you.” And that’s when all hell breaks loose. Intense, and amazing. Many of the songs from Vomit showed up in tonight’s set, and it sounds like many of them for the last time (which I am more than a little sad about). “Write On” and “Girl in the Ground” were awesome. It wouldn’t be a SitA show without some kind of musical or theatrical experiment. Tonight they asked the members of the other bands to set up at various places around the bar and all play along on one song. It wasn’t quite the success they had hoped for, lead singer Elliot Kozel did look a little disappointed, but it had moments of cool for sure. Another noteworthy moment was drummer Michael Sienkowski on banjo. Yay!

I certainly wasn’t intending on spending $45 on merch tonight, but well, that was what happened. I’d planned on picking up Vomit on vinyl of course, but after opener Icarus Himself’s terrific set I realized that I had never gotten their last record. And I got the last of a limited vinyl pressing of Career Culture. I’m not sure can name another band that gets better every time I see them. Completely unexpected was the “release” of a new inBOIL CD. I use the quotes because Phil Mahlstadt‘s side project is about as DIY as they get. The CDs are home burned and hand-labeled, and the handmade packaging has to be seen to truly be appreciated. The cardboard book contains several delightful pages of fun. The CD is nestled into the last page, the sleeve opening like a clam shell as you separate the pages. The middle page has the lyrics to all the songs hidden behind Advent calendar style windows. The first page is the crowning glory, as you raise the cover to reveal a pop-up scene of the three musicians who are inBOIL. It would be an ambitious design for production, but all the more impressive to know that they did it themselves. Nice work. Oh yeah, and the CD is pretty great too. Those boys never cease to amaze me.

Icarus Himself

Caroline Smith & the Goodnight Sleeps

Sleeping in the Aviary

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