CMJ'S 4AD/TEENBEAT SHOWCASE
MERCURY LOUNGE, NYC, FEATURING:
PAULA FRAZIER * VERSUS * LIQUORICE * AIR MIAMI * SCHEER * TUSCADERO
Paula Frazier of "Tarnation", 4AD's newest signing of
San Francisco opened the show. The rest of her band was
indisposed for some reason so she came only with acoustic
guitar and a collection of Tarnation songs, most of which she
had written personally. Alone she sounds great--relaxing,
thought provoking, beautiful. With Tarnation she sounds like
Reba McEntire (for those of you who know who she is).
Versus is Teenbeat's most promising new band. They do
the noisy/quiet thing that Smashing Pumpkins perfected and a
billion others adopted. About half their songs were very
impressive--the ones the girl sings (I really don't know much
Liquorice were fantastic, but I'm biased--I think
Listening Cap is the album of the year. Jenny's mom was in
attendance tonight and boy, were they tickled. Liquorice's
sound is hard to pin down, which is one reason I like them so
much. They don't really compare to anybody else. Their set
was going great until halfway through a poignant version of
"Keeping the Weekend Free" when the amps popped loudly about
5 times in a row. It was as if they'd conjured the spirit of
Warren Defever (of His Name Is Alive, their producer) and he
was floating around putting the goofy noises back in the mix.
They played a brilliant set including their single on Simple
Machines 7", Stalls.
Air Miami was not in good shape tonight. Mark broke a guitar
string about 10 seconds into the first song and couldn't get
another guitar. They played stuff from Me Me Me including
the great "I Hate Milk" but forgot the ones the crowd wanted
to hear--"Airplane Rider" and "Pucker." Not impressive.
The big surprise of the evening for me was Scheer, 4AD's
new Irish band whose first ep will be out in October. With
their small, unimposing female lead singer and two guitars,
they honestly seem like the result of a Cranberries/Nirvana
gene splice. This band rocks hard.
I didn't stay for Tuscadero. Sorry!
© 1995, Rational Alternative Digital