Friday, November 14, 2014

Love is a Song, Not an Answer

Continuing recaps of my recent adventures in rock...

I became aware of the Spotlight Tavern, a bar on Rantoul Street here in Beverly, after the Caspian show last month. I mean, I knew it was there but I had never gone in before that night. Turns out it's a nice little dingy rock club with a decent beer selection. And then I looked it up online and discovered that Kal Marks, a fine Boston band on Exploding in Sound, was playing there the following Tuesday and I figured I had to go. Plus it was an early show with doors at the decidedly non-rock hour of 6 p.m., which meant I'd be home early. And it was $5 to get in.


I was one of about 20 people there, most of whom were associated with the three bands on the bill. The show was opened by Notches, a NH-based trio that played a thoroughly entertaining brand of snotty punk rock. The bassist told me afterward that they all go to UNH, although he briefly attended Endicott College here in Beverly. They were selling a cassette for a "name your price" fee; I gave 'em $5.

Second on the bill was My Dad, a math-rock act out of Chicago. They were pretty interesting and loud as hell, although the bass player was having some serious technical issues throughout their half-hour set. Good stuff and definitely a different sound than notches.

Kal Marks headlined and a played a strong, if brief (35 minutes), set. The band is on a hot label and indeed was written up in Stereogum just the day before the show; it was weird/cool to see the Beverly gig listed with their tour dates. The following night, they played O'Brien's in Allston, although there was a seriously nasty rainstorm going on; I'm glad I saw them on a nice dry night five minutes from my house. They seemed a little bewildered at the earliness of the hour (I think they took the stage at 8:30), but I was a little bummed they didn't play for at least 40-45 minutes. Maybe they wanted to get home. What they played sounded great, and granted, they've only got one full-length (2013's Life is Murder), an EP and a forthcoming EP to draw on for material.

I hung out for a little while and got some merch and was still home by 9:30. Hopefully, the Spotlight gets more cool bands to play there, because I could definitely get used to that.

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