The theme of going to live shows in November seemed to be old favorites and nostalgia. For December, I decided to go the opposite direction and check out a couple of bands that have a ton of buzz, but I didn't really know much about. Those bands were Model/Actriz and Chanel Beads. And I was reminded that sometimes those nights can be revelations.
Model/Actriz started off in Boston but are now based in Brooklyn, so this was a homecoming for them. They have a rabid fanbase, and it's obvious why. They are simply one of the most engaging live bands out today, and there is no way they won't be erupting out of small clubs in the extremely near future. Vocalist Cole Haden is a mixture of Jarvis Cocker and David Yow, being equal parts charismatic frontman and unpredictable performer. After asking how many people had never seen them before (which was the majority of the crowd), Haden declared that he had to get to know everyone better and jumped over the barricade to jump around with the audience. He stayed in there for a shocking amount of songs, and ventured back out with his mic stand later in the set.
And then there's the sound of the band. They sound like 1980's Ministry mixed with 1990's Ministry, and like David Bowie's performance of "I'm Afraid of Americans" with Sonic Youth for his fiftieth birthday concert. It's this wild song that left me trying to decide if I should dance, mosh, or just stand there with my mouth agape. (It was a mixture of one and three.) "Mosquito" has been jammed into my skull for three days now, and I have no desire to force it out. This is a band with a giant, epic sound that lives in the underground but could easily poke into the mainstream. Plus, their live show was one of the best of the year. It's not very often I immediately check to see when a band is playing in the area next, and if it wasn't for prior commitments, I would have gone down to Providence to see them again the next night.
Chanel Beads opened the show, and it took me a few songs to get into them. As they started, I decided they just weren't my thing. But, one of the great things about a show in a small club is you're sometimes forced to watch a band you don't think you'll like, and then they win you over. As it slowly clicked that Chanel Beads are kind of like an indie sleaze Sleaford Mods, but with the person operating the laptop also singing and playing some guitar. It's an odd mixture of post-punk and Soundcloud rap that worked surprisingly well. While watching them, it seemed like Chanel Beads aren't quite there yet and are still discovering their sound as an artist, but have the potential to be a great band in the very near future. Definitely an artist we'll be watching to see that happen.