I had the pleasure of watching three “indie” bands perform two Saturdays ago. Star Thistle Wall started us out with a puppy dog T-shirt, a feather around the guitar strap, and a hipster-style Bob Ross on the keyboard. Each song was so different from the next that it left me with questions like, “What was that I just heard?”, “Which sub-genre do they belong in?”, and “Who am I?” Not unlike the feeling I got when that same band and myself thought we saw a UFO (floating bag on fire in the sky) just 20 minutes after their set in front of the 1078 building. They’re worth a listen, at least to hear them trash Annie Bidwell followed by the subsequent groans and awkward silence from the crowd afterwards.
Tiny Pyramids, hailing from Santa Rosa, opened with a song about having a dance party, which prompted everyone in the room to do just that. One thing that bothered me was the lack of ability the two lead singers possessed to, in fact, dance. Not to bite on anyone’s moves too hard, but if you’re an “Electro Dance-Pop” band, I would expect a minimum of three things: Electro, Dance, and Pop. Maybe they should just call themselves Electro. With their faces painted up in pyramids, their use of prop telephones, and oversized scarves, I felt like they could have spent more time making a song that sticks with you. Isn’t that the purpose of pop music? Nothing really stood out musically for me from these guys except the keyboards that were set up and hardly, or never, actually played. Chekov’s Keytar states: “One must not put a Korg on the stage if no one is thinking of doing a sweet synth solo.”
Speaking of musical instruments as props, French Reform finished out the night. I feel like it really was a special night because the lead singer of French Reform, Aric Jeffries, actually played his instrument as opposed to beating on it like a drum. What he lacks in guitar prowess, he makes up in spades with his passion and stage presence. The band plays dance rock like a well-oiled machine, and between Phil Anker’s argyle sweater and Aric’s floral tie, you may feel you’ve died and gone to Urban Outfitters.
Seriously though, if you haven’t seen French Reform play, you’re missing a great show, and they’re only getting better. Even if you’re not a fan of the music they play, you will be a fan of the way they play it. I believe this is the kind of music Chico needs right now—good dance music delivered with class. We’ve been chomping on womp-womp for so long, we’ve forgotten what four on the floor even tastes like. For that, I would like to thank French Reform for doing what they’re doing. Hopefully this is just the beginning and there will be a slew of dance inspired bands born in this time; all marching to a Daft Punk beat and a Nile Rodgers guitar groove.