This article originally appears on Boston Band Crush ).
I had only heard The Daily Pravda for the first time when they let us know recently about their new album, Burning Bible Diamonds. I immediately took quite a liking to their britpoppy, glammy rock and the musical swells and ebbs hooked me enough to hit the #2 spot on my crushiest of 2009 (so far). So, of course, I was quite eager to catch them live.
The band was kind enough to invite me to their show last Monday and to spend a few minutes chatting with me about their latest endeavors on video:
Although we did discuss the pitfalls of genre-labeling in the interview above, I will admit that part of my attraction to the band stems from my long-time love of the movement of ’90s britpop that proudly wore its love of ’70s brit-glam. The band is often compared to my favorite of the genre, Suede. My love for Suede’s work was, however, short-lived. I doubt that their adoption of The London Suede moniker (in response to legal doubt about their use of the name Suede in the U.S.) resulted in great musical or inspirational change, but the band lost me after an album, some singles, and an E.P. The Daily Pravda do a great job bringing me back to that path without simply rehashing Suede’s work. For one thing, Adam Anderson’s blazing guitar work isn’t quite aiming to be the next descendent in the Johnny Marr to Bernard Butler guitar family tree. It instead adds a grittier, heavier edge to the band than Suede ever musically possessed. The Daily Pravda’s rhythm section members, Mike Gonzales and Ken Marcou, understand the context of the music as I see it, but also provide a stronger driving force than one might initially expect to back David Jackel’s dramatic delivery. It all comes together so that The Daily Pravda fulfills my desire for an extension of a style of music that I crave, but also allows the band to transcend genre exercise.
Did I mention, they also have a whole bunch of great songs?
Here’s some live footage of the show:
The show opened with Lindsey Starr & The Chemical Smiles. Lindsey’s voice reminded me quite a lot of Jenny Lewis in the early days of Rilo Kiley. I really also enjoyed the awesome arrangements of the songs, particularly those highlighted by Molly Maltezos’s flute playing. We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on The Chemical Smiles here at BBC.
The Static Jacks were the last band that I caught on Monday night. I had heard in advance that they sounded a lot like The Strokes and that they were from New Jersey. I REALLY hate The Strokes and I am not all that fond of Jersey, so I wasn’t looking forward to them, but I stuck around anyway and I am quite glad I did. I ponder(ed), both then and now, the set of characteristics that define the core embodiment of The Strokes. Whenever I hear the band, I only identify one thing: the lazy, hipper-than-thou vocal presentation of Julian Casablancas (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrMPUlJxmt8 for example). Not only do I find his singing unappealing, I find it insulting. As this is the only thing I even notice when I hear (or think about) The Strokes, I fully expected that people declare The Static Jacks as “strokers” because singer Ian Devaney is too cool to bother putting effort into singing to the peons in the audience. Well, not only does Ian sing on the beat (instead of 5 minutes behind it), he absolutely tears up the stage live. His voice and delivery remind me of the best, intense moments of Frank Black’s presentation (check out “Stay A Lover” on their web site to hear what I mean) and his stage demeanor was a combination of the famed spastic Ian Curtis wiggles and a somewhat-less-dangerous Iggy Pop. He most definitely broke his microphone stand beyond repair by the end of the third song and did so without the slightest showman pretension. I left feeling like I had seen one of the best performers I had seen in a long while. The rest of the band was also great on stage with youthful and honest joy in doing what they were doing.
I am kind of a lyrics guy and I did have to go home and give a listen to some recordings before I could really pick up any of the details there, but The Static Jacks, who are all less than 20 years old, are undoubtedly headed for great things. We’ll be letting you know when they’re back in town.
Unfortunately, as Monday nights go, I had to leave before The Honors took the stage. I have, however, seen them before and I know that they are excellent.
Full photo and video sets from the show are available:
The Daily Pravda –
Lindsey Starr & The Chemical Smiles – http://blog.mikeandsophia.com/2009-06-29%20-%20Chemical%20Smiles/index.html
The Static Jacks –