August 23, 2003

Mixed Bag of Music

S.O. Man and I decided to go out for a casual evening to take advantage of the fact that he wasn't working Friday night (rarely happens). We didn't really have any strong feelings about what to do, but thought live music might be nice. I checked several websites and even stooped to the local rag - the Phoenix New Times. The AZ Republic site listed Border's at the Biltmore Fashion Park as having Audra (folk/acoustic). Never heard of her, but how bad could it be, and since nothing else interesting was listed we headed out.

As soon as we walked in Border's it was obvious that whatever was happening was not acoustic. The windows were rattling!

We made our way upstairs to see what it might be, and it just got worse with every step. It was some sort of 'rock' trio (I say 'rock' because they weren't cool enough to be rock) made up of kids that looked to be about 15-17. And they were SO LOUD. I had hoped to make good use of the trip to a book store and actually shop, but you can't browse when you feel like someone is hitting you in the head with a 2 X 4 - repeatedly!

The looks on the faces of the other shoppers were priceless, all contorted and squinchy. As I said, the windows downstairs were shaking. Upstairs was like being surrounded by jackhammers. For all I know they might actually have had some talent - but how could you tell at that volume?

I went to the information kiosk to find out who they were. Nothing listed on the schedule, so I ask at the desk. They were not booked by the regular entertainment person (duh - that would imply they were entertaining) but were a friend of a friend of someone who works there. That's how they got to come in and blast the customers out of the store. No one seemed to know what they called themselves, so I'll just call them The Blaring Cacophony. The employees looked as anxious for them to leave as the customers. I hope Border's lost a ton of business so they never do that to their customers again, ever.

After we made our escape, we headed down the mall to the Coffee Plantation where they also usually have live music. Bingo. A trio (two guitars and a bass), chick singer, reasonable volume. Cool.

Got a drink, grabbed a seat, enjoyed the show. The name of the band is Boot Hill. Clever since it is a family band - and their name is Graves. They were actually pretty good. All three sang, they did a very eclectic mix of tunes (in a slightly odd twist, they followed Summertime with The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down) They made a misstep by trying to incorporate a mandolin into one song, and the mando player hasn't gotten his chops up yet. He was fine on guitar, but he tried to play the mando as if it were just a smaller version of his stratocaster. Not a pretty site - or sound.

Their card says they are available for "Parties, Weddings, and other occasions" I would go see them at a coffee shop again, definitely, I like to support competent musicians when they play live. I might consider them for a party. I don't think they are quite polished enough that I would hire them for a wedding, but I would like to see how they grow in the future.

So, the evening started with a fright and a headache, but the ending was rather pleasant.

Posted by Vox at August 23, 2003 02:36 AM | Phoenix , music