The Sea Snakes with Final Fantasy and the Singing Saws at Sneaky Dee's, August 19. Tickets: $5. Attendance: 100. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Wow, it sure is cool to watch people play saws. I mean, it's like a tool, not an instrument, y'know? Featuring three people on saws, the Singing Saws make some pretty interesting and innovative music together.
Unfortunately, I could only hear about three minutes of it since the sound of the saws has an effect on me exactly like that of nails on a chalkboard; so with my skin crawling and hair standing on end, I was forced to leave the upstairs of Sneaky Dee's before the end of the first tune. Note that I seem to have been the only person on whom the horsehair scraping metal had this effect.
Following the Saws was Final Fantasy , aka Owen Pallett of the Hidden Cameras and Les Mouches. Final Fantasy is his solo project for violin. Pallett's created some really lovely stuff, elegantly intriguing tunes with a bent toward melancholy and provocative tempo shifts over which his clear vocals rang almost ethereal.
Until he started yelling, which happened often with little to no warning and made me jump the fuck out of my skin and hit the ceiling. This totally unnecessary move seemed to serve no purpose but to set my nerves on end. Otherwise, Final Fantasy was awesome.
Finishing off the evening, the Sea Snakes played a set of low-key, complex, jangly, folk-tinged indie rock tunes. A good night for vocals - Jim Mcintyre has one of those sweet, clear voices that carry above everything. The Snakes' pretty set, generally straight-ahead with no surprises, was kind of a relief at this point.
The Snakes aren't exactly the most gregarious performers and, after thanking the audience several times for sticking around - it wan't even 1 o'clock yet - kind of gave the impression that they don't think they deserved an audience. They're very adept musicians, so there's no reason for this sort of bashfulness. The performance could've used a little more confidence and stage presence. C'mon, you guys.
You're good enough, you're smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.