Dear True Fans of Rock,
Rock is not something to be captured on CDs, tapes or paper, to be carefully locked up in SML for all posterity, neatly tucked alongside Bach and Beethoven. Rock is a totally different kind of musical experience, and rock’s art is in the live creation of the music as much as it is in the music itself. If you have never been to a rock show, if you have never bathed in the Dionysian ecstasy that is live rock-and-roll, if you have not discovered a local artist to invest your hopes in, you are not a true fan of rock. Each of the six musicians and bands in this article will play concerts in New Haven by the year’s end, and rockers should do their duty to local music and support them. After all, rock is hours wasted on MySpace searching for a song to get you through the day.
Welcome’s mad combination of bass, vocals, drums and beats is what the band refers to as “pretty noise,” but listen closely and you’ll hear a lot more than simple fuzz. Like lyrics about a kitten. Or a sample from Jermaine Stewart’s “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” — as a “diversionary tactic,” they say. Or, at least, indie rock like you’ve never heard it before. Go to www.myspace.com/welcomect, check out the tunes, and leave feeling confused but happy. Repeat, over and over again.
Take an old-school flow style, ease its edges with Jigga smoothness, take out all the bad words and then back it with a soul-sampling beat, and you might have something close to Kwote Scriptures. This Connecticut-based MC is currently trying to blow up in the rap world, and he’s asking college kids to request him on their radio stations. His single, “Never Give You Up,” might have just enough pop to make it to the charts — go to www.myspace.com/kwotescriptures and decide for yourself.
The Breakfast combines elements of jazz, funk and psychedelic rock to create something truly unique and compelling. Go to www.thebreakfast.net to listen to the trio’s radio broadcast — it’s a complete live set, and it rocks. It sounds a little bit like what might have happened if Hendrix and Hancock had ever jammed together at Café Nine and then put it on the Internet for all the world to enjoy. Worth your time if you’re looking for a change from the typical indie fare.
Maybe you just hate guitars. Maybe you just hate the twang of pick on string, or you hate phallic imagery, or, for religious reasons, you hate the number six. It’s okay that no one wants to hang out with you — you can hang out with the Voodoo Jets, a power-pop trio of Connecticut rockers. “I think that there is a certain kind of person who would like us — we walk a line between a pretty sound and balls,” say the Voodoo Jets, who recently completed their debut album. A sampling of their songs is available at www.thevoodoojets.com; anyone who buys their album can e-mail the band and request a live acoustic performance via telephone.
In a world of indie art rock and self-conscious music-making, it’s easy to forget what a lead guitar is. The Big Fat Combo reminds us in a big way on “Chicks Dig It,” a song from this rockabilly/surf/punk/country conglomeration’s web site, the aptly named www.bigfatcombo.com. “We want people to laugh and get their feet tapping,” says the band. “We don’t have any pretensions. We try to get people to have a good time.” Their style is a little Elvis, a little Ventures and, indeed, a lot of fun.
“We call our style retro pop,” say The Cavemen Go, a New Haven indie four-piece featuring a Yale alum. “It’s a blend of modern pop with retro elements, including Motown.” That sound comes through in “364 Days,” one of the songs accessible on the band’s web site. The song exemplifies their upbeat, fast-paced style, full of simple melodies and straightforward beats. “We have good songs,” says the group. “They’re catchy and pop-y. The music’s good.” Judge for yourself at The Cavemen Go’s Myspace: www.myspace.com/thecavemengo.
We did the work for you. Now go rock out for us.