Tuesday, August 14, 2012

still-sound 94. White Denim

On Saturday night I saw a band named White Denim perform at the Troubadour.  They're from Austin, Texas.

I've been listening to their album D a lot recently.

I wore white jeans to the show.  A girl named Alesa approached me and took a picture of the two of us because she was also wearing white denim.  Except her jeans had black lightning bolts printed on them.  Mine did not.  There was someone walking around with short, white jean cut-offs but she didn't make it into our picture.

When the band started to play, my arms covered in goosebumps.  This sometimes happens to me when I really enjoy music.  James Petralli, the lead singer, introduced the first song with a tight guitar riff which he repeated again and again very fast, setting a pace and pattern.  The band spent the next seventy five minutes playing at 150 mph following an intricate course; navigating between classic rock, blues, feedbacky psychedelia and country western with virtuostic jazz fusion guitar solos thrown in for good measure.  

They have songs in 5/4 time.

These lads could play.  Apparent, endless hours in the rehearsal studio and musical chops allowed them to change time signatures in one beat without dropping a single note.  One song seamlessly blended into the next.  James soulfully crooned and sometimes howled.  Sweat dripped from the microphone.  Austin Jenkins, the other guitar player, (who slightly resembles the singer from A-ha), finished an impossible guitar solo with effortless ease and started laughing at its completion.  Rock ecstasy.

I love that they valued the art of the guitar solo. 

Steve, the bespectacled bassist, looked like somebody's kid brother.  I loved this about him.  I can only describe his playing as lithe and instinctual.

At one point, Alesa nudged me on the back of my knee - confirming our White Denim solidarity.  "Indeed" I implied with a half-turn of the head.

As I left the Troubadour I noticed the table set up in the front bar selling tee-shirts and records.  I bought a white tee-shirt and an EP pressed on white vinyl from Steve, the bespectacled bassist in fact.  I asked him to sign the record.  He wrote "Rock Steady, Steve". 


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