Show Bonanza! Consolidation Deluxe!

First off, that is hilarious.

And secondly, so were both Serena Maneesh at the Middle East Upstairs (Sunday) and Sound Team at the Middle East Downstairs (Friday). The prior were a band who I'd first heard about, honestly, via the Village Voice's Siren Festival bill, and when I was lucky enough to interview Art Brut's Eddie Argos, he mentioned that he really likes the band. Hearing the self-titled record for the first time on Wednesday, their show on Sunday was late (we all thought they weren't going to make it) but grandoise.

All the way from Norway, I find that most bands emerging from the northern part of Europe specialize in ambient goodness, gothic quality, or mindblowing metal (i.e. The Haunted!). Serena-Maneesh are no exception. A friend described their live set as "one of the loudest bands [he'd] ever seen," and they certainly live up to their expectations. Extensively artsy and incredibly tall, the band's songs are very foreign to the vein of assertive shoegaze that comes from all cold, cloudy coasts of the US.

As for Austin's Sound Team, seeing them at TT The Bear's in June was underwhelming. I'd loved their record, Movie Monster, for its title track and following song, "TV Torso," and eventually found myself fawning over other gems on the album such as "Handful Of Billions." Their Middle East set sounded undeniably better, and with more room on the stage the band was able to spread out and live up to their name.

Additionally, the French Kicks headlined that night at the MidEast, and I find that for a band that tours so very much, opens for just about everyone, they are at their best when they play 1. late 2. as headliners and 3. in smaller venues. As my guilty pleasure, Meatloaf, once said...don't be sad, 'cause two outta threeeee ain't bad.

Tomorrow is my one night to NOT go to a show between last Friday and Thursday. It will be spent in my bedroom writing music reviews after a probably-ten hour day at work.

Weekend! Can you hear me? Step on it, okay? Thnx.

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