Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Hear This 

VHS or Beta are set on disintegrating the dance floor; Blue Merle equals Coldplay plus an electric mandolin

Wednesday, Apr 20 2005
Louisville, Ky., quartet VHS or Beta has undergone marked changes in its three years between album releases. Once thought of as an instrumental "jam band" with dance-music leanings (see '02's Daft Punkstyled Le Funk), the group now pledges an undying allegiance to Duran Duran and Echo & the Bunnymen. Its latest, Night on Fire, serves up tributary vocal inflections and bass-heavy rumblings set to house music's default rhythm and tempo. These days, VHS or Beta mines the entirety of the dance-rock spectrum. Alongside devious beat barons Electric Six and local techno wizard Jefrodisiac, VHS or Beta will likely leave the dance floor in tatters when it performs on Wednesday, April 20, at the Independent; call 771-1421 or visit w for more info. -- Tamara Palmer

Not that anyone was wondering, but thanks to Blue Merle the world now knows what would happen if Adult Alternativeloving scientists secretly cloned Chris "Coldplay" Martin's voice box and implanted it in the gullet of Dave "Frat Rock" Matthews. Blue Merle singer Luke Reynolds' voice, while strong, is at times indistinguishable from Martin's, right down to its midlyric crackle into falsetto, but Reynolds' clichéd rhymes lack all of Coldplay's depth. Good thing Beau Stapleton's electric mandolin helps differentiate the act's sound a little. Despite the band's shout-out to the '70s -- the name's swiped from a Led Zep song -- this Nashville foursome does pretty, sentimental wuss-pop that's firmly embedded in the mid-'90s, which makes it a good match for headliner and former Toad the Wet Sprocket frontman Glen Phillips. Try to resist the urge to scream "Yellow!" at the stage when Blue Merle plays on Saturday, April 23, at Slim's; call 255-0333 or visit www.slims- for more info.-- Maya Kroth

About The Authors

Maya Kroth


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"