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Monday, February 8, 2010

Over the Weekend: The Blank Tapes, Leopold and His Fiction, The Lonely H

Posted By on Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 10:13 AM

The Blank Tapes
  • The Blank Tapes

The Blank Tapes, Leopold and His Fiction, The Lonely H
Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010
Bottom of the Hill

Better Than: Going to an Allman Brothers reunion tour.

I know this city shuts down early, but do crowds really need to cut out at 11p.m. on a non-school night? Those who did missed out, as the old saying held true Saturday at Bottom of the Hill: the best was saved for last, and in this case, the second to last too.

Opening act The Blank Tapes went on at 10 p.m. and played a few songs off their soon to be released album Home Away From Home--unveiling a new, upbeat sound that traded the quiet banjos and ukuleles for a louder, garage rock style. Their short preview of new material revealed the same low-fi, 60's inspired pop songs but with more guitars, a welcome departure from the last album, which lacked kick. As upbeat as the set was, though, frontman Matt Adam's voice fell flat throughout the set, and he couldn't hold a candle to what was to come next.

The talented Leopold and His Fiction stole the Blank Tapes' thunder. The local three-piece has more energy and soul on stage than I've seen in a long time. Working double-time, the members played at least two instruments each to create a fast-paced, full sound. Lead singer Daniel James has a soulful, powerful voice that keeps your attention. His songs tell stories about growing up, women, booze, and living in a small town. He forced the crowd to come closer to the stage at the beginning of the set, and by the end he had half the room dancing.

Next up were the fresh-faced kids of The Lonely H. The Port Angeles, WA boys are keeping '70s blues-rock alive--a common thread in recent music coming out of the Pacific Northwest. The Lonely H's lyrics stuck with the common themes of the night (women and booze) in addition to narratives about living in a small town. I was immediately impressed by 6'5" frontman Mark Fredson, the lead singer and keyboardist who can't be more than 24. He has the scratchy, pained voice of a man at least twice his age, and he's likely a good part of the reason the Lonely H were chosen to open for the Allman Brothers last year.

Editor's Notebook.
Random Detail:
Between Leopold and His Fiction and The Lonely H, there was a lot of fabulous hair going on. I was a bit jealous.

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Jasmine Blocker


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