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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Deriding Blue Honey From Aloe

The title of this post sounds like it makes no sense, but it kind of does. I was actually thinking of the word "deriving", playing off the way that two of the four band that played Gooski's on September 3rd had names connected to some kind of food or medicine. That would not have worked with all of the band names though. However, as you will see, it all makes sense.



I got to the show early. Aloe had not set up yet, but they soon did. I liked their set, but there's not much to say about it. It was the same set, as far as I can tell, from the day before at RANT. That's fine; this is the price of seeing the same band many times. This one was a little more rocking than the set for RANT. They played the new songs from the other day, and the old songs sounded great too!



The second band was Derider, who I had somehow never seen before. I watched a video they made some time ago and was dulled by the high production values. This was the opposite of that. It was sheer excitement and cool rock moves. Derider is awesome! They should make an awesome video with them playing live! Cormac thrashed around especially, looking like Thurston Moore to semi-Sonic Youth sounds they were making. You could also hear the Replacements and Hüsker Dü in the feedback-drenched rocking. This was such a great set that surprised my zero expectations.



The third band was Blue Smiley from Philadelphia. It's such a strange name, but I kind of like it. I was not that impressed with the band, unfortunately. They sort of sounded like The Beets or a similar Velvets-inspired garage band, but there were no standout songs. I was talking to a friend, and they pointed that out to me. They said that it was important to them to remember some of the songs that were played, something that they would definitely recall with Aloe and Derider and not so much with the other two bands. I have to agree. Blue Smiley sounded pretty cool, but their set was just a long haul through goopy songs with somewhat indistinguishable parts. All of the instruments combined together and the vocals were buried. I was not impressed.



Honey was the last band, and I was excited to see them based on the record of theirs I had heard. Their live set was disappointing though. They were loud, they had the chorus/modulation tones of Nevermind, but the songs were indistinguishable again. It was a big lump of semi-solid sugar, the kind you buy at an Asian grocery store thinking it will be pretty cool but have no idea what to do with as a white American. Just like Blue Smiley, Honey had some nice tones to the guitars and whatnot, but every song had the same kind of sounds and structures. That watery chorus can't be used for everything or you lose the dramatic effect.

I went home in a strange mental state, thinking about lumps of sugar plum fairies and the sickly sweet haze of nightly longing that hadn't been fulfilled by this show. I would definitely give Honey and Blue Smiley a second chance; perhaps it was Gooski's questionable sound system or perhaps they were just kind of off that night. More importantly, this show has me thinking about my own songwriting. Am I writing the same song over and over again too?

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