Saturday, March 19, 2011

Out of the Beardspace

Last night found me at the Markheim Art Center in Haddonfield, New Jersey, for the evening's entertainment. I was there to see and hear Out of the Beardspace, a local band that is related to Sexoffice, which I've mentioned before. I know the drummer for both bands, Ethan Feinstien, who has mad skillz. I do not say this lightly, by the by - I base that assessment on lots of personal experience.*

Now, I'm not sure I'm that into their music - it's a sort of jazz fusion/electronica/alt rock that's heavy on long tracks and short on classical song structure - but all of the guys in the band are crazy talented musicians, and I'm especially fond of one of their tracks that always puts me in mind of Spyro Gyra from back in the late 80s. There is absolutely nothing simple about any of their songs - complex rhythms, crazy-complicated bass lines, gobs of syncopation, ballsy use of dissonance - and I admire their musicianship tremendously.

Of course, the reason I was there was for research for my WIP; specifically, I was there to take notes on What People Were Wearing. Especially the shoes on the guys present (in the band and in the audience, since Out of the Beardspace pulled in a rather large following for such a small venue on an open mic night - especially when one considers that 3/4 of the senior class at the high school that Ethan and another band member attends is currently in The Happiest Place on Earth for their senior trip).

Got good notes, heard talented musicians, saw my Intrepid Friend Lisa - I consider it a triumph.

*Little-known fact: I played percussion throughout high school, including 1 year on cymbals, 2 on snare and 1 on bells in marching band, 4 years of percussion in stage band - all instruments, including triangle, clavés, Vibroslap, xylophone, bells, chimes, bass, snare, bongos and timpani (on which I made it as far as Regionals) and four years on piano in jazz band. I never played trap, though I know lots of folks who did, including a couple drummers involved in the rock band I sang with after college. Oh - and I was a music major in college. So I guess I'm saying this is something close to a "professional opinion" when assessing musical skill levels, etc.

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