On the Goe: Pure madness in the March music scene
After a slow, bitterly cold couple of months of nothing but eating, drinking and Netflix marathons, spring is finally here to spell us from miserable temperatures and unhealthy lifestyle choices.
It’s finally warming up to the point where I’m ready to put on some pants and feel optimistic in the morning. Thank God, it’s March!
March means new life for the music scene. It was dull, dull, dull this winter, but bands are starting to tour again. March also means South By Southwest.
Not only is SXSW is the biggest music event of the year, it sets the tone for the next 12 months. Thousands of underground bands across all genres and industry professionals all trying to make a name for themselves descend on Austin, Texas, for one week of pure madness.
It’s an overwhelming mass of hysteria, so let’s only think about what we can see and hear and not about who got run over by who, and why someone was throwing up all over Lady Gaga at her Stubbs showcase.
Thanks to SXSW, March is typically a very productive month for the Grand Valley music scene. Due to our prime location, many bands funnel through Grand Junction on the way from SXSW to the Treefort Music Festival in Boise, Idaho.
The Grand Valley happens to sit almost smack dab in the middle of two major music festivals. It’s a golden opportunity to book some very good, young bands for local shows and a couple savvy local promoters are all over it.
The first crew making the SXSW to GJ trek are Rose Quartz from Denver, playing Friday night, March 21, at the Cavalcade in Fruita.
The Cavalcade, which continues to book the most progressive shows in the valley, is on it once again. Last year, it got the show of the year hosting SXSW studs Radiation City, Brainstorm and Social Studies. This year it snagged Rose Quartz just before the band heads off to Boise.
Formally known as Flash/Lights, the electronic duo Rose Quartz make vocal, hook driven, synthesizer music that I categorize as indie electronic dance music. Its bass lines are often steady and predictable but never heavy handed in delivery.
Rose Quartz isn’t going to blow out your chest with massive bass drops typical of mainstream EDM, but what it will fill your soul with infectious and melodic dance rhythms.
Rose Quartz made a name for itself in Denver’s DIY scene, and certainly knows how to play to an intimate crowd. It should be a fun night as our own DJ crew Chamber Bot also will be there to keep the groove moving well into the evening.
The other band making a stop in Grand Junction is Useless Eaters from Memphis, Tenn.
Playing Wednesday, March 26, with local outfit Wavebaby and DJ Roughstuff and Brownskul at Sabrosa, Useless Eaters is exactly the type of band you’d expect to find at SXSW. It plays garage, ‘60s throwback and punk rock music that is equal parts attitude and skill.
Useless Eaters is not masterful tacticians, but that hardly matters. For this band, it is all about feeling. Useless Eaters is able to pull a very specific vibe out of purposely miss-bent guitar notes and slightly off tempo bass lines. It walks a fine line between not giving a crap and caring just enough to bother tuning its instruments before shows.
Sabrosa has turned into the downtown dive bar du jour and Useless Eaters will be right at home there.
While the spring runoff from SXSW may be a little shallow this year, it brings new life to Grand Junction. Get out there and see a show because, who knows, one of these bands might be the next big thing.