Opening the show this week is local “electrogothic spacerock” group oddSTAR. It’s a rare group that so openly admits their most obvious influences, yet this Asheville-based five-piece seems more than happy to own up to their love for the likes of The Cure, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and New Order. But, does oddSTAR live up to their self description of being “dark yet ethereal, beautiful yet brooding” and “sublime yet urgent”? We’ll let you decide. We suggest starting with the song “Waiting,” which is a but more rocking than some of their more ethereal tracks.
Next up, we have Jason Ross Martin, the former lead singer of the now-defunct band Poisonedarts (not to mention the man inside the controversial “Picnics’ Chicken” suit). Martin places his music somewhere between pop and jam, but on first listen it sounds more like a singer/songwriter rocking a synthesizer rather than an acoustic guitar. It’s also worth noting that Lovedarts, Martin’s debut solo album (from which most of his MySpace songs are culled), is set for release this week. We recommend starting with “January Snow.”
Closing out this week’s Listening Party, we have Brad Sweitzer and The Young Sophisticates, a group that mixes equal parts folk-rock and biting humor. Owing a heavy debt to bands like They Might Be Giants and The Dead Milkmen, Sweitzer’s songs are cynical, cleverly written narratives about dating friends’ sisters, overweight rockers examining their party-heavy lifestyles and “odes to pubic hair.” Not surprisingly, some of his songs are fairly explicit, so if you’re planning on listening to these tracks at work, consider yourself warned. We suggest starting with “Canada.”
Now, it’s your turn. Tell us your thoughts on these performers by posting into the comment fields below. This is your chance to be the music reviewer, so praise and pan as you see fit.
Also, if you’d like to suggest a band for Listening Party, or have questions about the column, visit this thread on our Mountainx.com forums.
— Steve Shanafelt, A&E editor