The Long, Strange Thanksgiving Weekend: What Did You Do/See?

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So, I started the long Thanksgiving weekend off with the Smashing Pumpkins show and ended it with a strained neck so bad that all I could do was lay on the couch and watch My So-Called Life on DVD. (A suggestion to imbibe some magnesium, found in black beans, spinach and coffee, three things I happened to have on hand at home, helped a wee bit. Yay home remedies.) In between, I caught a few local bands here and there. What did everyone else do/see? Anything blow your mind?

*The Jovan Chorus, Friday at the Bluebird. I'm completely biased toward this band, since I'm friends with everyone in it, so I went to catch them as a pal instead of a critic. But if you like your pop/rock of the '90s persuasion (Matthew Sweet, Sugar, Afghan Whigs), with hints of Britpop tossed in (Ride, etc.), check 'em out.

*The 75s, Saturday at the Rock & Roll Craft Show. Hadn't caught the punk-pop trio in awhile, and I was suitably impressed. Although the set-up wasn't ideal for bands (the "stage" was in a corner of one of the rooms at the Third Degree Glass Factory), the 75's were super-tight. A lot of its rough edges have been softened, so the band's wobbly pop sounds confident, not hesitant.


*The Orbz, ditto. Back performing after a hiatus to make a record (among other things), the Orbz were a last-minute addition to the Craft Show line-up. Have to say, I was underwhelmed. The band's goth-wave pop is suitably dramatic and emotional for the genre, but wholly derivative of countless other bands (locals like the Bureau, nationals like Interpol and its many imitators). Nothing in the band's songs or arrangements compelled me to want to stay and listen. After the group has removed the rust from its performance (and sent out its CD), I'll give 'em another shot.

*The Devil Baby Freakshow, ditto. At first, I was skeptical about this co-ed group, which employs tap dancers for auxiliary rhythm (shades of Tilly and the Wall). But its raucous punk-a-billy/garage-surf was well-crafted and never relied on shtick, and the presence of a trumpet is a nice touch. Reminded me of X, early B-52's or a doomier Cramps.

-- Annie Zaleski

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