Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Moon Mash, Ben Summers, Children of Spy at the Riot Room

Posted By on Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 2:08 PM

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The opening act was a no-call-no-show, so Moon Mash ended up going on first, and I missed three or four of the band's songs. What I saw I liked. It's a three-piece, with Kruger on vocals and guitar, Andy Beisser on bass, and Patrick Quick on drums, and the songs tended to be slow-burning affairs that gradually veered into Crazy Horse-style guitar jams. Some Sonic Youth in there, too, and maybe a little Dino Jr. Near the end of the set, the band cited the 1996 Michael Jordan film Space Jam as a primary influence. It also seems as though a name change is already on the horizon, from Moon Mash to the Claque. They've got a show coming up at Coda sometime soon, and I would guess they will officially be called the Claque by then. Though it is just as likely they'll be an entirely different name. 

Beisser sported Birkenstocks on stage, and somebody in the crowd yelled out and made fun of his "mandals." I say stick with the Birks. I used to have a pair and they provide excellent arch support. 

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Next up was Children of Spy, a Tennessee band that delivered a solid helping of country-rock tunes. Unfortunately, the photos I took of their performance are so horrendously bad -- yes, worse than these -- that I can't in good conscience publish them here. But if you want to catch Children of Spy, which you should, they're in Lawrence tonight at the Replay.

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Ben Summers, who also plays in the Grisly Hand, closed out the evening with a pleasant solo set of acoustic Americana. Solo folkie shows are usually a snore fest for me, but Summers' songs diverged from standard folk templates in small ways that held my attention. 

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Summers' Grisly Handmate Lauren Krum donated her gorgeous voice to some songs, as well. (Photo credit to Kruger.) Then the show was over and everybody watched the Royals defeat the Mariners in extra innings. A pretty good Monday. 

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