show review: Mouth Captain, Cheer Accident, Guzzlemug – Empty Bottle (150809)

150808 Cheer-Accident, Empty Bottle: Photato by Drumnmike
150808 Cheer-Accident, Empty Bottle: Photato by Drumnmike

Scrolling through my weekly Empty Bottle shows I saw that Cheer Accident was playing a $5 show.  These guys have been around since 1981.  When I was first exposed to them they it was through some epic 20 minute jazz rock track.  Little did I know that this was the not the same iteration of the band.

150808 Mouth Captain, Empty Bottle: Photato by Drumnmike
150808 Mouth Captain, Empty Bottle: Photato by Drumnmike

Mouth Captain opened the show and are 2 dudes playing lap guitar with a loop pedal and a drum set, and 1 dude doing video with a giant projector in between the the performers.  The videos fit very well with their music and their style is sort of a slow building, elongated mellow style.  My biggest gripe about this band was they used a grasshopper throughout the films but for some reason they didn’t have a shirt with a grasshopper on it. WTF? It was a fun stop motion character of a once alive grasshopper and would be the perfect cross merchandising tie in.  The music was cool. What’s probably always mentioned is the dudes have some affiliation with Blue Man Group and thus their musicianship reflects that.  They don’t play a lot of shows but if you do see them in the listings for a venue they’re worth checking out.

150808 Cheer-Accident, Empty Bottle: Photato by Drumnmike
150808 Cheer-Accident, Empty Bottle: Photato by Drumnmike

This was the Cheer Accident we got on Saturday. It was 4 of them, 2 ‘origianl’ members and 1 gal and 1 guy all wearing track suits, sunglasses and playing keyboards.  There were sporadic times through the set when they’d sprockets and dance, or play trumpet, but it was mostly keys with drum machine.  The music sounded like the 80’s with vocals out of the 60’s.  Their harmonies were very nice and they hit a lot of great 2 part harmonies.  Halfway through the set I moved from the outer edge to the middle of the crowd and had a better time with the music, joke or not.  I think this was more of a performance art piece instead of being a truly musical thing but I don’t really know enough about them to understand what they joke about.  As an outsider watching this based on what I’ve heard previously that’s the unofficial conclusion I cam eup with.  At various quiet moments in the set the main dude spoke, then they all looked out at the crowd while pre-recorded ‘thank you’s’ would play. It was good times.

150808 Guzzlemug, Empty Bottle: Photato by Drumnmike
150808 Guzzlemug, Empty Bottle: Photato by Drumnmike

My previous band arbogast had the pleasure of playing with Guzzlemug at Burlington and Ultra Lounge 2 years ago.  When I first saw them their drummer was clean cut and was wearing a beret.  He chewed gum and was ripping through his set with the greatest of ease.  On Saturday he was channeling his inner Andrew WK wearing white with hair down to his shoulders.  The drum mix was quiet which is unusual for the Empty Bottle, which is unfortunate because he’s really good.  The mix would’ve made their set better because the drums, and I may be biased, provide some nice grooves to get you into the weirdness of their music.  If they’re not heard enough you can lose track of the timing and then the guitar and bass are just in sync.  It just provides a nice overall sound.  Guzzlemug is a progressive jazz rock style band, which can go off in out there directions.  They have 17 minute tracks and full releases with just 1 track. It’s a shame this was their last show but sometimes this is the way of progressive bands.  It’s hard for them to catch on but they still leave the world with their music, and hopefully in time it can be found again.  I’d highly recommend their last 2 releases (as those are the only ones I’ve listened to).

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