Last night I was convinced to attend an Art Club event in the VA on campus. I used to draw but it's been a while and I was reluctant to jump straight into a visual arts event, especially one where I might be surrounded by practiced artists and nude models. However, the night was totally different from what I had expected. Art Club might very well be the most cheerful and welcoming group on campus. The meeting included figure drawings of several performing musical artists, as well as some great Indian food. The fact that the figures where actually singers and musicians gave the already warm and welcoming atmosphere the feel of a very personal show. When I wasn't eating my first samosas or trying to get the shading on Pat King's hat just right, I could sit back with my friends and enjoy the great music. The set list for the night included brief performances by Neil Fridd, Pat King, Kyle Gilbride, Jesse Cooper Levy, Charlie Phillips, Choral Pleasure, Dandy Lions, Fields, Casey Chandler, Greg Baldwin, and Liam. You're going to check out all of those links right?
I didnt have a camera for the first two acts, so my stunning artistic interpretations are going to have to do for now. Neil Fridd was up first, he had his back to me so I couldn't draw his face but I could still hear him just fine. Neil usually plays under the moniker of The Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, in which he gets the chance to flesh out his casio- beat-driven, heart on your sleeve, honest to god, indie electronic pop music into a beating, living, dancing fuzzy monster that always has some sort of magic power to make everyone around it move. Last night it was just Neil and a Casio; it was quieter and more relaxed, with Neil sometimes even singing up at the cieling, but the feeling was still there. Pat King came on second and while he usually plays with his backing band, The Designated Drivers, played 3 or 4 acoustic Bruce Springsteen covers which I can always appreciate. By the end of his set those who weren't taking in some of the delicious food were quietly singing along.
Next up was Kyle Gilbride, who is quickly becoming my favorite musical acts on campus. I feel like when Kyle plays people really come together; his music really creates a powerful mood that listeners can't help but be sucked up into. His quiet acoustic pickings and high-sung half-voiced melodies bring to mind Jason Anderson or Microphones in the very best ways. Keep an eye out for Kyle a new release from him in the next few months.
Up next were Jesse Cooper Levy followed by Charlie Phillips. I've seen Jesse perform a few times on campus but this was the first time I've seen him play with a group and I must say, it was my favorite so far. It was interesting to hear new arrangements of songs I've heard Jesse sing on his own in the past. Jesse always delivers a very fun, energetic, and motivating performance. Charlie Phillips followed with an eerie set of acoustic versions of what seemed to be very lead guitar-heavy rock and roll type songs. The acoustic set was enjoyable but check out Charlie's myspace for full band recordings.
Towards around ten o'clock I was about to get ready to leave when Choral Pleasure started singing. This was my first time seeing the Purchase all a cappella ensemble and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I'm usually not one for choral ensembles but this group is really unlike any vocal group I've ever seen, performing professional and student arrangements of current pop songs. One of the students involved created and performed an arrangement of the Radiohead song Arpeggi and it was definitely a great representation of the song. I would certainly suggest any skeptic to see the group live.
There was such a great set list for this event and I really wish I could have stayed for more but I did have to miss the last few acts. However, not only should you check out all the individual myspace pages for these acts, but you should also consider attending future Art Club events, they're every Wednesday night around 8 in the VA building. They're free, they're friendly and you don't need a contract or anything to go to just one if you want to test it out.
I was able to find some of Neil's music online, give it a listen and come dance at his next show.
Check out more photos from last night's Art Club event at the MY SON COOL Flickr.