Greg Laswell – Radio Room – Paste Party
First up, with a gentle hum is Greg Laswell. Playing “Sing Theresa Says” joking how it was a sad song written in response to a request to write a happy song, his subdued delivery was an appropriate start to this warm Wednesday.
Anathallo – Radio Room – Paste Party
On the more lively side, Anathallo were filled with enthusiasm, making playful use of dual keyboards and drums, the group’s two singers harmonized sweetly over bass keyboards. Utilizing a more progressive style in terms of subject matter (think The Decemberists) it’s surprising they’re not at the same level of popularity already.
Wavves – Red 7 – Forcefield PR/Terrorbird Media Party
Wavves brought the first unending line of the festival. Thanks to a slow ID checker, the band finished before most of the crowd could get in to see them.
Amanda Palmer – Radio Room – Paste Party
Amanda Palmer banged out (literally) some of the most rocking piano in recent memory a little later in the day. Hammering an electric keyboard alone and periodically bleating (“I do my part by simply smilling”) and at others straight-up shouting (“I may be romantic but I’m not gonna risk my life for it”), the Dresden Dolls frontwoman was ferocious. After taking a request for single “Oasis,” the singer humorously asked her fans to download her album for free (unbeknownst to her record label). And in a phenomenal finale, singing sans-amplification and lightly strumming a ukelele, Palmer treated the crowd to a heart-felt rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep.” The crowd singalong she incited at the last chorus was a moment not to be missed.
Miranda Lee Richards – Rusty Spurs Dance Hall and Saloon – Music Made By Women
In a smoky delivery, Miranda Lee Richards quietyly entertained a small group of listeners. Best described as the desert road music side of Dusty Springfield, her soothing voice occupied the fainter side of a higher register with grace and poise. Although perhaps a little innocuous for the hipster crowd, Miranda is far better than the never-ending parade of singer-songwriters littering music today.
The Thermals – Red 7 – Forcefield PR/Terrorbird Media Party
For those that like indie rock, newcomers The Thermals filled up Red 7’s outdoor stage to the brim. The trio, sounding like a slightly less excited and poppier version of The Subways, falls in at mostly a moderate tempo. The right single could mean much fanfare given recent trends, however without it, the band will find trouble differentiating themselves.