The Asbury Park Film Festival kicked off last Thursday and while the event I attended was not listed in their schedule, it was a great warm up for the event I would go to on Friday night.
Coming in to town from Austin Texas, Primal Static had me intrigued from the time we got the notification for the show. The duo consisting of Guitar and Keys brought Texas love and Maryland sophistication to our ears, and though initial thoughts may make you think empty sounds with this configuration, I am hear to let you know it was anything but.
The back story on these two is what caught my attention and piqued my interest. Their style of music is a mix of hard core Texas blues combined with an electronica undertone. It works magnificently. G.T. is the vocalist/guitar player, the raw, emotional edge that brings out every bit of passion you would except of a southern blues man. Keyboardist Houfei is the kicker here. She is a classical trained musician and holds a doctorate degree in music from Peabody Conservatory. If you have never heard of Peabody, it is a division of John Hopkins, and purely for music. I refer to it as Julliard on steroids.
I will preface this in saying I think Keyboard players are a a thing of beauty, their fingers performing some incredible feats of twists, turns and unwieldy dexterity. If you did not watch Houfei actually play while you listened you missed out on an incredible display of coordination. Her left hand held the bass line in a way I have never seen. Her right filled out the sounds in a way a rhythm guitar player would be proud of. Her facial expressions held in, but you could see she was deeply in tune with their creations.
The night opened with a different sort of duo and one of Asbury’s most popular. I had been so busy I did not check out who else was on the bill this night, but when I saw Yawn Mower’s name while doing my preview I was psyched. Been a while since I have caught these guys so it was double the amount of fun checking out their set. Doubling the doubles, if you have not heard yet, Happy Mondays is back starting May first and Yawn Mower will be teaming up with GayGuy/Straight Guy for a special set.
Modern Crowds took the two hole and celebrated their one year anniversary as a band and the kick off of a mini tour in the process. These guys went and drove themselves 13 hours for a gig the next night after their set was done. Hard core right there.
As is my luck, things were running a bit behind, and of course I missed Mercury Brothers closing out the night with their own set as a twosome. One of these days…
The choice selections from the evening: