Sep 10, 2011

Motopony at Schubas on 9/9/11

Official video for "King of Diamonds", my video from Schubas to follow (the official version is a MUCH better version than mine!).

My video from the Schubas show (I was close up and sound was the problem which is usually not an issue at Schubas...):

I was excited to learn that Motopony was doing an $8 show at Schubas. I mean I have to make up for the expensive shows I go to with a few gimmees like this one. A no brainer, I purchased the tickets using my new iPad and 3G connection while driving (well I was not personally driving) to Minnesota. I first heard "King of Diamonds" on satellite radio and was "in like" instantly. The show was a 10pm show which meant a midnight show for the headliner. Although known to rally generally, this would take some endurance and patience for me and speed (by speed I mean amphetamines) for my husband who is usually asleep by 10.

Motopony is a Seattle-based band fronted by fashion designer/poet/singer/songwriter Daniel Blue. In 2009 he collaborated with producer Buddy ROSS (the hip hop pseudonym for Josiah Sherman). Brantley Cady (guitar), Mike Notter (guitar) and Forrest Mauvais (percussionist) joined the band to round out the Motopony sound. For tonight's performance at Schubas, they had someone sit in on guitar and percussion. He was never named since the band was never individually introduced by Daniel. It was late granted and likely I would forget my own name at 1am in the morning but not introducing the band is, well, not acceptable. I particularly liked the keyboardist who's name I looked it up (and it was Buddy Ros. Blue is quite an energetic, soulful, and spirited performer. Dancing hyperkinetically and with no shame or worry in a Mick Jagger-esque way, the man could not be stopped. Blue gave the microphone and the audience his full and undivided attention. He had a honkey tonk southern style with a wide vocal range. He sang as if he was singing for a large audience at the United Center. I really felt that he gave it everything he had despite the small crowd at Schubas. He and the band get kudos for that. The audience was appreciative even buying the band rounds of beer and shots when the guitarist almost seemed to cease playing because he needed a beer ASAP. I guess there were not many perks to this gig for Motopony. I think the band has some top quality songs and a unique indie, folk, rock (rock emphasized) sound but unfortunately the sound was off on this night. The instrumentation was loud and the vocals needed a turning up. I was about to step in and let the merchandise girl (Anna Lynne) know about my observations but my husband thought it was not my job/role to do so. I argued later that in fact it was my job because it affected my experience at the show. Enough said but the sound really did not improve without my intervention occurring. Why did I listen to my husband? Why did I think he knew better than I? It was late and I was tired and I was not feeling confrontational and I cannot be all things to everybody.... blah blah blah. Speaking of Anna Lynne, her husband was very talented (the one who shall remain nameless that was performing with the band but is not in fact WITH Motopony but does live in Seattle - was that too fast to get?). I am just sticking in some kudos for him here. It turns out, and I may be wrong, but I think that Ann Lynne is Anna Lynne Williams from the band Trespassers William. If so, she has a very haunting sound and would be great to see perform (especially if you are a fan of Aimee Mann who has a similar vocal style).

Back to the show. Blue was a performer's performer. For someone not playing an instrument at this show, he kept very busy on stage. Dancing, playing with his scarf as microphone bling, singing with (almost kissing) his bandmates as they shared a microphone, shaking his head and hair feather to and fro with sweat spraying from his hair this way and that. He clearly got a work out and burned off many calories thus explaining his skinny physique (at least one reason for). Unbeknownst to me, I met Blue by the bar before the first opening act went on. We were discussing the fascinating bladeless Dyson fan that was cooling down the bar area. You could actually put your arm through it without a scratch! It looked like modern art or contemporary art (not real clear on which is the better more accurate genre). What a great invention! In any event the band was fun, Blue was energetic beyond recognition, and if the sound had been better, great vocals and instrumentation by the band. I am going to give the show a 3 out of 5 guitar rating due to poor sound (and I NEVER say this about Schubas), the show being too late (next time Schubas, please have only one opening act!), and lack of band mate introductions ( a bit too Diva for me Blue!). Having said that, the band's music is definitely worth a listen and a download! Looking forward to seeing them next time, with more microphone for the vocals.

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