by Sam Spence
Variety, as the porn sage said, is the spice of life. A little of this, a little of that, a little of this mixed with that, and a little of that bent and twisted and tickled into God knows what but it’s good. For singer-guitarist Chris Henderson and his mates in Bronze Radio Return — Bob Tanen (bass), Rob Griffith (drums), Patrick Fetkowitz (guitar), Matt Warner (keys), and Craig Struble (harmonica, guitar, and banjo) — crafting a good album, like the band’s 2011 release Shake! Shake! Shake!, is all about variety. “With this album we were looking to explore some different moods,” Henderson says. And explore they do. From Kings of Leon-style anthem pop (“Warm Day, Cold War”) to a Wolf Parade-ish carnival creeper (“Everything Moves”) to the down-home dirge of the album’s standout track, “Broken Ocean,” Bronze Radio Return refuse to be pigeonholed. “Music can complement many different places where you are,” from in your room to your car out on the open road, Henderson says. For more information, visit bronzeradioreturn.com and theroyalamerican.com.
—Chris Haire SATURDAY
Did you love the wailing punk onslaught of the Shaniqua Brown, the 2011 Metal/Punk Band of the Year in the City Paper Music Awards? Do you love earnest country songs reminiscent of a bygone era? If you answer yes to one or both of those questions, the Local Honeys might be right up your alley. Shaniqua is no more, but the band’s former lead singer, the effervescent Rachel Kate Gillon, is still hard at work, this time with a band of lovely ladies (and one guy) crafting songs with titles like “Honeysuckle Rose” and covering classics like Johnny Mercer’s “I’m an Old Cowhand.” Gillon is joined by drummer Camela Guevara, bassist Brad Edwardson, and Sarah Bandy, who shares songwriting and singing duties while strumming a ukulele. Gillon is fresh off the Unchained Tour, a storytelling and musical showcase featuring the likes of author Neil Gaiman, monologist Edgar Oliver, and local musician Joel Hamilton of Mechanical River. —Paul Bowers THURSDAY
Melanie Krahmer has a confession to make. “I was a former band geek,” the singer and drummer for the hard-rocking New York duo Sirsy says. Not surprisingly, she has less than fond memories of the green-and-gold uniforms that the band wore. But thanks to those years, Krahmer learned to play the flute, a skill that she still manages to use on stage today. “I will throw in the occasional flute solo,” she says about the band’s lively live show. Krahmer is joined by her partner in crime, Rich Libutti, and together they manage a nigh-impossible feat. They make a tiny two-person set-up sound like a full-blown band, thanks to Krahmer and Libutti’s ability to multitask. In addition to singing and drumming — which she accomplishes while standing — Krahmer also plays the keys, which function as a bass guitar, and, yes, the flute, while Libutti tackles the guitar and hits a keyboard with his feet. The most impressive part? The band doesn’t use loop peddles. Sirsy is currently touring in support of 2010’s Revolution, a pop-rock collection the duo recorded in Libutti’s basement. Recently, they just finished up their latest, as-yet-untitled disc. Krahmer says that she’d love to tell us the name of the album, but their label rep would kill them if she did. Here’s hoping Sirsy is able to keep their mouths shut — at least until their gig this week at the Sparrow is complete. —Chris Haire THURSDAY
Tony Hello, lead singer for the Provo, Utah, band Eyes Lips Eyes, just can’t seem to escape the comparisons to the B-52s’ Fred Schneider. That’s either a positive or a negative. We think that’s a big ole plus. In fact, it’s got us singing “Rock Lobster” right now. But make no mistake, like the Athens greats, Eyes Lips Eyes and their disco-punk sound just might make the big time. Their first full lengther, 2011’s Blue Red, is a captivating 12-track compendium of bouncy instrumentals and oddball lyrics. “False Prophet” declares “I found a lot of love when I was a false prophet / I found a lot of love when I sexed-up the data,” while the frenetic “This Stuff” asks, “Is this stuff really love or just a practical joke?” Most recently, Eyes Lips Eyes put out a four-song EP, What You Want (If You Want), which features the standout single “Tickle” and “Don’t Blow It” (think the B-52s “Private Idaho”). Produced by John Goodmanson (Nada Surf, Death Cab for Cutie), What You Want provides a glimpse into what these guys will put out on their new record due out in March 2013. For more information and to listen to the EP, visit eyeslipseyes.com. —Katie Kimsey MONDAY