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Show Crush: Oranjuly / The Vital Might / Streight Angular / Hello Ninja tomorrow at the Middle East Upstairs

June 10, 2011

The Middle East is presenting a wonderful pop showcase tomorrow night in their upstairs room, bringing Oranjuly, The Vital Might, Streight Angular and Hello Ninja to the stage.

My own path to the music of Oranjuly was rather unusual: I was working on a film project and several of the crew were talking about this mysterious friend of theirs named Brian who had a band and also apparently occupied a lot of their attention, at least on that afternoon. After they mentioned the name Oranjuly I remembered hearing that name from some of the more accomplished songwriters in town so I figured I would have to check this out. The mastermind of Oranjuly is songwriter, vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Brian E. King. He’s an unabashed fan of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and that is quite evident in the band’s sound. He also lists the Ben Folds Five and Elliot Smith as influences and that is also evident in the sound as well. The band’s debut release has met with an impressive critical reception that makes sense given the fact that so many of the city’s best pop songwriters are fans. In person Brian has the same unstoppable positive energy as his music. The band performs this music with finesse. Drummer Lou Paniccia has the sensitivity to drive the band’s bringing to life of King’s pop creations. Bassist/Guitarist Aaron Benson coaxes gorgeous sounds out of his Music Man 5-string. Guitarist and vocalist Kyle Fredrickson rounds out the sound.

The Vital Might bring a harder edge to the proceedings with their influences including The Mars Volta, Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age. They are recording their third album with the noted producer, and guitar wizard for Casey Desmond and Orphans of the Storm, Taylor Barefoot. Andy Milk is the vocalist and guitarist, Rick Guathier fills in the low end, and Evan Kraker is on the skins.

The core of Streight Angular is the husband and wife team of Al Polk on vocals and guitar, and Theresa Polk on drums and vocals. Al is quite a character and is often seen dressing outlandishly and dancing up a storm at shows around town. Theresa drums with solid time and her backing vocals are really what makes the band special, like in the call and response of Theresa’s “Are you ever satisfied?” and Al’s “No, I’m never satisifed!”. Theresa’s straightforward drumming and vocal performance keeps Al’s quirky, madcap performances from careening off the highway. It’s a pleasure to be able to say that they have the kind of magic that the Pixies do, but sound really completely different. Probably because Al didn’t waste any time, he found his Violet Clark right away. They deliver what you really want in an indie rock band, a crazy fun time. Come on admit it, you do.

Lamentably, Hello Ninja will be playing their last set at the show. It can be safely said that BBC hearts Hello Ninja. They were recently the subject of a BBC Video Crush for their catchy song Fever (We Love You) from their FNice Records release Singles Club Vol. 1, and another BBC Video Crush for their song I Think of Me Too. Their song Shaker was recently the subject of a C.D. On Songs Post as well. The band members are Cat Basile, Will Deeks, Anthony Geehan and Tim Thomson. We love you too, Hello Ninja.

The first 50 people to the show get a lei, and there will be a best bikini/bathing suit contest and a Limbo contest. Can you think of a better way to start off the summer? I didn’t think so.

Facebook Event Page
8pm / 18+ / $10 (advance tickets)

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