Show Review: Concrete Animals/Museum Moth/Young Mumbles/Octopus Jones

Cool Daddy’s Myrtle Beach January 20th 2012

This was an interesting review for me to do mainly because I booked the show and it took place in my home town. But also, because I changed my mind at the last minute to review this show instead of one that took place at Snug Harbor in Charlotte. By the end of the show I was more then sure I had made the right choice. Due to the fact that I recently moved to Columbia and had to travel I arrived a bit late. However it was just in time to see the opening act, Concrete Animals which had just started. The band based out of Florence, consists of Josh McDowell, guitar, vocals (Previously from The Dirty Whites) Bran Oswalt, drums; and Brad Shives, Bass. I had never heard them live before but I was immediately surprised with how the crowd took to them and rightfully so; they had amazing energy! They reminded me of the great 90’s indie bands, think Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, and a little Fugazi. They were extremely loud and raw, but catchy at the same time. The high point for me during their set was when this guy who came up to fellow promoter Michael Wood and I after throwing a Nazi Salute to the band, and said “This band is the best of all four of em, screw the other ones, just book these guys”, even though he later stated he’d never seen them before in his life. He also said some other profanities but I honestly lost interest in what he was saying at that point. Another high point during their set was their cover of “Hey Jealousy” by The Gin Blossoms which was nothing short of amazing due to the fact it sounded nothing like the original, thank goodness.

Next were Columbia sweethearts Young Mumbles, (Trey Murphy,vocals, guitar; Delaney Mills, drums,vocals, ukelele; and Bryan Higgins, bass). They had to be one of the funniest bands I’ve seen in a while. Trey came onstage wearing a leather jacket and sunglasses and announced to the crowd “We’re a Metallica cover band from Columbia” and launched into a set of music that was pure fun from start to finish. “Capital City” was an instant classic, with its quirky vocals, acoustic guitar and quasi-disco drumbeat. By the third song everyone was eating out of the palm of their hands. With simple instrumentation and and eclectic style Murphy seemed to channel Lou Reed, David Byrne and Mr. Rogers. There was also a little taste of Tallest Man On Earth mixed in with Tilly And The Wall and Moldy Peaches. The Velvet Underground vibe came out especially at the end of their set. One of my friends said that Trey was “The Lou Reed of Columbia” and Delaney was “Maureen Tucker” which made complete sense. (NOTE: while based in Columbia, Murphy and Mills are actually from Myrtle Beach). Take note of these guys.

Following Young Mumbles was Museum Mouth based out of South Port, North Carolina (Karl Kuehn, vocals, drums; Graham High, guitar; and Kory Urban, bass).

I met Karl in Wilmington last spring opening for Phantogram with his other band SWTHRT (pronounced “Sweetheart”). Swthrt were taking a break so that Museum Mouth could record their album (Sexy But Not Happy, Jan. 23rd). They started off a bit sloppy but that was partially due to sound issues. They’re also kind of heavy which normally isn’t my thing but they had a cool, punky sound- a little bit of a throwback to when emo wasn’t a bad word. Once they dialed in the sound they were pretty tight. They sound a bit like Sebadoh, Guided By Voices, and Archers Of Loaf. All in all, a killer show. They won over the crowd by the time their set was over. I’d definitely recommend going to see these guys if you have a chance. Not to mention they’re pretty rad guys which goes a long way in my book.

Last but never least came hometown favorites Octopus Jones (Darrin Cripe, drums; Danny Martin,vocals, guitar; Clay Carlisle,bass; Chris Wilson, keys, percussion; and Blake Ratliffe, guitar, vocals). At this point in the show, I had to get up, put my pen down and make my way to the front of the venue so I could listen to them but more importantly, so I could dance. I’ve seen them so many times that I didn’t really have to take notes. I also thought I knew what to expect so I figured I could just go off of memory for this one. After about the first two songs, however, I realized they were changing things up a bit. Fresh off a quick East Coast tour and a week long break, the Jones tweaked their set a little, polishing some new material, dusting off some old ones and even playing with different approaches to their staples. The self-proclaimed “Spankwave Boogie” quintet has been perfecting a blend of surf rock, disco funk, “indie” atmospherics and shimmering Afropop for damn near three years now. The new songs were definitely different from their debut EP Treat Yourself. These songs were a lot mellower, and a bit more mature. Still, that didn’t deter people from dancing the whole time. They had a lot of energy and I felt like they were a lot more refreshed then the last time I saw them perform. At the end of the set I was really impressed over all but also a little melancholy. I felt like my little brothers had grown up and were spreading their wings so to speak. I know that it’s only a matter of time before they get out of Myrtle Beach and make a name for themselves and rightfully so- they deserve success and we most certainly can’t expect the spank wave epidemic to stay within the confines of South Carolina; that’d be selfish of us.