Beautiful lips like Strawberry Quik…

The photo shoot with Harper was cool. Sam, the photographer from the Rage, has really good ideas and gets really great shots. He set up in a stairwell at the Tennessean and had some cool light. He shot a bunch of photos there and then we went to an elevator and did several more. The stairwell shots will look much cooler for the story just because of the lighting and setting. In case there were any confusion on the point, I don’t do anything at these photoshoots. I’m just there since I’m the writer of the story and I like watching the process.

I went to the Basement last night. I’d say “to see…” but I didn’t really go to see any of the bands. Avenge Vegas, from Atlanta, opened. They had a couple of really great songs, but several tunes that were uneven. From what I gather on their website, they haven’t had a regular drummer for long, so a bit of the uneveness is probably due to a lack of band gelling. They were definitely worth seeing for an old-school “oh yeh this is the kind of band I used to see every weekend” vibe. Kinda grungey, mostly unschooled. It was cool.

Hands Down Eugene played next. The mix was much better than the last time I saw them. The lead vocals were stronger; the extra guitars were silenced; there weren’t as many sound effects. Also, Todd K was playing Rhodes instead of vibes and this had the effect of reducing the percussion going on. You might not think that a vibraphone would add that much percussion to a mix, but the Rhodes definitely settled in the sound better. Nonetheless, I spent most of their set trying to figure out what I dislike about the band. Is it the fact that 8 people are onstage? The hippie element? The slow tempos? Ultimately, I decided to ask myself WWJRD? And I feel confident that Johnny Ramone would give it a firm thumbs down.

I left before Forget Cassettes started. I still haven’t seen their new lineup yet. But I don’t really have an urge to.

UPDATE: I feel like I should clarify my position on HDE. I think they’re all superb musicians, but they’re one of those bands I’m friends with where I feel left out or something that I don’t like them. I can watch them play and listen to the parts and like how the songs go but I just can’t get into the band. That’s why I ask “WWJRD?” The thumbs-down doesn’t mean they suck; just that it’s not my bag. There are plenty of bands that truly suck and I’d hate for anyone to think that HDE belong in that category.