The Marshall stacks were on their backs but they blew out…

I realize posting on the blog has been pretty sparse for several days and this is due simply to holiday craziness. I did make it out to the Exit/In last night for Hands Down Eugene. They were playing Billy Block’s Western Beat showcase and it was weird.

After sitting through a singer-songwriter and his band play completely indistinguishable songs for half an hour, the septet of Hands Down Eugene began milling around the stage. Billy Block introduced them, led us in applause and then HDE played a pretty short set.

The band went from one song to the next with almost no pauses in between. On one hand, this had the effect making their set sound like one long, wandering song. On the other hand, this might be the best way for them to play since I never found myself thinking “oh great, another slow one” when the next song started. Of course, I didn’t always know when the next song started since they’re all pretty slow. They seemed a little more laid back than usual last night, or as I like to say “more hippy-fied.”

The mix is always a factor at HDE shows. Last night, it was heavily bass and lead guitar which was pretty cool. Everything else was in the background. I’m used to seeing the band crammed into a small space, not spread out on a large stage. The space worked pretty well for them. At least with their revolving lineup and the challenge that the mix always presents, you do get the feeling you’re seeing a slightly different band every time. That’s kind of cool.

But the really weird incident happened at the end as HDE finished their set and said goodnight and started unplugging their instruments. There was this sense that something was amiss. There was no house music that came up; the lights didn’t change. A minute later, Billy Block ran onstage and apologized for missing the end of the set. Then he led us in an overdubbed proper ending for the set. He thanked the band and we cheered. They’ll fix that in the mix.

I just ran across Chromeo’s “Needy Girl” on my mp3 player and totally wanted to moonwalk to the break room. I never found their album (and apparently I don’t have the cred to have gotten a promo from Vice), but the song is so great. Like a perfect mix of Cameo, Ready for the World, and UTFO.