Friday night (June 6) I split my concert-going between two clubs. First, I was at the Beat Kitchen to see Weinland, a group from Portland, Ore., that released a really nice record earlier this year titled La Lamentor. I’ve been listening to it quite a bit over the past few months, and it’s held up very well on all those repeat spins. Weinland isn’t getting much attention, however, and the show had little to no hype here in Chicago. The room was not nearly as full (or as quiet) as it should have been for this show. When the first band of the night (Gentleman’s Auction House) began, the seven musicians on the stage outnumbered the five people standing out on the floor. By the time Weinland took the stage, maybe 30 people were in attendance. The band played with toy tigers, plastic owls and a hatchet on the stage. I’m not sure why. Weinland is clearly guided by its singer-songwriter-guitarist John Adam Weinland Shearer, who sings in a high mournful voice, but it’s also a strong band, with interesting and atmospheric arrangements for Shearer’s folk-rock songs, which remind me of the bands Dolorean and Great Lake Swimmers. It’s pretty mellow stuff, but Weinland did occasionally turn up the noise. Twas a nice show and I look forward to seeing Weinland again. Check out the band’s web site: www.weinlandmusic.com and myspace page: www.myspace.com/johnweinland
I would have stuck around the Beat Kitchen to see the headliners, Sleep Out (that Trib story on their songs inspired by Graceland Cemetery was intriguing), but I also wanted to see a couple of bands playing down the street at Schubas. I showed up just as Speck Mountain was starting. I don’t know their music, but I enjoyed the soulfulness of what I heard. The headliners were Cryptacize, whom I’d seen not that long ago at the Hideout. Wacky deconstructed folk music, sort of like avant-garde campfire songs. Guaranteed to drive some listeners crazy, but I like it.