Pearcy Croe and Doobious Leghorn
at Venus de Milo
I'll admit it: Boston is not Seattle. I know this because I haven't seen rain in two weeks, had a really good cup of coffee in two years, or found more than a handful of people getting excited about the local music scene in all the time I've been here.
Which is really shame. Because even if Boston isn't Seattle, it's still home to a thriving rock subculture with lot of potential--potential that could be realized if Boston's huge Generation X contingency sat up and took some interest in local bands.
The bands aren't hard to find. The Middle East in Cambridge and Rathskeller and Venus de Milo in Boston all regularly host some of the area's freshest young talents. And even if you never listen to anything outside the Top 40, cover to usually cheap enough to make it worth your while to go check pout some up-and-coming bands.
At least, this was my philosophy when I went to Venus (7 Lansdowne St.) on Wednesday and shelled out five bucks to hear what local bands Doobious Leghorn and Pearcy Croe could do. It wasn't very crowded, but in a club as small as Venus, no matter what size the audience, the band is always up-close and personal.
Pearcy Croe was headlining, and they proved to be a good, solid group (with great hair!). Their sound is reminiscent of Pearl Jam--and they come very close to living up to that distinction.
But the big surprise of the night was actually the opening act, Doobious Leghorn. In just a five-song set, the five-member band covered the musical spectrum from R&D to heavy metal to a take-off of "Putt the Magic Dragon" that got everyone on their feet. "We play whatever tickles our fancy," said guitarist Dan Bernal, and we have a lot of fancies to tickle."
One thing that really set Doobious Leghorn apart was the sweet sound of sax player Brad Barile, especially on the Middle-Easternish "Babahanooj." Although the sax isn't first instrument you think of when you think rock 'n' roll, Barile makes it an integral part of the band's music rather than just a gimmick.
Another thing that made me sit up and take notice was the incredible energy of lead singer Goat, who at one point jumped off the stage to bump and grind with some of the girls dancing up front.
The thing that struck me most about the band was their charisma. You can't always make out their lyrics, but their excitement is contagious nonetheless. They drink, they smoke, they dance, they take off their clothes--yes, onstage. These guys are clearly having a great time, and they want you to have a great time with them.
And if that kind of night isn't worth five bucks, I don't knows what is.
By the way, you can also catch Doobious Leghorn and others at Machinery Hall's CD release party at Avenue C on August 4th.