Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Edgefest 21: And Then There Were Ten...

For the second year in a row, KDGE is giving local bands the opportunity to open up at Edgefest. Last week, twenty bands were selected, and fans had the opportunity to vote for their favorite band. The ten with the most votes moved on to round two this week. Voting for this round ends this Sunday at midnight, and the three acts with the greatest number of votes progress to the final round. Already, two favorites of mine (Luna Matto and Spookeasy) have been eliminated. There are still, however, several excellent choices remaining. Here is a look at my four favorite bands still competing (listed in alphabetical order), complete with a little summary on each band. I have also included my thoughts on how well each band would fit in at Edgefest.

MY THOUGHTS: I was impressed with this band the first time I heard "Seven" on The Local Edge with Mark. The track is a fresh blend of electronica, funk, and rock that is not like anything else in the metroplex area. While the song is good, you cannot fully understand and appreciate the band without experiencing their live performance. The live show is much more raw and funky, sure to get any audience on its feet. Fans of Prince and old school Lenny Kravitz are sure to love this act.
FITTING IN AT EDGEFEST: There's certainly no comparable act to DuCADO Vega on this year's lineup. And traditionally, the station veers away from more dance oriented music. Using that same logic, Ishi should not have opened up for Edgefest last year (and they did). And while Ishi may make you want to dance, with DuCADO Vega you feel the NEED to dance. So if the kids still like to dance, they'll end up fitting right in and winning over a new crowd.

North of Autumn
MY THOUGHTS: The youngest band of the four selected, this group is surprisingly mature in their presentation and level of skill. The one time I saw them play, not only was the performance tight, it was complete with a full light show, making it more an experience than a mere performance. The crowd seemed to be in full enthusiastic agreement with me. While the band's sound may be a little poppier than might please the die hard indie hipster crowd, for fans more concerned with catchy melodies than being trendy, North of Autumn will more than do the job.
FITTING IN AT EDGEFEST: The sound is certainly lighter than the majority of the lineup. NoA definitely would be a more natural fit for Coldplay for even The Fray than Jane's Addiction or Social D. Still, their melodic rock would certainly make a lovely way to start out the fest.

Pale Horse
MY THOUGHTS: Wow, here I am yet again having to come up with new things to say about this band. Let's start with the fact that "You're No Good" was my favorite song of last year, and that I named the band as one of the best live acts in the metroplex. The level at which I love this band is hardly a secret. They've been working on new material, posting new tracks on their bandcamp for free. I don't know if these tracks will get the full band treatment eventually, but they certainly take the band in an even darker and heavier direction. But Pale Horse has never shied away from heavy or controversial topics. Now is no exception.
FITTING IN AT EDGEFEST: Of the four bands selected, this one would probably be the most obvious fit at Edgefest. The band's lyrically intimate style is sure to bring comparisons to Edgefest favorite Blue October, although their style comes closer to a modern version of The Band than Blue October. Simply put, this is classic rock for another generation, and I think that will go over very well at Edgefest.

Smile Smile
MY THOUGHTS: I've always liked Smile Smile, but the release of Truth on Tape gave me a new respect for the band. The album is one of the best heartbreak CDs ever to emerge from the area. The topic came naturally to the band, as the music was being written as the duo was going through a very rough and public breakup. One might think that such a breakup might mean the end of the band, but Smile Smile has managed to make their personal problems work for them. Much of the on stage banter even revolves around their past. As for the melodies, mix equal parts heartbreak with pop piano hooks, and that's the Cliff Notes version of what Smile Smile is.
FITTING IN AT EDGEFEST: Like North of Autumn, the band's sound is considerably lighter than the rest of the bands. However, between the band's banter and excellent songs, the band should do fine. Also, the band will likely win brownie points with the Edgefest crowd with their cover of Blink 182's "Dammit", which as far as I'm concerned is light years superior to the original.

Now that you know a little about these bands, that leaves you one thing to do: VOTE! You can vote once per day until the deadline this Sunday at Midnight. I realize that I selected four bands, and at most three could make it thru. Still, let's at least get one of these acts on the Edgefest lineup.

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